RICCARDO CASSIN — 1909-2009. Italian.
Like many great climbers, Riccardo Cassin had a restlessness and independent quality that suited him for vigorous activity and creativity. He fought in the resistance to the fascists in Italy in the 1940s. He boxed ceaselessly, that is, until he discovered climbing. What followed was a lengthy career in the mountains.
In 1935, Cassin and Vittorio Ratti climbed the north face of the Cima Ovest di Lavaredo in the Dolomites.
Cassin made the first ascent of the one of the six great north faces in the Alps, the north ridge of the Piz Badile in 1937.
In 1938, he lead the first ascent of the Walker Spur up to the Grand Jorasses’ Point Walker.
In 1961, Cassin lead five teammates up the south face of Denali, to establish an Alaska test-piece, today known as the Cassin Ridge.
In 1958, he lead an expedition that included Walter Bonatti to Gasherbrum IV (26,001 ft./7,925 m.) in the Karakorum. It is the 17th highest mountain the world and has been called more dangerous than K2. The summit attempt was successful and has rarely been repeated.
He continued to climb very late into his century among us.
This post is part a culmination of a series of posts that considered Who Are the Greatest Climbers of All Time. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following The Suburban Mountaineer on Facebook and Twitter.
Climbing matters, even though we work nine to five.
For some more information, please see his obituary from The Guardian.
And click here to see who was ranked at number two.