by Sara Sottocornola
Panzeri from the summit of Dhaulagiri, 8,167 meters. The call came a few minutes ago with his wife Paola: contrary to what reported from the base camp, Panzeri has only now reached the summit, the 18 hours of Nepal, after a long climb seventeen hours and a hard struggle against the icy winds of Dhaulagiri. With this summit, Panzeri has completed the collection of the 14 eight thousand without oxygen.
“I knew, I knew – Paola says Sozzi, Panzeri’s wife, who is no longer in the skin with happiness -. He always called from the top, could not have reached the summit. Imagine if you had not done since his 14th eight thousand. His satellite was unloading, and called me by telephone Dawa Sherpa. Now it’s already dark, come down, they go to sleep at Camp 3, and from there call me to say that all is well. “
Panzeri and companions had departed the field 3 o’clock at night, instead of at 21 as scheduled, because the icy gusts of wind blew off. Then, during the ascent, they made a stop at about 7,500 meters, on the beam, again because of the wind. There, many have given up, but Panzeri, Corona and others wanted to continue. At the top are only now arrived, the 14 Italian time, the 18 in Nepal.
The news came on top of that Panzeri was circulated for some time. To give it was Marco Confortola, located at the base camp of Dhaulagiri. The mountaineer from Valtellina. which has now given up on the top groped for cold feet, had heard of his arrival at the summit to base camp. Actually, Mario Panzeri was still going up, along with Giampaolo Corona and 3 other climbers: Dawa and two Czechs.
“They told me that Mario Giampaolo and arrived at the top – Confortola told us, that we have reached 12 hours via satellite around the Italian -. With them were also Dawa and two Czech guys, I do not know if they with or without oxygen. Many others were trying but they are all back down wind and cold. Now the field will be around 2 and I think it will stop for the night. “
But in Italy, waiting for the phone call Panzeri arrived only two hours later. From the top.
This morning, Panzeri had called his wife at around 10.30. “We’re almost at – Panzeri had said to his wife, in a breathless voice – but I want to be sure the top, I would like to speak with Gnaro”. But then it was cut off. It ‘s taken the race for mobile phones to track Silvio Mondinelli. “Released from the ridge – Gnaro explains all – you have to go left and there are three peaks: the third is the top”. But the satellite Panzeri is disconnected.
But in the meantime “Mariolone” the summit he found himself. The satellite’s battery was discharged, but he has found himself a way to call his wife, who was always his first thought and his first phone call from the summit of eight thousand. Eight thousand, by now, have finally become 14: a deserved win.
This morning also Confortola had left camp 3 groped for the summit, but gave up to 7500 meters for cold feet, whose fingers had been amputated by freezing after the tragic experience of the K2 2008. “I arrived just before the beam – told us Confortola -. A point where the day before Gnaro told me to be careful. I waited an hour under a rock then I realized that I could not and I told Mario that I had cold feet and went back down. I was hoping the boots that I had made to deliberately I would help, but unfortunately it was not enough. “
It ‘s been hard to contain his enthusiasm for the great and deserved success Panzeri. But to hear his voice the word “top” must have been memorable. And it was only right before surrendering himself to the celebrations. Now, there is expected to be concluded by the descent. Then, really is the time to celebrate.