Francesco Ratti attacking the Trango Tower: "360-degree training, healthy food and no alcohol"

The alpinist from Lecco is about to leave for the Karakorum. The goal is to free climb one of the most difficult granite walls in the world above 6,000 meters

Monica Conforti

Free climbing on important grades above 6,000 meters of altitude. It is the project of Francesco Ratti, Mountain Guide and National Guide Instructor. Originally from the Lecco area, Ratti currently lives in Valtournenche and has targeted the most demanding granite towers of the Karakoram, in Pakistan. To accompany him in the adventure will be his companions Leonardo Gheza and Alessandro Baùwith the help of Millet, the French company that will support them with technical clothing and equipment specially selected to face the particular conditions found in the area of Trango Towers, granite pinnacles that go well over 6,000 meters. The main objective of the expedition is the Trango Tower (also called Nameless Tower), climbed for the first time in 1976 by the British Joe Brown, Mo Anthoine, Martin Boysen and Malcolm Howells. At the time the route had been graded VI, 5.10 A2, 1100 m with about 80% of the free climbing. Much more than a graduation exam.

Why this goal?

“It is a place where there are many possibilities for technical climbs that reach over six thousand meters. The rock is excellent and the climbs will be in cracks with technical grades reaching up to 7b and this includes free climbing. An alternative vision to high altitude. The final choice of route varies according to the conditions. It will in fact be a crack climb, which means that if they are not at least partially clear of the ice it becomes problematic. The starting idea is to go up the Eternal Flame, the top of free climbing at high altitude, or the Slovenian route. We will decide on the spot. Furthermore, if time permits, we would also like to attack the summit of Shipton Spire (5,852 meters), a spectacular and very demanding granite spire. The dream is to be able to open a new path “.

When is the departure scheduled?

“We start on June 27 and return on August 3, at least this is the program. It will take about 5 or 6 days to get to the base camp where, given that we are at relatively high altitudes, around 6000 meters, in about ten days we should be able to be well acclimatized. We will go trekking and sleep at high altitude, the idea is to be able to start the ascent from mid-July, weather permitting of course “.

What does high altitude mean to you?

“This is not only an important goal on a technical and sporting level but it is also a way to make a dream come true and put myself to the test. Climbing those mountains is not like home, you have to be able to get to know each other perfectly from every point of view. Acclimatize yourself. , training in the right way without wasting energy, is a management of ourselves as a whole. Last but not least, it is also important to manage moods “.

How do you train for these expeditions?

“The training is very complete, at 360 degrees, you go from the cardio part with running at high altitude to climbing on granite. In the Aosta Valley where I live I have no problem satisfying these needs. Then a lot of endurance. nutrition I simply tend to eat healthy, eliminate alcohol. I use supplements to recover after a major physical effort “.

How does your family live your expedition departures?

“I’m married and I have 2 children, they too love the mountains and are happy that my dreams can come true. Obviously, at the start, you feel a bit of tension but you look ahead and expect to come back to celebrate. After all, my work he takes me to experience the mountains every day “.



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