Mario Merelli died this morning at 8:00am while climbing up Pizzo Redorta (Val Seriana, Bergamo, Italy). Merelli was one of the most famous Italian alpinists and Himalayan mountaineers and one of the driving forces of the Bergamo mountaineering scene.
It happened this morning at 8:00, on Pizzo Redorta in Val Seriana. Mario Merelli died while ascending together with Paolo Valoti. More than this, we do not know. But as usual the news spread like wildfire. Mario Merelli wasn't any old climber in our world of mountaineering. And he wasn't any old body. He represented the heart and soul of the Bergamo climbing scene, he was a symbol of mountaineering. Born in 1962 at Vertova, he lived at Lizzola (Valbondione) 60km away from Bergamo and was one of the most famous Italian Himalayan mountaineers. He had climbed ten 8000m peaks and the latest, Dhaulagiri (8167m), dates back to 15 May 2010. He had climbed Everest twice. And, ever since 1998 and his first Himalayan expedition, he had amassed 18 expeditions to the Greater Ranges, often together with the another great Himalayan mountaineer Silvio Mondinelli. Merelli saw and experienced much up there in the mountains, including tragedies on the world's highest peaks. Such as on Annapurna in 2005, when he had to return by helicopter to recuperate his friend Christian Kuntner who had been buried in an avalanche. Perhaps this is another reason why his death, on his home peak, is even more painful. All we can do is salute and thank him, with the words and recollections of Manuel Lugli... Namasté Mario.