K2: first repeat of "Magic line" dedicated to Manel De La Matta
the Catalan expedition and the first repeat of the magic line on K2, Himalaya.
They too were there at Base Camp this year, and they didn't really care about the summit. Or rather, they weren't there just for the summit. The Catalans were there for the Magic Line, these crazed horses wanted to climb Chogori via the direttissima, the perfect line, the magic line, fatally attempted by the Italian Renato Casarotto in 1986 and then first climbed, that same year, by the trio Bozik-Piasecki-WrÃ². The plan was then to snowboard down the Cesen line. They failed on this final objective, but it was more a jest than anything else.
One thing is certain: "had the summit been our main objective, we would have climbed the Abruzzi Spur. But we were interested in the process, the method and the style of ascent." I.e. true Wanderer, in its romantic and philosophical sense: not the l'approdo, but the movement in its own right, the propulsion to climb, the passion that drives. This is what motivated them. One of the team however will not return. Manel De La Matta has gone forever, due to an "illness apparently not related to the mountain" according to Valen GirÃ² (pictured in the photo below). His body is now resting at the Memorial Grave, 500m from base Camp where the remains of those who fell and died on the Great Mountain are buried. Some have never been found. They are commemorated, within the silence of these mountains that lacerate the heart, by metal plaques, their names, a phrase, their age, often far too young, incised by those who remained. Manuel came from Barcellona, he was born in 1963. Jordi Coromina's success - the summit at midnight on 17 August, the first repeat of the route climbed by Petr Bozik, Przemystaw Piasecki and Wojciech WrÃ² - cannot but be dedicated to Manuel.
"We will always maintain - confides Valen GirÃ² - the spirit and philosophy that accompanied us during our Magic Line adventure. The attempt to return to climbing's true roots: by honest means and work, work, work. This, as always, is our only secret."
Oscar Cadiach, Manel de la Matta, Jordi Corominas, Jordi Tosas and ValentÃ GirÃ³ are the 5 men of the Catalan expedition "K2 Magic Line 2004".
by Lorenzo Scandroglio
photo top: Catalan BC at K2.
photo bottom: Valentin Giro (ph Lorenzo Scandroglio).