From L to R: Luigino "Gino" Esposito (other nickname was "Ginetto") Esposito, Riccardo Cassin and Vittorio Ratti, outside the Gianetti hut, on July 18 1937. Two days before, they had summited Piz Badile after the first succesful ascent of the NE face. During the descent, two Lecco climbers who had joined rope with them (Mario Molteni and Giuseppe Valsecchi) had died of exposure and exhaustion.
Vittorio Ratti was Cassin closest friend and climbing companion in the 30's. He had a stellar climbing career in the 30's, and has his name linked to such super routes as the Ratti-Vitali on the West face of the Aiguille Noire de Peuterey (Mt. Blanc Group) or the North Face of the Cima Ovest di Lavaredo (with Cassin).
Ratti died in a pitched firefight with the Fascist "Black Brigades" while his partisan unit was blocking the Visconti bridge outside Lecco, in April 1945. Cassin, who was the unit leader, reorganized the group and fought afterward a particularly bitter three day siege.
(source: archive CAI National Mountain Museum in Turin - Italy)
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