R.I.P. Lorenzo Castaldi

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o italos
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Joined: 26 Aug 2008 16:16

R.I.P. Lorenzo Castaldi

Post by o italos »

Dear friends, it's with a deep sorrow that I have to communicate that Lorenzo Castaldi passed away las sunday in a mountaneering accident in the Alps. I had the opportunity to know Lorenzo in Vrahokipos when he was living in Greece and after that I appreciated a lot his montaneering both in Greece and Italy. It results to me that some of you, especially Aliferis and other greek friends were climbing with him, so please inform all the people who knew Lorenzo that unfortunately he is not with us anymore.

Many warm regards to all of you,
Argyro Vafia and Andrea Tafi

This link can be useful for more information: http://www.planetmountain.com/english/N ... eyid=39358

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Post by Ibex »

The following was posted at Supertopo:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum ... o-Castaldi
In my small circle of climbing friends Lorenzo stood out for his dedication to the sport, his commitment, his humility, his all round climbing skills, and his deep understanding of others pursuing this absurd activity known as alpinism.

While in Athens, Greece, as a postdoc researcher, one night Lorenzo agreed too easily to a call (without even knowing me enough) to complete a challenging, unfinished new route together on the mythical Mount Olympus. While leading the hardest pitch in poor rock (a good 5.10.d) he had to run it out a bit... Then, at some point, with one hand he managed to place half a piton in a shallow crack... Certainly, this would not sustain a fall, and he knew it. He also knew that more hard moves awaited above. So, with extreme care, he took a brief rest at this piton, repeatedly cursing himself for "ruining the free ascent". These were his words. At that point, while shooting a photo at him, I dropped the cover of his camera, which belonged to his sister (if my memory does not fool me). Then, not only he did not get upset with me, but as we watched the little thing flying down from our exposed position, he laughed out loud, and pointing at it with his eyes he told me: "it could be us, dude". Then he took a breath and said "give rope, off I go."

Lorenzo opposed placing even a single bolt at few belays that provided limited protection otherwise. He argued that we could well do without, and that hammering holes for bolts we were wasting valuable time. He was just right. Two pitches before finishing the route we had to rappel down so as to make sure that he will be at his office the next morning to wrestle with his wonderful nanotechnology problems. Still, this involved several rappels, hiking in the dark for 5-6 hours, and driving for another 5 hours straight to work. No one has ever repeated this feat of his after a hard day of climbing.

One of the following days we had an ice cream together next to his job to exchange pictures and schedule some more climbing. We discussed about our relationships and the difficulties of moving countries every too often, something that we both kept doing. As a consequence, I had lost track of him until very recently, when delighted to see his name again, I read (and commented on) his wonderful article in the Alpinist magazine, on the Cerro Torre debate.

I would like to express my sincere condolences to his wife and his family, and be close to them for anything that can be done to help growing his son. All your friends in Greece will miss you a lot, mate.
"Πολλὰ μὲν ἄλλα Νύμφαι κἠμὲ δίδαξαν ἀν᾽ ᾤρεα βουκολέοντα ἐσθλά." Π.Α.

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