Born in Cortina d’Ampezzo, a member of the historic Scoiattoli (Squirrels) group, Lacedelli was the first to reach the summit of Karakorum 2, together with Achille Compagnoni. Sixty-seven years have passed since that remarkable achievement, an expression of man’s deep-rooted passion for the mountain.

On 31 July 1954, Cortina conquered K2, with Lino Lacedelli, the first climber – together with Achille Compagnoni – to reach the summit of the world’s second highest mountain. Lacedelli was a member of the Scoiattoli (Squirrels), a group of amateur climbers founded in 1939 at Cortina, today still engaged in challenges and promoting the discovery of the wonderful Unesco Dolomites. 


It was an incredible feat (particularly considering the equipment available in those days), that still today, over half a century later, attracts considerable popular interest.

That extreme, approximately two-month-long, experience with Lacedelli and Compagnoni was shared by a 30-strong team (including Walter Bonatti and Amir Mahdi, whose contribution proved to be fundamental for the expedition’s success) led by Ardito Desio and supported by Club Alpino Italiano (Italian Alpine Club), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council), Istituto Geografico Militare (Italian Military Geographic Institute) and the State. 


The route that led them up to the height of 8,611 metres was the “Abruzzi Spur”, on which nine camps had been set up (the first had been established between late May and early June), in addition to the base camp and the final Bonatti-Mahdi bivouac.


“The K2 expedition was a titanic enterprise, a fascinating story that perfectly expresses man’s passion for the mountains, for their beauty and their ‘darker’ sides as well. Obstacles that, during the ascent, become a personal challenge”, comments the mayor of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Gianpietro Ghedina. “Cortina takes great pride in the fact that this feat is linked in part to the name of a climber from the Ampezzo valley, a member of the historic Scoiattoli (Squirrels) group, a mountaineer who played an important role in many high-altitude expeditions and who developed many original climbing routes at levels of considerable difficulty, demonstrating his great love for our Dolomites and for all the mountains of the world”.

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