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  K2 2004: The last contingent of the expedition K2 2004 departs:  Italian expedition Everest/K2 2004 expedition


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 mid-July.

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 Expedition

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