K2: The Price of Conquest: Lacedelli, Lino & Giovanni Cenacchi
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K2: The Price of Conquest

Author(s): Lacedelli, Lino & Giovanni Cenacchi

Copyright: 2006, UK
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.127, 21 color & 28 bw photos, blue cloth
Condition: dj unclipped, fine, cloth fine

In the 50 years since the Italian ascent of K2, Lino Lacedelli never released a statement regarding the summit climb he made with Achille Compagnoni, an event which was celebrated in Italy with great pride. However, when the team, led by Ardito Desio, returned home a terrible accusation was leveled at them. One of the members, Walter Bonatti, said the two summit climbers had put his life in danger by abandoning him before the final stretch so they could reach the top without him. The official version of the climb, written by Desio and confirmed by all other members of the expedition, said that hadn't happened, that Bonatti's accusations were unfounded, the result of a misunderstanding. Lacedelli has never felt the necessity to correct the inaccuracies written about the expedition, nor has he replied to the accusations that have often been made. Now Lacedelli reveals previously unknown aspects of that extraordinary climb and offers his own view of the Bonatti affair, an affair which has accounted for many pages in books and newspapers over the last fifty years, as well as keeping the courts busy. Bonatti and the Hunza porter Mahdi risked their lives to carry oxygen bottles which Lacedelli and Compagnoni needed the next day for the final ascent. When, as evening approached, they could not find the summit pair’s tent in the previously agreed place, Bonatti and Mahdi were forced to spend a terrible night above 8000 metres, with neither adequate shelter nor equipment. Why was Camp IX moved? Why did the oxygen run out before the summit was reached? Why was Bonatti subsequently accused of having secretly conspired against his colleagues? To these and other questions Lacedelli responds with authority , throwing new light on the story of an expedition which has become a defining moment in post-war Italian history. He reveals his own terrible version of the truth: in the night before the summit attempt, he and Compagnoni deliberately failed to make their rendezvous with Bonatti, forcing him to abandon the final ascent so they could have the oxygen tanks he carried with him. The book succeeds in restoring to its place in the history of Italian mountaineering an expedition whose story has more often seemed to read like a cheap thriller than one of adventure and discovery. It uncovers personalities previously confined to the shadows, forgotten and erased incidents, and the intense emotions which accompany all difficult challenges. This is a story of courage and ambition, of glory and guilt, of more than 50 years of hiding the truth that became Lino Lacedelli's ‘Price of Conquest’. This English translation has many more photos than the original Italian edition. This UK hardcover edition is a much nicer copy than the US softcover edition which is slightly smaller due to being a different binding. This is one of only 472 hardcover copies printed!


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