American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Italian Everest Expedition

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1974

Italian Everest Expedition. A colossal 64-man Italian expedition, 56 of whom belonged to the armed forces, invaded Mount Everest by the South Col route. Ninety climbers and Sherpas took part in the actual climb and 44 more were at Base Camp! The leader was Guido Monzino and deputy leader was Piero Nava. Base Camp was established on March 21. Two helicopters were used to lift food and equipment over the icefall from Base Camp to Camp II in the Western Cwm. When one crashed on April 17 in the cwm, another was immediately sent from Italy. Officially the expedition had permission to use the helicopters only .for rescue missions, but the restriction was openly ignored. It was reported that fresh vegetables were regularly flown to Camp II via Lukla from Kathmandu. With such aid and numbers it is not surprising that Camp V on the South Col and Camp VI at 28,000 feet were established in record time. On May 5 the Italians Mirko Minuzzo and Rinaldo Carrel, Sherpa Lakpa Tenzing and Nepali Sambhu Tamang reached the summit. This is the first non-Sherpa Nepali to have reached the top of a major Himalayan peak. On May 7, Police Captain Fabrizio Innamorati, Warrant Officer Virginio Epis, Sergeant Major Claudio Benedetti and Sherpa Sonam Gyaltzen also reached the summit.

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