Luciano Ratto 2
Luciano Ratto: as far as Club 4000 is concerned, the title of founder is not enough. It has been the true soul of the Club for a long time. But the foundation of the Club rested on a previous, indispensable chapter, and that is the formulation of an objective and solid list of the 4000 of the Alps. The most intense memories of the my collaboration with Luciano. But let's see things from the beginning. Exactly thirty years ago a small group of enthusiasts including Luciano Ratto, the unforgettable Gino Buscaini, who will be decisive for the approval of our list of 4000 by the UIAA, and the writer, left to Martigny to meet the experts from the Swiss and French delegations and arrive at the final list of 4,000. We took a seat in the hall of a comfortable hotel in the city, an official task informed us of the availability of food and drink at any time, wished us good luck and the door closed behind us he. The atmosphere was unique. Who knows, maybe in those moments we felt something that could give an idea of ​​the environment in which the distant nineteenth-century meetings of geographical societies took place, when explorations continually gave new knowledge and reasons for study. The list of 82 was approved by the UIAA and the second chapter of the story started. The meetings at Monte dei Cappuccini for the eventual establishment of a 4000 Club followed one another at an intense pace, but the driving force was above all that of Luciano, assisted by Piero Rosazza, Daniela Formica, Franco Bianco, Paolo Stroppiana, Flavio Melindo and many other friends. The constituent meetings finally gave way to the meetings of the Council of the now constituted Club. Sun and storm clouds alternated in those meetings: Luciano, when he deemed it necessary, did not spare reproaches for the work of the councilors, but I think it was precisely the edges of his character that stimulated us and made the Club's spacecraft move forward. At each meeting, the number of members grew, and so did the international character of our association. The last experience of collaboration with Luciano dates back to a few years ago and it can be said, just to stay on the topic, that it marked an increase in share: one day Luciano called me and suggested that I try to draw up a rational and motivated list of the 8000 and then who knows, the chances were minimal, but it could also become an officially accepted list. This interested me: it could actually be logical to repeat on the highest mountains of all the same process that had taken place a long time ago in the Alps, that of moving from the instinctive and generic concept of massif, born among the inhabitants of the mountain valleys, to the more specific criterion of a single peak, useful for putting order in the mountaineering world, when people began to climb peaks. Not only that, but we are well aware that the number of 8000s came out impromptu, on the basis of individual considerations and impressions, without a basis of rational and objective criteria, and this fact has been a source of confusion and misunderstanding (Luciano himself observed that the number of 8000 came out of astrological conjunctions). The list came out with an increased number of 8000 compared to the tradition. Also with the help of Pier Giorgio Oliveti, our proposal was discussed and met with almost general favor at a congress in Kathmandu. There was only some hesitation on the part of the representatives of India, but limited to bureaucratic issues. In our house things were different. Those who had climbed all 14 traditional eight-thousanders made it clear that an increase in their number personally did not please him at all, but without supporting his speech with objective and explicit arguments. And the story of the 8000 ended there. In any case, Luciano never gave up on the project: only a few months ago, in September 2022, he telephoned me to propose that I resume the eight-thousander project on the basis of new (and interesting) considerations. After the phone call, a thought forced itself on my mind: the years went by - and so many years had passed on Luciano's shoulders - but his enthusiasm and his driving force had no intention of backing down.   Roberto Aruga