Andrea Lanfri is ready to leave for Nepal, where he will try to reach the top of Everest. No Italian athlete with multiple amputations has ever attempted a climb above 8000 meters and Ferrino will be at his side in achieving this goal.
The Paralympic athlete and Ferrino ambassador has decided to raise the bar, he’s now aiming for Everest. The departure from Italy is set for next March 23th, destination Kathmandu. From the Nepalese capital he will take an internal flight to Lukla, then off with backpack on his shoulders along the Khumbu valley, until he will reach the slopes of Everest. His friend and guide Luca Montanari will be with him. Together they will follow the usual acclimatization measures, before going for the summit. The goal is an oxygen-free climb. “No Italian athlete with multiple amputations has ever attempted a climb above 8000 meters, I will be the first one to reach this goal.” Andrea in fact went through the amputation of both legs and seven fingers and toes following a meningitis with meningococcal sepsis.
Andrea, what’s pushing you towards the Everest?
It’s a personal challenge that was born shortly after my disease, when I started going to the mountains again. I had never thought about it before.
How did your friends, your parents and your girlfriend react to this challenge?
Apart from my mom, who always says “what are you going to do there?”, other people are ok with it. The mountain is very far from her world. I remember once, in the hospital, she told me that I would go home and that I would have to face a difficult path, but that surely I would not be able to return to the mountains. She said it to protect me, but then came immediately my straight answer. “And who told you that?”.
You have already answered to the provocation with Chimborazo, Mont Blanc and even more with the “From 0 to 0” projects. Now, “what are you going to do” on Everest?
I’m going there because I think it’s possible for me, and I feel capable of facing the climb. Because it’s a dream that I have been cultivating for years and that is finally going to become true.
Have you ever thought that something could be impossible for an athlete in your condition?
I never think about the impossible, at most I think I’m not ready for something. This applies to all athletes. It never occurred to me to say “I won’t do that because I have prostheses”. At most I think I have to prepare myself better than an able-bodied person, that I have to pay attention to other things. But everything is possible if you work and commit yourself.
Talking about that, will you climb with prosthetics?
Yes, I’ve always climbed with prostheses from the first time. And when I have my high altitude suit on I challenge everyone to understand if I have legs or not. At most, some might be amazed to see that I wear trail running shoes at eight-thousand meters. (laughs)
For an able-bodied person an altitude of eight-thousand-meter means risk of freezing. Is that also your case?
Obviously yes, but in addition to this there are other problems that could arise regarding the stumps. I will have to pay close attention to blisters, calluses, inflammation and bruises. It could more easily happen to the feet because the skin there is constantly rubbed by the movement. I will have to pay close attention to sweating at low altitudes and to the dryness of the skin at very high altitudes. Over the years I have developed some tricks to contain it, but at the end of the adventure there will certainly be some problems.
Have you ever imagined yourself on the top of Everest?
No, I prefer to go on step by step. My first step now is Kathmandu, then the base camp. When I reach it I will decide what to do and I will be able to dedicate myself exclusively to the climb.
Visualizza la traduzione in / This post is also available in Italiano