The Milanese Marco Zaffaroni's “Everest 2015 in trippy style” expedition to conquer the roof of the world is underway. But before attempting the ascent to Everest, the usual visit to the hospital of Kalika, in the Dolpo region where the poorest population of Nepal live.
What is a plain man doing on the summit of Everest? Simple, he makes a dream come true. Thus begins the Himalayan adventure of Marco Zaffaroni, 53, born and raised in the north of Milan and the head of a small company, but with a great passion: the Himalayas.
"It will be a very" light "and non-commercial expedition, where I will attempt the climb to the highest peak on the planet accompanied by my friend Roberto Boscato and assisted by a single sherpa and without oxygen - comments Zaffaroni - but not before having visited the Kalika hospital ».
Not just Everest. For some years, in fact, Marco has been actively involved in the construction of a medical center in Dolpo, a province in the north-west of Nepal, one of the poorest in the country. If nutrition is not the first of the problems in this country, the real emergency is the health shortage that affects mainly women and children. In fact, there was no health facility throughout the region. Consequently, 90% of births take place at home and the percentage of mothers who die giving birth to their child is 3%, while infant mortality reaches 50% in the first year of life. The inhabitants lack awareness of the medical potential, due to the poor education and isolation of the region.
In the memory of a friend. "From the Himalayan mountains we have received a lot and it seemed right to leave something of our own that was concrete and tangible and that would benefit the regions that have given us so much in recent years". This is how Marco and Mario Merelli, the Bergamasco mountaineer who died in 2012, to whom Marco was a climbing partner in the last years of his career, explained their choice to embrace this daring project as a fifteenth 8000er.
"I will leave Milan on April 1 for Kathmandu and visit the hospital in Kalika for my usual annual inspection - underlines Zaffaroni - and then return to the capital and from there take a flight to Lukla, from where the ascent to the base camp of the Everest ».
To facilitate acclimatization and prepare for the climb, Zaffaroni and Boscato will climb the summit of Island Peak, the 6,189-meter peak that many Himalayan mountaineers use to refine their preparation before the attack on the 8848 of Everest. Zaffaroni is not his first experience in the Himalayas, and he already has two eight thousand conquered in curriculum: the Shisha Pangma of 8,027 meters in 2005, and the Cho Oyu of 8,201 meters in 2009, in addition to these two peaks there are 9 participations in Himalayan expeditions.
At the attack of the Seven Summits. The conquest of Everest represents for Marco a further step in the path of the Seven Summits, the seven highest mountains for each continental block: after having climbed Aconcagua (6.962 m.) For South America, on Kilimanjaro (5.895 m ) in Africa, on the Vinson massif (4,892 m) in Antarctica, on Elbrus (5,642 m) in Europe and on McKinley (6,194 m) for North America, now the peaks of the Carstensz Pyramid (4,884 m) are missing. Oceania and of course the roof of the world, Everest for the Asian continent.