EXPIRED: 11/20/09 – Lino Lacedelli, 83, was, along with partner Achille Compagnoni, the first man to reach the summit of K2 back in 1954.
After Mount Everest, K2 is the second-highest mountain on Earth. With a peak elevation of 28,251 ft, (8,611 meters) K2 is part of the Karakoram range, and is located between China and Pakistan. K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the difficulty of ascent and the 2nd highest fatality rate among those who climb it. For every four people who have reached the summit, one has died trying.
Lacedelli’s climb was also not without it’s own tragedy.
While Lacedelli and Compagnoni were celebrated as Italian heroes; anotehr climbing partner, 24 year old Walter Bonatti accused them of leaving him and a Pakistani porter, to die.
Bonatti and the porter, Mahdi, were commissioned to bring spare oxygen bottles to Lino and Achille at a higher camp. It was further away than expected and night fell before they reached it. Bonatti claims they were turned away Lacedelli, so they left the O2 out side the tents and made the decent, surviving a night open to the elements.
Mahdi lost all his fingers to frostbite.
Back home, Lacedellini and Compagnoni not only denied all charges, but counter-attacked Bonatti accusing him of trying to sabotage their glory. Bonatti was eventually ostracised from the climbing community, gave up mountaineering and became a plumber.
Lacedelli continued to climb after all this, and he ran a sports shop called K2 Sports in Cortina, Italy in the Dolomite mountain range.
In 2004, on the 50th anniversary of his K2 summit climb, Lacedelli wanted to set the story straight and published The Price of Conquest, confessing to what really happened, thus changing the course of history.