BERGAMO - 2014 will be an important anniversary in the history of mountaineering: July 31 will be exactly sixty years after the first ascent of K2, the second highest mountain on Earth, achieved by the Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio. In memory of the anniversary and as a sign of friendship that in the last decades has joined Italy and Pakistan, Agostino Da Polenza has announced plans to organize an expedition to K2 for next summer: this time, however, the Pakistanis will reach its top, with the support of Italy in the backstage.
“I think it is important to keep in the memory both of Italians and Pakistanis this great sporting and mountaineering event, that is also cultural and scientific” - Da Polenza said - “The idea was born this summer on the Baltoro, after meeting a group of energetic and motivated Pakistani mountaineers who have climbed the Broad Peak. They will be the protagonists of the expedition to K2 next year”.
“We thought it would be nice, this time, that Italy would support a totally Pakistani expedition” - said Da Polenza, who talked about the project in the video interview that today you can find on our play.montagna.tv - “An expedition that would give Pakistan a chance after 60 years of having its own group at the top of K2, to celebrate a historic day as of July 31, 1954”.
Da Polenza announced this project in recent days in Skardu, at the heart of the exhibition “The Italian Science and Cooperation at the Shadow of K2”, which for two weeks has lighten up Pakistan, from Islamabad to Skardu. The event, organized by the EvK2CNR Committee within the SEED Project, in collaboration with the Karakoram International University (KIU) and the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Pakistan, recalled decades of cooperation between Italy and Pakistan, including exploration and scientific research in Karakoram, through a series of events from a scientific conference “Karakoram Resources and Climate Change: glacier, water and ecosystem” to the photographic exhibition “The Rediscovery of the Abode of the Snow” dedicated to the explorer Filippo De Filippi, to the Mountain Film Festival, organized in collaboration with the Orobie Film Festival in Skardu, to the opening of the new headquarters of the Central Karakorum National Park.
The events were a great success with the public and the work that EvK2CNR Committee is carrying out has earned the congratulations of the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino, who said “The programs of Everest K2 Committee prove the excellence of the Italian scientific research and technologies, and are an effective model of international cooperation for a more sustainable global growth”.