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28 jul 2010, by Carlo Caccia

Applauses for Renato Casarotto

Sometimes, remembering does not call for round-number anniversaries. There are occasions such as this one, on which it is anyhow allowed – there is a strong need – to go back to the past and bring at least a little bit of light upon what it was. So thanks to Alberto Iñurrategi and company, with their recent wonderful traverse of Broad Peak, we are allowed to talk about Renato Casarotto and his masterpiece (misunderstood? Yes, probably) on the North summit of Broad Peak in Karakorum. «There were many people on K2 that day – Goretta explained to us – and when Renato got to the summit, everybody clapped, they couldn’t help it». The eyes of those on the second mountain in the Earth were turned on the other side, towards that perfect ridge facing just North, where a sui generis poet had concluded the last verse of a solitary lyric. That lyric was worth time and struggle and had been begun again and again until the completion of the speech, until the 7550-meter high summit.
28th, June, 1983, 6.10 p.m.: the Broad Peak North is no longer untouched. Renato Casarotto, on the seventh day of climbing without company, with around fifteen ice and rock pegs, two ice axes and a 100-meter rope (continue…)

15 jul 2010, by Carlo Caccia

«Beyond the enclosures, towards the real»

IMPRESSIONS FROM THE FIRST EDITION OF THE “KARL UNTERKIRCHER AWARD”

«Karl’s ideal goes on: to carry on without getting enclosures, without bounding yourself, towards what you feel to be real». With this sentence, on Saturday the 10th of July, 2010, in Selva di Val Gardena, Kurt Diemberger concluded his speech for the last evening of the first edition of the “Karl Unterkircher Award”: the event organized in memory of a great mountaineer and dreamer, who, since the 15th of July, 2008, rests on the Rakhiot Face of Nanga Parbat. After Kurt’s words and after having called on the stage the jury – composed of Ines Papert, Hans Kammerlander, Rolando Larcher, Volcher Leuchsner and the undersigned – here comes the awaited announcement of the winner’s name (primus inter pares, “first among equals”): Ueli Steck has been awarded with the honour prize for his exceptional versatility, which through 2009 led him from the big north faces of Alps to the granite of the Yosemite Valley until the summits of Gasherbrum II (8035 m) and Makalu (8463 m). (continue…)

3 jul 2010, by Carlo Caccia

Dracula on Mount Foraker

GREAT ADVENTURE OF COLIN HALEY AND BJØRN-EIVIND ÅRTUN, WHO, ON 13-15 JUNE, 2010, CLIMBED IN A SINGLE PUSH (31 HOURS OF NON-STOP CLIMBING) A NEW 3200 METERS ROUTE (M6 R, AI4+, A0) ON THE SOUTHEAST FACE OF THE ALASKAN GIANT AND DESCENDED IN THE STORM VIA THE OPPOSITE SLOPE. A 71-HOUR-WITHOUT -SLEEP VENTURE, FROM THE GLACIER TO THE SUMMIT AND RETURN, WHICH WE RELIVE THROUGH THE WORDS OF ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS

In the last days we had only fragments , even not entirely correct. Today, instead, we have all the details. We are talking about the recent Alaskan trip of Colin Haley from America and Bjørn-Eivind Årtun from Norway, who stayed 37 days in the kingdom of great Denali and realized their dream despite of the inclemency of the weather and against all expectations. It was the same dream – just to give an idea – that in the past months deserved the Mugs Stump Award’s  support: to put up in a single push a new difficult route (continue…)

22 jun 2010, by Carlo Caccia

Walter Bonatti: 80 Years of Consistency

Today great Walter turns 80. He does not look it, though, in the body as much as in the mind. That man, born in Bergamo on the 22nd of June 1930, has the same grit as always: according to what he states today, ventures as the one of Petit Dru (55 years ago) or the one of Matterhorn (45 years ago) almost comment themselves. Walter is still the mountaineer; he embodies the quintessence of mountaineering: all the rest is something extra. He can seem tough, almost unpleasant. Though, in the end it is all a disguise unveiling the consistency of a man who never betrayed his ideas and convictions. When he is in public, some people may like him and some people may not. In private, his pleasantness is unique, he talks and listens as curious as a child (even if it is better no to contradict him about certain matters). He tells about a world that does not exist anymore, about wonders he touched and lived because he wanted to and because he was able to go beyond, leaving behind false certainties as to go for the real one (continue…)

1 jun 2010, by Carlo Caccia

In the heart of the “infernally alive wall”

GREAT ADVENTURE ON THE SOUTH FACE OF THE GRANDES JORASSES (4206 m, MONT BLANC) FOR SERGIO DE LEO, MARCELLO SANGUINETI, MARCO APPINO AND MICHEL CORANOTTE, WHO, ON 22 MAY, 2010, OPENED PLEIN SUD (950 m, VI, WI4+/5 R, M6+) IN 10 HOURS, CARRYING ON STRAIGHT WHERE GIAN CARLO GRASSI, RENZO LUZI AND MAURO ROSSI TRAVERSED IN 1985 ON THE LEFT

«I was checking on that, I’ve been taking care of that for years. And in the end of April, I saw from La Thuile it was there: the goulotte had formed. At least, down below. As to the upper part, which was embedded, we had no other choice than to go and see ourselves». So, Sergio De Leo, 47 years old, from Aosta, let his fellows know to get ready: that dream cherished so long, that fabulous line on the remote south face of Pointe Walker on the Grandes Jorasses, could finally become real. The perfect moment would have been right between the 19th and the 20th of May, but when you are a beginner, forced to live your time as a jigsaw (continue…)

24 may 2010, by Carlo Caccia

«Go, look, choose and climb»

KATSUTAKA YOKOYAMA TELLS ABOUT HIS MOUNT LOGAN (AND NOT ONLY)

He is dumbfounding the entire (mountaineering) world with his ventures. Though, according to him, who in the last days carried out an absolute masterpiece on Mount Logan, everything is nearly a game, real fun. Sure – we thought – to such a champion, it could even be true. Then, here comes the gibe: «I’ve never been a great climber and I’m still immature». Stop. What? Did we get it right? Sure. Katsutaka Yokoyama – 31 years old, Japanese from Kanagawa, called “Jumbo” because of his about 80 kilos of weight and 175 centimeters of height, comfortable with the remotest mountains as well as with French grade 8 sports routes – wrote something similar also in “The American Alpine Journal”. Then, there is still to understand what he will manage to do with his inseparable fellows – e.g. Fumitaka Ichimura and Yusuke Sato – when he will “actually” get expert and capable. «I don’t have to be a great climber – he keeps on explaining – but I’ll have to, as to face new, big and difficult targets. That is my case. (continue…)

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