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Achille Compagnoni negotiating the black rocks, located between camps 6 and 7 on K2 in 1954.
Photo by arch. Lino Lacedelli
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Goodbye Achille Compagnoni

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Achille Compagnoni, the Italian mountaineer who together with Lino Lacedelli first set foot on the summit of K2 at 18.00 on 31 July 1954, died in Aosta two days ago.

Born on 26 September 1914 in Valfurva, Sondria, Compagnoni began a military career in the Alpini corps before working as a mountain guide and ski instructor in Cervina. Thanks to his alpine experience above all on Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn and Ortles-Cevedale he was invited to take part in the historic Italian K2 expedition. Compagnoni was recognized with one of Italy's highest awards, the medal of honor for civil valor, while in 2003 he was appointed Cavaliere di Gran Croce.

As many know, for more than half a century Compagnoni was also involved in a bitter battle with Walter Bonatti regarding the differing versions of events of the last two days which led to the successful summit. Compagnoni's death marks the loss of one of Italy's most famous mountaineers.

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