K2: The Price of Conquest

  • 128 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-1-59485-030-1
  • Jul 31, 2006

Paperback / softback
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* The truth regarding one of mountaineering's great controversies is revealed after more than 50 years
* Photos from the historical first ascent of K2
* Uncovers personalities previously confined to the shadows, forgotten and erased incidents, and the intense emotions surrounding this event

On July 31, 1954, two Italians, Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli, became the first humans to stand atop K2, the world's second highest mountain. The event was celebrated all over Italy with great pride, but when the team led by Ardito Desio returned home a terrible accusation was leveled at them. One of the members of the expedition, 20-year-old Walter Bonatti, insisted that the two climbers who reached the summit had put his life in danger by abandoning him before the final stretch so that they could reach the top without him.

According to the official version of the facts, written by Desio and confirmed by all the other members of the expedition, nothing untoward had happened during the climb; Bonatti's accusations were unfounded and the result of a misunderstanding. Today, more than fifty years after the event, Lino Lacedelli tells his own terrible version of the truth: in the night between July 30 and 31, he and Compagnoni deliberately failed to make their rendezvous with Bonatti, forcing him to abandon the final ascent so that they could use the two oxygen tanks that he carried with him. This is a story of courage and ambition, of glory and guilt, of more than 50 years of hiding the truth that became Lino Lacedelli's Price of Conquest.

Lino Lacedelli, born in 1925, is one of Italy's most famous climbers, in large part because of his participation in the first ascent of K2 in 1954.


  • 128 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-1-59485-030-1
  • Jul 31, 2006

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