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In 1954 an Italian expedition climbed K2, the world's second highest mountain and arguably the most difficult of all the 8000m peaks. It was a cause for celebration in a war-torn country still trying to establish itself in the post-war world. But it was an ascent which was also to lead to recriminations, accusations of deceit, slanders, libels and court cases. The bitter aftermath contributed to the ending of the career of Walter Bonatti, the pre-eminent climber of the era, a man whose climb on K2, and subsequent night-out at 8000m had ensured victory. Now after maintaining his silence for 50 years, Lino Lacedelli, one of the two-man summit team, finally tells his story of what happened on the summit climb. His account vindicates much, though not all, of what Bonatti has claimed about the positioning of Camp IX and that final climb. The book refutes much of what was written in the official account of both the expedition and the historic summit climb, adding fascinating detail to both the expedition and the Italy of the 1950s. It is one of the most important books on the history of climbing on the world's highest peaks to have been published in recent times. Lacedelli's account is illustrated with photographs from his personal archive, some of which have never before been published.
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