The Duke of the Abruzzi

An Explorer's Life

  • 192 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-1-59485-895-6
  • May 2, 2014


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Grandson of the first king of Italy, Luigi Amedeo di Savoia-Aosta, or the Duke of the Abruzzi, was one of the most celebrated explorers of the early twentieth century. This biography vividly recounts not only the details of his pioneering expeditions but also the intriguing story of his personal life——including a doomed love affair with an American heiress and his more successful friendship with Vittorio Sella.

The Duke’s lifelong passion for adventure began in the Italian Alps of his childhood. Having mastered the Zmutt Ridge of the Matterhorn at the age of 21, he vowed to devote himself to mountain exploration. Just three years later, in 1897, he completed the first successful ascent of Alaska’s Mount St. Elias. His 1899 attempt to be the first to the North Pole fell short of its goal, but he succeeded in going farther north than any previous expedition. A naval career did not stop him from exploring the Ruwenzori range in Africa. The Duke’s most noted achievement was undeniably his pioneering climb on K2 in 1909 on the route that bears his name: the Abruzzi Ridge. In part because of this achievement, we are thrilled to bring this classic, originally published in 1997, back into print as one of our Legends and Lore titles.


  • 192 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-1-59485-895-6
  • May 2, 2014

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