8000 Meter Peaks

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 Sergio Martini

Date of Birth: March 10, 1949


Team: He goes alone, joining or sharing permits with other expeditions

Sponsor: No one, he still buys his stuff and self-finance his climbs

Status: Still climbing Next Expedition: probably somewhere in Pakistan

Only seven men have climbed all fourteen 8000 meter peaks in the world, two of them are Italians and two Polish. 13 years after Reinhold Messner's exploit, Italian climber Sergio Martini completed his Himalayan career climbing Mount Everest.

Martini, 50 years old, is a non-professional climber: still teaching physical education in public schools, still climbing and training during holidays, still walking and hiking his way from Nepal valleys up to the top.

He lives in Rovereto, a small town in Northern Italy surrounded by the Dolomites. Sergio started his career back in the Sixties, gaining attention in the climbers world with impressive new ways on Marmolada north face and joining two Patagonia expedition to Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.

The Himalaya experience started in 1976: Martini was 27 and supported a successful expedition to Dhaulagiri. Then his first 8000: he reached K2 summit in 1983. "From that moment, I dedicated my time at the task, organizing one expedition every year" he tells. He climbs Makalu in 1985, Nanga Parbat and Annapurna in 1986, Gasherbrum in 1987 and both Shishapangma and Cho Oyu in 1988. Then comes Dhaulagiri (1989), Broad Peak (1993), Hidden Peak (1994), Kanchenjunga (1995), Manaslu (1996), Lhotse (1997) [He reached the Summit of Lhotse again in 2000.]

And Everest, Holy Mother Sagarmatha? "I tried it two times, in 1989 and 1998 - says Martini - and I reached the South Peak in the second attempt, with Fausto De Stefani's expedition". "I did it at last. " . A day in his life he'll not forget. Now he's back home continuing his everyday life: school, home, and climbing. Sergio Martini is not a showman in someway he's just an old guy from the mountains. And his friends of the Italian Alpine Club in Trento had to build up a surprise party with 800 people to celebrate. That night, he was told he was going to a slide show. On stage, he whispered: "Thank you, but I'm not 8000 meter king. I'm not Reinhold Messner..."

Sergio bring up a good question. Are many climbers today attempting the toughest route ? What has happened to the attempts of climbers such as Reinhold Messner,  Jerzy Kukuczka (Jerzy died), Ehardt Loretan, Krzysztof Wielicki and a few others have might be considered in this elite group ?

Interview of Sergio Martini by Luigi Zoppello, Dolomutes, northern Italy, journalist

Pictures: On Everest's Summit One and Two

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