“I met ‘Det’ on the Lhotse, during the Cassin expedition in 1975. He was thin, with the skin on his hands as wrinkled as the bark of a larch tree, and was as quick and agile on his feet as a mountain goat. Along with Mario Curmis, he was the strongest on the expedition, never once complaining”. “Det” is Giuseppe Alippi, the great mountaineer from Lombardy, more a “man of the mountains” than an athlete, as described in the words of Reinhold Messner, in the introduction to the book.
This is a volume like few others: part story, part interview, part notebook, with a collection of beautiful drawings on a mountain theme by Luisa Rota Sperti. The accounts in the book – and in particular the lengthy interview with the “Guardian of Sasso Cavallo” – sketch out the profile of a man and a climber of a bygone age, a timeless age, engraved into the rocks of his mountains, almost an integral part of them, but who has succeeded, during a lifetime spent on the peaks, to transfer his genuine, concrete, personal approach to rock walls from the Himalayas to Patagonia.
Det is a man of few words, and like the words of other wise men, within them lies the unspoken wisdom of nature. This book tells of the experiences and the dreams of a strong man, a poet, through the memories and accounts that emerge during the conversation with Carlo Caccia. “Well, I was just… good at climbing".
Edited by: Daniele Lira
Introduction: Reinhold Messner
Interview: Carlo Caccia
Illustrations: Luisa Rota Sperti
Graphic project: Raffaele Berì
Photographic portrait: Giulio Malfer
Published by: Montura Editing
Year of publication: 2011