Riccardo Cassin 1909–2009

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Photo courtesy of Fondazione Cassin

Photo courtesy of Fondazione Cassin

The Italian climbing pioneer Riccardo Cassin has passed away on August 6th at his home near Lecco in Northern Italy.

The rarely idle Cassin, who continued climbing well into his eighties, made first ascents all over the world in ranges of such as the Alps, Alaska, South America and the Himalaya.

In 1931, a 22-year-old Riccardo Cassin along with Mario dell'Oro (whom he pioneered many routes with) made the first, of many great firsts, climbing the Cassin-dell'Oro Route on the Medale formation in Italy’s Dolomites. Some consider this route to be one of the most popular climbs in all of the Alps. After that, always looking for bigger and more grand, he moved up to the large formations in the Dolomites climbing on the Cima Grande, the Torre Triest the Cima Ovest, before moving up again to French and Swiss Alps climbs like the Eiger's North Face and Grandes Jorasses’ Walker Spur.

Riccardo had always been dedicated to the sport of climbing and in 1947 he began making climbing equipment like pitons, ice axes, and other hardware and clothing under his name “Cassin” until he eventually sold the brand to CAMP in 1997.

Riccardo Cassin was 100 years old and is survived by his three sons.

In 2008 Italian climber Federica Valabrega interviewed Riccardo Cassin for Climbing Magazine. Click here to read her interview with the legend.

Lindsay Griffin has written a very informative article at theBMC.co.uk.

Sources:telegraph.co.uk, thebmc.co.uk, ukclimbing.com

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