story of a hidden Karakorum valley surrounded by beautiful granite walls

by Matteo Bedendo – photographer, climber / edit Federico Bernardi (c) MontagnaMagica

The Karakorum, in the collective imagination is often associated with the great peaks that rise along the Baltoro Glacier, the scene of epic expeditions and climbs since the early 1900s.

K2, Gasherbrums, Broad Peak, Chogolisa and Trango Towers, Laila Peak: the mountains that bring to mind great challenges of the past and present.

Yet the Karakorum includes dozens of more hidden and less known places, less accessible but with valleys, glaciers, mountains and granite walls of extraordinary beauty and mountaineering potential, with heights ranging from 4500 meters to over 7000 meters, which provide- for the few who venture there – climbing inexhaustible thrills and plenty of exploration possibilities.

Matteo Bedendo, a young and talented photographer and mountaineer, explored, photographed and wrote about one of these places in 2016: the Nangma Valley, located about 50 km south and parallel to the great Baltoro and K2 glacier.

We propose below his extraordinary historical report and below his photo gallery. 

 

                                               Nangma Valley – pin on Amin Brakk peak (Google Maps)

Last summer I had the privilege of photographing the most amazing valley I have ever seen.

The Nangma Valley is an aesthetically sublime place, secretly nestled in the heart of the Karakorum. Although I saw some western explorers as early as the sixties, this valley still remains unknown to most mountaineering and climbing enthusiasts. Anyone who knows this mountain range has probably heard of the Charakusa valley, dominated by the immense north face of K6; however, the valley that reaches this mountain from the south – called Nangma – has yet to show its immense mountaineering and naturalistic potential to a large part of the world.

When Eduard Koblmiller set foot in the valley during his successful K6 expedition in 1970, he described it as a place of “unusual and primordial beauty”. The Nangma Valley looks like an impressionist painting, made of extreme color contrasts and abstract lines that point the sky with astonishing verticality. Someone calls it the “Yosemite of Pakistan” although here, in addition to kilometer-long granite castles, there is also room for high altitude mountaineering – technical and difficult – typical of the Karakorum mountains. The beauty of the valley is almost touching and, unlike other and much more famous places, the base camps are only an intense day’s walk from the road.

The valley can be reached from the village of Kande, along the Hushe valley.

There must have been a long moment of creativity crisis since almost all the villages are called Kande, Khane, Kunde or Kanday. The Kande you need to reach is the last one. Having a guide with you is mandatory, although according to the law this is an “open zone”: at the military checkpoint along the valley, the military stops anyone without one. Fortunately, no liaison officer or briefing / debriefing is required in Islamabad – everything can then be arranged directly in Skardu, saving time, cost and bureaucracy. The Hushe valley sees every year some mountaineers / trekkers leaving the Gondogoro La, the famous high altitude pass that leads – with an alternative route to the classic – to Concordia and K2. But there is no guesthouse or tourist facility in Kande; a few years ago the entire village was destroyed by a landslide and was rebuilt a little further north. Your guide, if you are as lucky as we were, can arrange a guest room at some farmer’s house. Camping along the valley is definitely an option; any porters can be recruited directly the night before, in the village.

Although there is a great suspicion that this valley will become famous for its granite, pure rock routes and immense towers such as Amin Brakk, one cannot begin to speak of a mountain other than K6 (7282m).

Not only was the first ascent to K6 from this valley, but it is still the only ascent to the main peak. The impressive route established by Raphael Slawinski and Ian Westeld in 2013 on the north face – which led them to the victory of the Piolet d’Or – ended on the West summit. The real summit of K6 was only reached in 1970 by an Austrian expedition that trod the summit with four members: Eduard “Edi” Koblmueller, Gerhard Haberl, Christian von der Hecken and Gerd Pressl. For Koblmuller this is the first great success in Asia, which will be followed by a series of impressive climbs of the highest level especially in Karakorum: he will be the first to reach the main summit of Chogolisa (miraculously saved after the collapse of a frame) and will climb routes difficult on legendary mountains such as Batura, Cho Oyu, Diran, Rakaposhi and Nanga Parbat. The “via Austriaca” crosses the entire base of the mountain and crosses a hill until it attacks the “shoulder” from the adjacent valley (direct access from here would have been much longer) and then reaches the south-east ridge. The climbers evaluate some sections in the upper part as V + / A2. Many fixed ropes were used. The year before, an Italian expedition attempted to climb K6 from another route: instead of continuing towards the “shoulder” the route climbs sharply to the left along an ice ramp and then follows the west ridge (crossing K6 West) up to a series of rocky pinnacles which apparently proved too difficult. The first attempt dates back to an English expedition in 1961. A recent new route (Bennet – Zimmerman, USA, 2015) at K6 West, with mixed difficulty up to M6 and ice up to 90 °, is worth noting.

Kapura (6544m) is an elegant pyramid of rock and ice that rises from the west ridge of K6. Famous for having only recently been climbed – in 2004 – by Steve House, it only saw one ascent from Nangma Valley in 2013, by a pair of al Portuguese pin players. Paulo Roxo and Daniela Teixeira have made a route that ends on the south peak at about 6350m of altitude: it is called “Never Ending Dreams”, it extends for 1300 meters and presents difficulties of M4 and ice up to 70 °.

The Nangma Valley, as I mentioned earlier, has the potential to become a Yosemite of the East, with perfect, dry walls rising straight from base camp.

However, the mountain symbol of this valley does not have a comfortable wall, much less close to a possible base camp. The summit is a confusing party of frames and the exit from the wall cannot be done without ice equipment and a good ability to move on this type of terrain.

The Amin Brakk is one of the most impressive rock monoliths in the Karakorum and on the planet. Despite the not extreme altitude (about 6000 meters, although it appears a little lower on the maps), it is the real protagonist of this remote corner of Pakistan. Its west face looks like a torpedo twelve hundred meters high and terribly vertical. Indeed, the first part presents a more unique than rare case of overhanging slabs. The very compact “belly” that rises from the rotten and icy basal rocks does not in fact have the appearance of something that can be climbed free by a human being, although a system of cracks that crosses it cannot be excluded. It is an El Capitan of Asia, but it is much more difficult – and great: the local guides proudly reiterate that it is “much more difficult than the Trango Towers”. Recently discovered, it saw a first Spanish attempt run aground 300 meters from the summit in 1996, after staying on the face for fifteen days. It was only in 1999 that other Spaniards, Silvia Vidal, Pep Masip and Miguel Puigdomenech, reached the summit after thirty consecutive days on the wall. Their route, “Sol Solet” has a development of 1650 meters and most of the pitches have been climbed in aid, with difficulty in aid up to A5 and free up to 6c +. Over 500kg of material were transported to the face (almost half was water) and about thirty bolts were planted during the ascent, concentrated above all on the pitches where the granite proved to be very compact and smooth; two days of abseiling were necessary to descend and completely clean up the face. The mountain was named Amin Brakk as a tribute to their cook, Amin. A few days later the summit was reached again by a Czech consortium: “Czech Express” climbs more to the right than “Sol Solet” and has difficulties with aid of A3 and a greater development than the Spanish route. The ice reaches 70 °.
The “Namkor” route by Adolfo Madinabeitia and Juan Miranda climbs between the two aforementioned routes, has a development of 1550 meters and required thirty-one days of stay on the wall, most of which passed through the portaledge due to bad weather. Seventeen of the thirty-one pitches were climbed free (up to 6b +), while the greatest difficulties were encountered in the two pitches of A5.
In 2004 a Russian expedition, after having climbed the mountain partly by a new route, saw the first and only BASE jump in its history. Valery Rozov (who recently passed away during a jump on Ama Dablam) launched himself from a point near the summit ridge three hundred meters from the summit and, despite having passed dangerously close to a ledge during the first seconds of flight, the entire expedition ended with a success.

The classic expedition base camp on the right orographic side of the valley is a picturesque and magical place. The walls that overlook it are in themselves a satisfying goal for a rock purist.

Zang Brakk and Denbor Brakk are two peaks of 4800 meters that certainly do not go unnoticed for their aesthetics and verticality – and they are also an excellent fallback in case the most ambitious goals of the valley (read Amin Brakk) prove .. too ambitious, in fact. The granite is compact and colorful and there are still many possible routes to climb. Zang Brakk is certainly one of the most erotic towers in the valley, thanks to a really attractive appearance and – above all – instant access: the wall literally starts at the base camp. The development of the routes that go from the base to the top varies between 540 and 750 meters. The first ascent is once again due to Pep Masip and Silvia Vidal who in 1998 scoured the area to be able to look personally on the Amin Brakk, which they would have climbed the following year. The route is 540 meters long and most of the pitches have difficulty in aid up to A3. The couple reports that they have found old bolts of unknown origin a few meters beyond the start of the route. In 2000, three new routes were born. Two routes were established by a Korean team and present similar difficulties – 6a + A4-. The third route was established by a couple of British climbers and ends a short distance from the summit. “Ramchikor” is Mon g at 600 meters and was graded 5c + A2 by the openers. A recent addition is the “Hasta la Vista David” route, by Silvestro Stucchi, Elena Davila, Anna Lazzarini and Enea Colnago. The route runs along the southwest wall for 750 meters with difficulties of VI + and A1.
Libby Peter and Louise Thomas, authors of “Rachikor” on Zang Brakk, are also the first female climbers of Denbor Brakk – for a rather laborious route (debris and crest) with moderate technical difficulties. In 2009 the obvious south ridge of the mountain was climbed (to the south peak) by Americans Estes and Hepp, who described it as one of the worst climbs of their lives, much of it due to intense “gardening” that the two found themselves having to practice. A more direct Polish route takes place on the largest of the three pillars that characterize the mountain and has been called Dancer in the Dark. Although the Denbor Brakk is also very close to the base camp, it requires (except for a much longer tour) the crossing of a rushing glacial river-waterfall. A fixed rope is required to avoid major risks at each crossing.

After this long praise to the perfect granite of the valley it is time to break the article with a stupendous ice pyramid: Drifika (6447m).

The mountain, whose name is a distortion of a local word meaning “Palace of the Ghosts” is rather hidden. Its presence cannot be guessed from the main valley and to get there you have to cross the Amin Brak for a long time – crossing endless moraine slopes. The few people who have laid their eyes on his perfect profile probably did so from the north, from the Charakusa valley – where the first and second ascents (Japanese and Italians respectively) also took place. From the south the mountain looks just as splendid, but lately a bit battered – in the summer season – by the scorching Pakistani heat: photos from 2004 show steep couloirs of abundant snow which, at present, have been replaced by piles of debris in constant collapse . The rock here is no longer granite but, with good coverage, the Drifika shows a series of logical and interesting lines. Of the few expeditions that the mountain has seen from this side, it is the Slovenian one in 2004 that has come closest to success. Their turnaround a few tens of meters from the top was forced after having witnessed the fatal accident that happened to a member of the Basque expedition, a few hundred meters below them. The route of Matija “Matic” Jost and his companions is called “White River” and is as logical as it is beautiful: the exposure is guaranteed for the 1200 meters of route (60 ° ice, a short 90 ° jump on the serac). At present, the lower part is not accessible in the hottest months due to the endless collapses of debris. In 2007 a new Czech route reaches the West summit via the southwest ridge (M4, rotten rock).
In the glacial valley where Amin Brakk and Drifika face each other, there is room for another climb on ice. Korada Peak (5944m) was climbed by the Slovenians of “White River”, Gregor Blazic, Matija Jost, Vladimir Makarovic. While not huge by the standards of the Karakorum (it has the defect of being between two beautiful mountains) it has a remote and attractive aspect. The route was climbed and descended in 25 hours and although for the most part it is “only” a steep slope of ice, it overcomes a difficult rock band 60 meters high. It is rated TD + by the openers.

A rather obvious mountain in the valley is called Shingu Charpa (or “Great Tower”, ca. 5800m).

First climbed by Koreans Shin Dong-Chul, Bang Jung-Ho and Hwang Young-Soon in 2000. After discarding the idea of climbing the north ridge, they aided the obvious snowy couloir on the west face with fixed ropes. they then continued on delicate rock – always at risk of collapsing due to frequent rainfall. However, the real reason for the interest in this mountain remains its north ridge. It is almost sixteen hundred meters high and is a masterpiece of aesthetics. As logical as it is cyclopean, its story remains somewhat controversial. Known and attempted since 2000, it saw a Russian team covering it almost entirely up to the top in 2006. The Russians, however, made the ascent in two stages, that is, descending to about a third and then returning to the same point via a shortcut along the wall. East. Furthermore, although Igor Chaplinsky claims to have reached the summit free, it is now known that the three did not climb the last hundred meters of ice due to “lack of material”. Even having free climbed the entire ridge turned out to be a fake. A similar fate for the Americans Kelly Cordes and Josh Wharton who in the same year were rejected by the very hard black ice at the summit after having laboriously covered the entire ridge (with many sections in aid). Follow this intact ridge lmente, up to the top, remains one of the most ambitious open challenges in the valley.
The second ascent of the mountain took place the following year by Alexander Klenov, Mikhail Davy and Alexander Shabunin – Russian team – through the east face. The route is called “Never More” and intersects the north ridge on the final: the grade is very high and the development quite high (1600m, 7a, M5, A3).

The possibilities in the valley are endless, but we should mention the mysterious Changui Tower (often “Changi Tower”), whose east wall has already been climbed at least twice. The height of the tower should be around 5800 meters, although some old maps and reports indicate 5300. The mountain is located on the less famous side of the Amin Brakk, where the valley curves towards the K6, and is probably the second tallest structure. of the aggressive and complex mass of granite. A second Changi Tower (6500m), already known in the seventies and invisible from the Nangma valley, rises at the easternmost base of K6, and presents a difficult high altitude climb on mixed and ice, with very compact rock.
One of the fastest access towers (at least among those of defined and imposing appearance) is the Logmun Tower (or “Green Tower”, ca 4600m). Having placed the base camp at the bottom of the valley and not on the orographic right (so in case Amin Brakk, Zang Brakk and companions are not of interest to you ..) this huge triangular pillar is the most obvious vertical structure. The few routes marked out have free climbing up to 6a / 6b + and some artificial points up to A3: the climbing is always very continuous and demanding, and often the cracks need to be cleaned of vegetation. The development remains remarkable even if it is a pillar of not exaggerated altitude: it starts from a minimum of 600 meters to a maximum of 850 meters.

All along the valley there are hundreds of towers and virgin walls of perfect granite, as well as a decent choice of boulders. Despite a good number of very remote ice walls and a difficult, high and legendary mountain like K6, it is obviously the granite that reigns supreme here.

The Yosemite of Pakistan is ready to welcome the most demanding climbers who, in addition to a good dose of imagination and technical ability, are looking for a new earthly paradise, remote but accessible, where to experience modern and exploratory mountaineering at the same time.

 

NANGMA VALLEY EXPLORATION –  GALLERY 

all photographs by Matteo Bedendo – it is forbidden copy and share without explicit consent – all rights reserved (c) Matteo Bedendo Photography

hushe valley
nangma valley
amin brakk

 

marco and 3 cime of lavaredo,dolomites

Marco Milanese, from Friuli, born in 1987, studied at the Liceo Scientifico and at the same time carried out professional experience as a rugby player. He started Forestry Sciences, then the mountain “called” him : he then became an Alpine Mountain Guide since 2011, slackliner from 2013, base jumper, wing pilot and speedflyer since 2014.

Marco is getting noticed, since a couple of years, for his very interesting adventures that have had a good echo on social media: he’s not like a compulsive video poster, but in its adventures it is always present a character of experimentation or exploration in the broadest sense, such as the base jump from the Bell Tower of Val Montanaia, the speedflying of a volcano, a trip to Turkey with many base and wingsuit jumps and highlines ; his most recent feat, realized in late August was the freesolo climb of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo  in Dolomites, with descent through base and wingsuit base jump from all three peaks.

The following is an interview that has kindly released us – and hopefully will make you understand more deeply the path, the motivations, the emotions that Marco Milanese puts into play in his intense life between Earth and Heaven, looking for a Equilibrium.

 

Marco : Your progression, your path in balance between climbing and jumping, is something really impressive. By reading your resumé, I have the idea of ​​a kind of monk, because the extensive and fast training in the individual disciplines you have faced, considering the complexity and hardness in managing each one of them. Is that it? Do you have a common methodical approach on all your projects? And if so, what are your greatest difficulties, the limits that you recognize ?

 

I come from professional rugby so at the beginning of my activity I moved this type of approach in climbing and mountaineering in general, but lately, also because of the work as a mountain guide, I cannot train so constantly. Fortunately I still have a little ‘margin physically speaking, but lately I’m mainly training the mind, which is something you can not do in a climbing panel, you have to go out, you have to be exposed. I do not have a common approach to projects except for the fact that when they start to turn around in my head they do not leave me alone, I practice too many different activities that require very different approaches. The limits that I recognize are certainly not having a physical-fit body for climbing at high levels, and a mind that does not bear too much long drudgin’ around. I’m more a type of “Fast & furious” but who knows what will happen to me soon or later …

 

 

I have a curiosity about your path between disciples : I know that generally at least a 200 jumps from the plane are considered indispensable before the transit to the base jump. More to wear a wingsuit, both in the air then to Alpine Base. But there are exceptions. Can you tell us something about it? What or who inspired you on this road of jumping, which strongly intersect with mountaineering ?

 

I have always had a strong attraction towards emptiness, it relaxes me, makes me think more clearly. I researched it at the beginning with the climbing.. because it was the most obvious thing, then with the highline and finally, thanks to a left wrist injury that did not allow me to climb, but to open a parachute, I threw myself in this adventure .

The “normal” route to jump from the mountains with a wingsuit is long. You need 200 jumps from the plane before you can wear a small beginner jumpsuit, as you need 200 to do a base jumping course. Then the two things come together, the basejumping and the wingsuit. I say that I have speeded up a few steps – but I want to assure you that I have never skipped any step!

The unaware people in this base world… they are another thing, is just a new type of a suicide (because it is not possible to assimilate it to the world of BASE) ..there was one guy that had 5 jumps from the plane and no experience of mountain ,nor wing suit who decided to try, easy no? He will have seen it many times in the videos. I let you imagine the bitter end. Combining mountaineering and BASE has become something natural for me, but in a right way.

marco milanese

As for your professional job as Alpine Guide, I imagine it is your solid point for your financial support – and main source to have budget for other activities. Is it like that or are you also having satisfactions with some sponsors for the missions, you’ve made?

Yes, let’s say that at the moment the only economic support is the alpine guidejob, sometimes also I do some Highline shows with my girlfriend- she’s dancing on the aerial fabrics but nothing more, apart from Monvic who generously provides me with the clothes to climb and PhoenixFly who supplies me with wing suits at very low prices. As for now, nobody sponsored me and I did not look for them. If you have someone for shoes and clothes in goratex let me know, I do not need much more.

Recently you have made a trip to Turkey, on Facebook you have posted very beautiful images showing a country in great growth, talking about the presence of beautiful mountains and sites suitable for flights, base , climbing, highlining. Can you summarize brifly your experiences and numbers, how long were the approach, how many jumps, how many days? To get an idea of ​​how intense was that whole experience.

This experience was a real exploration trip in the mountains of the far north-east of Turkey. Thanks to a local jumper. the government of the region has supported us with all possible means, pickups, bulldozers to clean the streets, ambulances to landings, boats for water rescue. The first week we were in Uzundere where we practically went around, we looked at a mountain we found a way to climb it (generally very easy because they built dirt roads everywhere to build electricity pylons) and jumped with or without wingsuit. I personally opened two new exits on the day of my birthday. Then we jumped ruined castles, antennas and lower walls. Everything we saw as safe we jumped it, what an experience!

marco milanese and friends jumping in Turkey

The second week we were in the park of Kamalye, already known for the climb (little), bike, and the base, here people knew English and were not as conservative as in the first village we visited. 15 busted jumpers were welcomed with open arms with the greetings of the authorities and the beginning of the jumps with the wingsuit over the village. Later we jumped from a stretched cable above the euphrates with a small chairlift created for the occasion. They sent us downtown with this seat and then jumped! wooooow.

Numbers I do not know, we did at least 3 jumps on average days. Many kilometers, also because the two localities were 600 km from each other. So much kebab was especially full of Turks! (laughs)…

The debate about the extreme danger of the wingsuit used in BASE, even more in Alpine contexts, is quite lively, you have personally experienced in an article on the motivations of some time ago, with comments on social media showing a brutal cynicism for those who practice a discipline so extreme (and I add, often dictated by ignorance in the narrowest sense of the word). I ask you brutally: do you look for increasingly difficult proximity lines, more complex exits, launch after launch? Or do you impose a kind of control over your limits? How do you prepare a launch from a new exit, alone or with the companions change things?

It is a new sport that has yet to know its limits, people speak because they do not know well what they are talking about, as always. How often we “alpinists” or “climbers” have heard that we are unconscious.

The truth is that there is a world behind that few know, and often is misrepresented by criminal journalists or suicide madmen who want to throw at all costs because it is cool. But nobody talks about 60-year-olds who have made the history of this sport with an impressive amount of jumps (we are talking about 3-4000 jumps only of basejump).

However returning to us, in general I always look for a good reason to jump, this can be a difficult exit or a line of aesthetic proximity but can also be jumps with friends and follow each other, or do somersaults just for the sake of seeing the your friend make them next to you. Lately I try instead to find a beautiful mountain to climb and jump, no need to have a difficult jump.

A new exit…I prepare it very carefully, we have a lot of data available on our flights thanks to special gps and flight schedules and with lasers to measure the new exits and know if they are feasible, I study and review the data until I am sure that be feasible with an adequate safety margin, look good atmospheric conditions and good thermals and then go!

How did you prepare the triptych on the Cime di Lavaredo? I read on planetmountain that you heard Thomas Huber, who in 2008 drew a first idea of ​​concatenation with a base jump..da what did you have in mind this project?

This project was born a few years ago when for the first time I jumped the big top. The chaining was a natural idea that jumped into my mind. I just had to wait for the right time, when I had already a bit of training with this style behind me. Last year for example I climbed the socondo edge in Tofana and at the top I jumped with the suit, in total from machine to car I took 2 hours and 15 minutes if I’m not mistaken, I realized that I could also try on the three peaks .

I spoke with Huber asking him about the jump from the west of Lavaredo but then I decided to change the program and it’s over that I opened a new exit on the west.

The logistics of this nice trip was not easy because having only two parachutes I had to fold one, also one of the main problems was that I had to find the point from where to jump on the small and west.

Arrived at the start of the path to the small top of Lavaredo I left a parachute and I climbed with the other, I climbed the normal which is a way of IV, I dropped and found the exit I jumped. I folded the parachute near the church and I headed on the two north, left a parachute at the base of the edge Dibona I headed to the edge Demuth, climbed this halfway I found a perfect exit and I jumped, you can not jump from no part higher than the yellow cliffs because then the wall is supported. Finally I went back to the Dibona corner and with the suit and the other parachute I climbed the corner, among other things, as a bad cloud was coming I ran like crazy going up in less than an hour. At the top I wore the suit and off to the last jump with landing on soft grass.

An almost mystical experience but lived smoothly, reviewing the videos I discovered that I often sang songs while climbing 🙂 

Thanking you for your time, the final question is: where are you going? I do not care much about knowing the next project, but understanding from you if you have identified a path or some medium /long term goal.

The ultimate goal is always as they say in English “having a good time” but certainly the climb and fly will have a central place, I think it is the purest form to climb a mountain. Attached with a parachute in the back, without using stopping nails and ropes, fast both in the ascent and in the descent. You do not need to leave traces on the mountain, as if to say “I have passed by here” by planting a nail. It leaves everything intact. Pure.

marco fliying a very narrow gully

1976: “the Eagles” of San Martino , Trentino, Italia

  Italian Expedition with Sherpa

The italian Guides “Eagles of San Martino” and the Sherpas

On February,23th 1976 italian expedition of the Eagles of San Martino and Primiero left from Milan to Kathmandu, as follows: Renzo Debertolis expedition leader, Francesco Santon deputy, the Eagles Camillo De Paoli, Gian Paolo De Paoli, Luciano Gadenz, Gian Pietro Scalet, Silvio Simoni, Giampaolo Zortea, Edward Zagonel, mountaineers Sergio Martini and Luigi Henry, Poluzzi Achille medic and writer Alfonso Bernardi assistant and author of the chronicle of those moments in the book “Trentini on Dhaulagiri 8172 m.”

ritorno dalla Vetta!

the descent from summit. Giampaolo Zortea and Silvio Simoni, the two mountaineers that succeeded to top out. Luciano Gadenz went down from around 7950 mt. due to freezing toes.

portatori verso CB

On May,4th 1976 Alpine Guides Giampaolo Zortea and Silvio Simoni, stood on the summit of Dhaulagiri wrapped in the storm, at 8,172 meters, their ice axes with  Italian, Nepalese and of course the Eagles flags. It was the first eight thousand conquered by an expedition by Trentino mountaineers and, the third eight thousand conquered by Italian. The value of this  mountaineering feat is well difficult to place in an absolute ranking, as it is formed by too many elements, human, technical, environmental and even in weightlessness, but it can be said that the climb to the Dhaulagiri 1976 deserves a place of highest order. “Valuable Success” headlined an article by Alessandro Pillory (known mountaineer and writer) on “Tuttosport” of June 12th, 1976. ( fonte: sanmartino.com )French Pass Glacier Dhaulagiri

the glacier from the French Pass and the route on the right towards the Col and Northeast Ridge

  Campo Base Italiano

 

Base Camp later called “the Italians”. Below, the “cathedral” north of Dhaulagiri.

    parete Nord Dhaulagiri

This incredible pic shows how many porters were hired by italians.

All rights reserved (c) Alfonso Bernardi –  Bernardi family

Leonard Carrel 1871-1940

Leonard Carrel - Guida del Cervino, 1930

Son of Jean-Antoine , “il Bersagliere”, “THE Matterhorn Guide”, an extraordinary career and a Guide of strong ethical values

 

Leonard Carrel, guida Cervino - Capanna Jurneaux 1930


Carriera

  • 56 Matterhorn Ascents
  • 40 years as an alpine guide
  • first ascents on various Mte Rosa routes
  • ascents on Pennine Alps and Bern Alps

LEONARD CARREL

Son of the illustrious JeanAntoine, the Matterhorn Guidepar excellence; appointed bearer May 20, 1894, and guide June 19, 1899, carried out his mountaineering activities up to 1939, climbing the Matterhorn fifty-six times, and making ascents in the Monte Rosa massif and the highest peaks of the Pennine and Bernese Alps. On April 10 1904, with mountaineer Gabriel De Bottini and the other guide Valtournanche Abel Pession, he did make   the first ascent of Mont Avi or Au (3,006 meters, Valle d’Aosta) to the south ridge; in 1938, at sixty-seven, yet he made the ascent of the Breithorn (4165 meters). He died in Cervinia on December 24 1940.