The Association of Alpine Guides of Alagna was founded in 1872 under the patronage of CAI Varallo, and it was the second in the country after the one of Courmayeur founded four years earlier.
“Education, the practice of mountain, prudent courage, selflessness, obedience, courtesy and affability in the ways”. These are the qualities that according to the lawyer Orazio Spanna, one of the promoters of the foundation, had to have a mountain guide in order to better carry out his job.
Eight were the founders: Giovanni Barone, Giuseppe Guglielmina and Carlo Martinale from Alagna, Antonio Bruno di Riva Valdobbia, Giovanni Gamba, Giacomo Valenti, Giorgio Mo Allagranzina and Giovanni Mo Costabella from the lower valley.
From the years to follow the staff of the group had new entries with original guides of Alagna and other from the lower valleys: Val Sermenza, Val Mastallone. The Alagna Alpine Guide Group it was, even then, the reference group for those wishing to embark on the alpine guide profession.
Of course the Alagna mountain guides have had and still have an important part in the history of Valsesia side of Monte Rosa; not only! Since the early years of activity of our association, the members also distinguished in different internationally renowned campaigns.
During a first ascent on the east side of the Parrot Peak, Giovanni Guglielmina saves the the life of the then Senator Costantino Perazzi from a fatal fall. For this action the Guglielmina receives the gold medal for civil valor by the then Minister of Finance of the Kingdom, as well as founder of the CAI, Quintino Sella. Since then this route is called Canalone Perazzi.
Guglielmo Guglielminetti along with two customers climbs for the first time the South wall of Gnifetti Peak. The last few meters, just below the balcony of the Margherita Hut, they were helped by a rope dropped from the shelter.
Guglielmo Guglielminetti and Eugenio Piana leave for Tierra del Fuego following Alberto De Agostini, founder of the homonym Geographic Institute. The goal is the Sarmiento Mountain.
Enrico Chiara climbs, during the military period and together with his brother the route which in subsequent years will become the baptism of ice roads for many climbers, the north wall of the Ciarforon in the Gran Paradiso Mountain group.
The alpine guides Antonioli Giovanni and Gazzo Guglielmo together with the customer Rinuccia Lanfranchi rise for the first time the South wall of the Black Horn (‘Corno Nero’). The road, prone to falling rocks, probably has never been repeated.
Giacomo Chiara, roped together with the famous Carrellino di Cervinia, opens the direct way to Furggen ridge from Matterhorn (‘Cervino’).
The current president of the Association Friends of the Alpine Guides, Ottavio Festa, together with his friend Adolfo Vecchietti on 20th of March climbs for the first time in winter the legendary Signal ridge.
The alpine guides De Tomasi and Orso opens a route on the south wall of the Black Horn (‘Corno Nero’). With difficult passages on rocks and exposed to falling stones, the route doesn’t result to be repeated. Much more successful was the nearby Route Peroni-Rava, opened a few days later, which takes place on better rocks and it is safer.
Emilio de Tomasi takes part in the first expedition sponsored by CAI Varallo who aims for a crest on Huascaran in the Peruvian Andes. He will succeed to reach the summit with his friend Tullio Vidoni.
De Tomasi, this time together with another Alagna guide, Berti Enzio, he left for the Himalayas Occ. In this expedition is also part Gianni Calcagno, who in the years to come will often climb in rope with Berti. The goal is the Tirich IV. The curiosity of this expedition is that the outward journey has been made by land for a total of 8100 km…
Still Himalayas Occ., and again the montaign chain Tirich for Berti who along with Vidoni start an expedition led by CAI Genova Calcagno. The goal this time is the crossing of the four Tirich included the main peak, the Tirich Mir, exceeds 7500. The ambitious project is completed with a stay of 4 days at over the 7000 meters. All in pure alpine style! Certainly for those years an incredible venture…
After the negative response for a permit to a 8000m peak, the group Berti, Calcagno, Vidoni folds, so to speak, towards a lower but technically challenging mountain, Payu Peak, a peak of 6600 meters at the beginning of the glacier Baltoro. It was a path of great difficulty also exceeded in alpine style.
Osvaldo Antonietti and Francesco Enzio open a route to the beautiful Pillar Vincent (‘Pilastro Vincent’), gem hidden in the folds of the South slope of the Rose. The result is one of the most beautiful streets on the rocks of the whole massif; rock solid and well fissured and an environment wild and isolated.
Here is the first 8000m! The expedition is small but fierce and well tested: Vidoni, Calcagno, Enzio Berti, Moretti Martino. The summit is reached by almost all members of the expedition. For Vidoni and Calcagno will be the first of a long series. Berti however after this venture, returns to the mountains at home where he continues working as ta alpine guide.
Fabio Loss and Silvio Mondinelli open a variant of considerable interest on the route Antonietti-Enzio on Pillar Vincent. The route takes the name “Via per Biglia”.
Martino Moretti is part of the “ALTITUDE 8000m” group. In a summer unfortunately sad for the Baltoro mountains, climbs along with other Italian colleagues, including the ever-present Vidoni and Calcagno, the second highest peak on earth, K2; just days before it was even on the summit of Broad Peak.
Paolo dalla Valentina, Fabio Loss and Silvio Mondinelli open the route “Africa Nostra” on the South wall of Gnifetti Peak.
Silvio Mondinelli, said Gnaro, financier and Alagna guide begins his activity in the mountains of 8000 meters. It begins with an expedition of CAI Varallo having for target Manaslu. Come alone to the summit and is its first 8000!
In 1994 some guides of Alagna are promoters of Calcagno recovery of the body, imprisoned for several seasons on the Mc Kinley walls. Among the members of the Berti and his son Andrea, Martino Moretti, Paul Paglino, Silvio Mondinelli with his wife Idel especially valuable companion to untangle the complicated paperwork. Almost all members of the expedition also reached the summit of the mountain; including Berti, now ultra sixties, which is keen to point “on the true summit! Not the smaller peak, the one who will stop almost all … “chapeau!
The mid-nineties, thanks to optimal conditions of the mountains are also the scene of extreme descents with the remarkable level skiing. Some guides are beginning to bring their best clients on challenging slopes such as the Couloir Marinelli; always the same, closed plants and over he used to work study and expect the best conditions for the steepest. Among the most common names Enzio brothers (Andrew and Miki), the cousin Cucchi (the Longhez), Paul Paglino. Fall so year after year, the Gully Perazzi to Parrot, the wall N Lyskamm Occ., S Wall Ludvighohe are repeated and of course the great classics such as the N Lyskamm Or. or the N side of the Breithorn.
They become part of the Guide Corps some young guides. While Gnaro continues its run to the heights superior to 8000 meters, they are dedicated to the discovery of virgin walls around the world to climb with modern opening techniques. Zucchetti, Paglino, Borini are the most common names. The places visited are Greenland, Madagascar, Morocco, the Venezuelan forest. Born so many modern roads that in addition to presenting high technical difficulties allow you to live more beautiful adventures in isolated environments.
June 2007 It’s done! Gnaro reaching the summit of Broad Peak becomes the sixth mountaineer in the world to have climbed all 14 peaks of more than 8000 without ever resorting to the use of oxygen. Definitely a great satisfaction for him, for us the honor to have him as a member of our historical association. 2006 again in the spring, Michele Enzio, Christian Gobbi, Gnaro reach the summit of Shisha Pangma (8027m).
In May, Michele Enzio salt Guide Mount Everest from the north, still in Gnaro company, now great connoisseur of the mountain.
The guides Michael and Andrea Cucchi Degasparis come again on the top of Mount McKinley in Alaska (6194 mt.) Making a speed ascent from camp 4 to the summit and return to camp 4.
Michele Cucchi involved in development projects in the Pakistani mountains for some years salt (host of a Pakistani shipping) the summit of K2, July 26, 2014 60 years after the historic ascent of Compagnoni and Lacedelli Italians are again on top of K2. The Ev K2 CNR continues its collaboration with the Guides of Alagna.