Lino Lacedelli Dies at 83; One of First persons to Scale K2
Lino Lacedelli

Lino Lacedelli, who was one of the first two climbers to reach the summit of K2, the world’s second-highest peak and among the most perilous, passed away on November 20 at the house in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, where he had resided since the day he was born. He was 83 years old.

According to Italian newspapers and broadcasters, his family stated that he passed away due to unclear circumstances following a heart procedure. Mr. Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni arrived at the peak on July 31, 1954, but neither of them would admit to being the first to reach the peak. In May, Mr. Compagnoni passed away at the age of 94.

Reinhold Messner, a well-known Italian mountain climber, stated to the news agency ANSA that Mr. Lacedelli, who conquered a peak that many climbers consider to be more difficult than Everest, was one of the “greatest climbers” in the history of the sport.

Surveyors from the 19th century gave the peak in the Karakoram range that is located on the boundary between Pakistan and China the name K2. This peak is located in the mountain range. Everest, which is located around 800 miles to the southeast, has a height of more than 29,000 feet. K2 is approximately 28,250 feet in height.

Following Italy’s experience with fascism and loss in World War II, the Italian team’s triumph in the battle for K2 was lauded as a national victory. The accomplishment, according to Mr. Messner, who was the first person to summit Everest without the use of additional oxygen, led to “the psychological reconstruction of Italians.”

Cortina d’Ampezzo was the location where Lino Lacedelli was born on December 4th, 1925. When he was 14 years old, he evaded his father and followed a mountain guide and his customer as they climbed the high Torre Grande on the Cinque Torre, which is a well-known collection of steep rock formations located close to his house. This was the beginning of his climbing career.

After becoming a member of the Cortina Squirrels, a prominent local climbing club, he went on to participate in climbs that were progressively more difficult and received widespread media attention. Among these was the second climb of the daunting east face of the Grand Capucin in the Mont Blanc range, which took place in the year 1951.

This ascension piqued the interest of Ardito Desio, the explorer and geologist who led the K2 expedition and passed away in 2001. Desio was the person who conducted the mission. According to what Mr. Lacedelli stated in his book “K2: The Price of Conquest” (2004), Mr. Desio first saw him as little more than a porter. On the other hand, Mr. Lacedelli was also known for his exceptional skills as a rock climber.

It was in this book that Mr. Lacedelli made his first substantial comments about the heartbreaking disputes surrounding the K2 attack, which had fascinated the mountaineering world for half a century.

The occurrences in issue took place the day before Mr. Lacedelli and Mr. Compagnoni arrived at the peak. They were being followed by Amir Mahdi, who was a porter, and Walter Bonatti, who was the youngest climber in the team. Additional cylinders of oxygen were being transported by Mr. Bonatti and Mr. Mahdi in preparation for the last push to the summit.

When Mr. Bonatti and Mr. Mahdi arrived at the location where they were scheduled to meet the higher climbers, they were unable to find the camp. This disappointment occurred around the time when dusk arrived. As an alternative, it had been relocated to a higher site, which was beyond a hazardous journey to reach. Mr. Bonatti made the accusation that Mr. Compagnoni and Mr. Lacedelli had chosen the spot that included a lower level of accessibility in order to prevent him from interfering with their endeavor to reach the peak.

A dreadful night was spent in the cold by Mr. Bonatti and Mr. Mahdi, who were compelled to spend it there. As a result of frostbite, Mr. Mahdi lost all of his toes and the majority of his fingers. The official narrative, which was in effect for fifty-three years, gave the impression that he and Mr. Bonatti were the ones who were responsible for their own demise.

During the early hours of the next morning, Mr. Bonatti and Mr. Mahdi arrived. Both Mr. Compagnoni and Mr. Lacedelli made their way to the top of the mountain in order to recover the oxygen sets. Frostbite was received by both of them, and Mr. Lacedelli had a portion of his thumb removed.

Subsequently, when Mr. Compagnoni was back in Italy, he made the accusation that Mr. Bonatti had done something to sabotage the climb by removing oxygen from the equipment. The allegations were dismissed from the court’s consideration.

There was a newspaper story published in 1964 that made the accusation that Mr. Bonatti was attempting to steal the summit from the other members of the team. Mr. Bonatti triumphed in his lawsuit for libel. (The journalist Nino Giglio, who was responsible for writing the piece, stated in his testimony that he obtained the majority of the material he used from Mr. Compagnoni.)

Disputes were litigated, written about in books, and published in the press for a number of years. Although Mr. Bonatti was attacked by Mr. Desio and Mr. Compagnoni, Mr. Bonatti responded by attacking them again. Although Mr. Lacedelli had endorsed Mr. Desio’s report on the expedition, he stayed relatively mute during the entire process.

In his book published in 2004, Mr. Lacedelli appeared to largely agree with Mr. Bonatti’s interpretation. The individual stated that he and Mr. Compagnoni had purposefully failed to meet up with Mr. Bonatti, which resulted in Mr. Bonatti being forced to abort the last ascent in order for them to make use of the oxygen tanks that he had brought with him.

Another institution that provided financial assistance to the Bonatti account was the Club Alpino Italiano, which is the governing body for mountain climbers in Italy.

Mr. Lacedelli was the proprietor of a store known as K2 Sports for a considerable amount of time. In spite of the fact that he had lost his thumb, he carried out more than 160 mountain rescue operations since the year 1954. He leaves behind his wife and four children after his passing.

Related: The first persons to climb Mount Everest


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