On August 23, Federico Campanini’s wife, Amber Christensen, as well as friends, colleagues and members of the climbing community, will climb Mt. Rainier as a tribute to Federico Campanini, a professional mountain guide, who lost his life in the recent tragedy on Mt. Aconcagua in January of this year.
In addition to honoring Federico’s memory, the purpose of the climb is to promote the recently established foundation dedicated to the memory and spirit of Federico—the “El Fede” Campanini Foundation. The foundation’s mission is to provide information, guidance, training and financial assistance to support ongoing efforts to improve mountain rescue on Aconcagua and in other commercial climbing areas. Aconcagua, one of the seven summits, is climbed by an international community; therefore, collaboration from members of that community, as well as those who simply love the mountains is essential for change to occur. Federico, or as he was fondly known, “El Fede,” Campanini was an Argentine climber and mountain guide whose passion for the mountains and for life was contagious. Federico found solace and purpose in the mountains and he loved sharing his knowledge and love with everyone who knew him; the lives of his family, friends, clients, and many others were changed forever by his presence.
Federico worked for Rainier Mountaineering Inc. (RMI), a well-respected alpine guiding company based in Ashford, Washington, where he guided trips on Mt. Rainier as well as Mt. McKinley, in Alaska. He was named Senior Guide by RMI by the end of 2008, but, unfortunately, was never able to take on the responsibilities of the new position. “RMI lost more than a great guide last winter when Federico did not come back from Aconcagua. In his time here Fede had quickly and quietly become a friend to us all. He will be remembered for his competence as a guide, as well as his gentle personality, unfailing good humor and friendly, selfless nature. Fede is greatly missed” (Paul Maier, RMI Owner and Guide).
Federico’s favorite part of guiding was teaching people about climbing and about the mountains, which led, ultimately, to their safety in them. Therefore, in the spirit of “El Fede”, the foundation is committed to creating a culture of safety in the mountaineering communities around the world. “On Mt. Everest—without any budget or park protocols—we have managed to set up a fantastic search and rescue program. It’s time for all of us to take responsibility and work together, in memory of Fede, to create a search and rescue program for Aconcagua that will be an example for the rest of Latin America” (Willie Benegas, mountain guide with nine summits of Everest and fifteen years experience on Aconcagua).
Your generous donation will assist in purchasing necessary equipment as well as funding training, both rescue and medical, for members of the climbing community that work on Aconcagua. For details on how you can make a donation, as well as additional information about the foundation and its efforts, please visit www.elfede.org.