The history of mountaineering is epitomised by roped parties and close-knit teams accomplishing extraordinary feats. For this reason, C.A.M.P. and the Ragni di Lecco are delighted to announce their new partnership. This collaboration is set between two pioneering historical institutions which share the same passion and interest in going beyond one’s limits, crafting innovative gear and drawing lines on rock walls the world over. These objectives now find a common ground, the Ragni reaching their goals thanks to C.A.M.P., while the company will profit from outstanding ambassadors living their adventures in the Alps and beyond.
The silhouettes of six men, beset by tiredness and the cold, are clearly detected amid the white expanse of a hostile universe. We can barely distinguish them, but fully know their stories: it’s the 19th July 1961 and Riccardo Cassin, Luigi Airoldi, Gigi Alippi, Jack Canali, Romano Perego and Annibale Zucchi have just reached the top of Denali which, at 6194 m (20,310 feet) is the giant of Alaska and the highest mountain in North America. Together from beginning to end, along the endless south spur: this exceptional Ragni di Lecco roped party carried out a masterpiece, alas becoming a fight for survival on the way down. It is, however, precisely in these cases that the team spirit, i.e. being tied to the same rope, comes to the fore. Jack’s feet are so frozen and swollen that he cannot put on his boot any longer. Gigi then lends him his pair, which is bigger, and goes back to the second camp wearing four pairs of socks and canvas overshoes, clearly without crampons. He is fully aware of the risks he is running, and knows that his generosity may cost him dearly; still, the feet of his friend, almost a brother, are well worth this sacrifice.
Therein lies the sense of a roped party, of being together on a mountain face. The Ragni, an alpine partnership bearing a history of dazzling accomplishments spanning 71 years, strongly believe in this principle because of their very own essence. C.A.M.P., founded in 1889 and considered an international leader in the planning and distribution of the most innovative outdoor gear, firmly supports this idea as well; here, all employees work together, reaching a synergy by which extraordinary products are shaped. Imagine an orchestra where each and every musician feels like a solo artist. The value of each individual worker, beyond that of the team, is seen in its relationship with the others: it matters little that, in the end, only the top athlete will plant his ice axe on the top.
Team spirit, passion, the will to improve and, quite obviously, Riccardo Cassin: these are the pillars upon which both C.A.M.P. and the Ragni di Lecco built their partnership; it is even more telling since they were both born in the shadow of the same mountains and later expanded beyond belief. C.A.M.P. can be found in 80 countries around the world and the so-called “red sweaters” – from the color of their historic uniform – have left their mark in the Himalayas, Baffin Island, Mexico, Patagonia and even Ethiopia – just to name their most recent accomplishments. Their next adventures, more precisely in a few weeks’ time, will see them on the south face of Denali again, where the new project bears the name of Slovak Direct. 56 years after the exploit by Cassin and friends, this is another dream by the Ragni: it has been conceived in alpine style and will be carried out by two mountaineers, in line with the climb to the next level idea set up by C.A.M.P.
Eddy Codega, president of C.A.M.P., explains that “the Ragni represent a natural partner for us, as they are driven by our same passion. In the last few years, welcoming many young mountaineers who have already achieved brilliant results, the group was able to collect the inheritance of eminent figures such as Riccardo Cassin, Carlo Mauri and Casimiro Ferrari, widening their range of adventures from mountaineering per se to top level sport climbing. We are therefore extremely pleased with this significant partnership, undoubtedly bringing immense satisfaction to both parties.” Fabio Palma, president of the group, echoes these words: “C.A.M.P. stands for immense talent. Becoming an international point of reference while starting off from a small mountain hamlet such as Premana requires unique skills. This is the first point of contact linking the Ragni with them: our group was born at the foot of the Grignetta and subsequently affirmed itself across the globe. Both parties also show remarkable attention for the quality of their objectives, not content with merely repeating what was done in the past. We can only continue to look ahead, proud to be working with C.A.M.P. in this new roped party.”
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