Triumphant news from the Himalayas arrived overnight, as Italian meningitis survivor Andrea Lanfri and his partner, Luca Montanari, summitted Mount Everest.
“TOP!!!” Climbing guide Luca Montanari exclaimed on his Instagram page (translated).
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Top, indeed. Around 6:00 a.m. local time on Friday, Montanari and Andrea Lanfri stood on the Mt. Everest summit. For Lanfri, the journey to the top began a lot further away than Kathmandu or his home in Italy.
Lanfri Survives, Sets Goal
In 2015, a meningitis episode threw the then-29-year-old into a monthlong coma. When Lanfri emerged, he would lose both legs below the knee and seven fingers to the inflammatory disease.
Now, though, he’s achieved a goal he set for himself as soon as he woke up in the hospital 7 years ago.
“[Climbing Everest] is a personal challenge that was born shortly after my disease when I started going to the mountains again. I had never thought about it before,” Lanfri told his sponsor, Italian outdoor outfitter Ferrino.
Summit Bid Details
Lanfri and Montanari finished acclimatizing with other objectives in early May, then watched for a weather window from Everest base camp. By Monday, May 9, they climbed to camp 2. By Thursday, they’d reached camp 4.
Details of the ascent are trim as of now, and neither climber issued a report from the summit itself. A post on Lanfri’s Facebook page notes they’ll tell the story when they return to base camp. As of Friday morning, they rested at camp 4.
(Slight) Change of Plans
Italian mountaineering outlet montagna.tv reported that Lanfri and Montanari did deviate from their initial plan for an oxygenless ascent. The site said the climbers “let it be known” that they did use supplemental oxygen near the summit.
Lanfri utilized purpose-designed crampons on the ascent to limit swelling and bruising in his stumps. “Especially at high altitudes, where sweating is less, I have to pay close attention,” he said. “Over the years, I have developed some tricks with which to manage it, but surely at the end of the adventure, there will be some problems.”
Future (and past) health problems aside, Lanfri became the first Italian multiple-amputee to summit the world’s highest peak.