The second Italian man who climbed all the eight-thousanders without oxygen, Silvio Mondinelli, is ready to get back in the game on Makalu. As it has been in the past twenty years, Ferrino will be by his side, to offer him the best possible support in pursuing his dreams.
Silvio Mondinelli, aka Gnaro, climbed them all. On July 12th, 2007, reaching the summit of Broad Peak, he became the second Italian man, after Reinhold Messner, to climb all 14 eight-thousanders without using oxygen cylinders. Those who face those kind of challenges hardly decides to go on with these adventures, in fact after that he preferred to devote himself to something else. To a less expensive type of mountaineering, both on a human and mental level. Yet something remains of those moments, of that place beyond the zone of death where breath becomes short and life becomes eternal. Eventually, sooner or later, the desire returns, as happened to Gnaro this season.
“I’m accompanying a friend, Roberto Manni” he told us. “He already climbed many eight-thousanders, such as Everest. Now he would like to finish off with a fascinating peak such as Makalu”. The expedition will officially start on April 19th and will see the two veterans of the Himalayas together. “I’m turning 64 in July, I’m going to leave and see how far I can go” says laughing Mondinelli. “As always, I will have Ferrino equipment to support me on the mountain. A company I have always collaborated with and which I do not intend to change. When you find yourself on a road, you continue on that road". Silvio Mondinelli is very close to our reality, we supported him during his conquer of the eight thousand meters mountains and we continue to do so with affection and esteem whenever the opportunity arises, especially when the name of Gnaro is linked to very high altitudes. "Now I have other interests, but I wanted to try a last attempt" he said. "It will be strange to go back there after twenty years. The scene has changed, at the time we were just 7 or 8 people, now there are commercial expeditions". But it's not just a nostalgic issue. Makalu has been chosen for a precise reason. “I have a Swiss friend who carries out projects to support the Nepalese population, right in the Makalu valley. The “Mani for Nepal” association offers support to orphaned children. Among the various projects it supports families in rural areas by buying each family a cow, so we said to ourselves: if we’ll reach the top we will buy you cows. We have already bought two each.” Overall, it is an exploratory desire, a desire to put yourself to the test again. “The mind is set, the body is ok. We'll see” Gnaro concluded. He basically still feels like a kid and maybe he likes a little bit the idea of feeling once again that shortness of breath and those empty breaths typical of very high altitude.
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