K2 2004 - 50 years later
The last contingent of the expedition K2 2004 departs.
Agostino Da Polenza, climber, veteran of K2, and expedition
leader of the project "k2 2004, 50 years later" departed this morning from
Milano's Malpensa Airport along with the last contingent of the expedition
headed for the Base camp at the Abruzzi Spur of K2: the very same conquered
50 years ago by the men who were then led by Prof. Ardito Desio.
The Italian expedition on the Himalayas, which commemorates
the first ever summit of the mountain by the Italians, is now, more than ever,
coming to life. The man from Bergamo, Da Polenza, the heart of the project,
will arrive in Islamabad tomorrow morning after which he will undertake the
long trek of about 10 days, crossing rivers and insiduous passes so as to
reunite with his companions in order to coordinate the climbers who will
attempt to reach the summit from both the north and south face of K2 in
Meanwhile, a museum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the
climb by Lino Lacedelli and Achille Compagnoni is beginning to take shape in
Skardu, the capital of the northernmost region of Pakistan. The museum will
record the history of K2. It is a project first proposed at a press
conference at the Milanese restaurant "L'Ulmet" by italian journalist Rolly
Marchi, Ing. (Engineer) Silvio Calvi and Agostino Da Polenza.
"In my opinion, something Italian needs to be done", these
were the first words uttered by Rolly Marchi. The idea was immediately
approved by the honorary expedition leader Minister Gianni Alemanno, and by
the de facto expedition leader Agostino Da Polenza. The museum will pay
particular tribute to the memory of the celebrated achievement of July 31,
1954. It will also pay tribute to the specific contributions and the history
of italian climbers in the Himalayas.
The place to be set aside as a museum will preserve the
historic memory of the various italian expeditions: the images gathered over
time will be the first contributions to the Museum: from the first attempt by
the Duke of the Abruzxzi and the extraordinary photographs of Vittorio Sella
in 1909 and the successive undertakings. The Museum will also exhibit a
selection of photographs depicting the history of italian climbers, from
Comici to Cassisn, from Luisa Jovana and Rsanna Manfrini, to Manolo, Cesare
Maestri, Walter Bonatti, Carlo Mauri, Sergio Martini and Reinhold Messner.
The exhibition will open to the public beginning at the end
of july, with an inauguration day of July 31 with the representatives of
various italian and pakistani institutions in attendance. There are many
sponsors supporting this prestigious endeavor. The idea was to ask the support
of the 14 italian companies - 14 like the 8,000 meter himalayan peakswhich in
the past 50 years have witnessed the success of the italian name in the
world. Names likeRiello, Colmar, Pirelli, Barilla, Falk, Marescalchi, Eni,
present today at this breakfast are certainly a solid response and support for
this worthy project which celebrates the success of Italy on K2.
In the exhibit "Italia- K2 2004" there will also be room for
the materials which depict the scientific explorations from the past to the
present day. The marriage of the sport of climbing to the scientific endeavor
is in fact the one important factor inherited from the time of Prof. Desio.
And so, just like the communal structure at Base camp at the
Abruzzi Spur which will serve as home base for all the team of the expedition,
is a pyramidal structure, so to will the Skardu Museum be in the shape of a
pyramid, to memorialize the highest laboratory in the world (5050 meters). Ciao Mauri
copyright Italian expedition Everest/K2 2004 expedition
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