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Having recently returned from Pakistan a couple of months ago, La Sportiva ambassador and photographer Dino Bonelli, talks about his choice of boot for long, tiring treks at the foot of the Gasherbrum, where footwear is well and truly put to the test.
His first intention was to accompany a couple of friends to Gasherbrum base camp where, equipped with the high mountaineering boot Olympus Mons Evo, they would begin their ascent to G2 (8035mt). Although not taking part in the expedition, which unfortunately failed due to adverse weather conditions, the Piedmontese photographer Dino Bonelli took the opportunity of this Himalayan experience to capture the arid environment of the Baltoro, one of the largest valley glaciers in the world.
“Anticipating the bareness and harshness of the Baltoro, on whose millennial glacier lie millions of pebbles of every type, shape and size, I initially thought of using a traditional, protective hiking shoe, the Crossover GTX 2.0 that in similar situations, like the ascent of Aconcagua (6963mt) in Argentina, had performed very well.” Explains Bonelli, who after testing the Tempesta model on snow, decided to opt for a different “travelling companion” in Pakistan.
“After a winter spent running on the snow, testing the waterproofing and grip of Tempesta GTX, I convinced myself that I should opt for this boot, also because it is lower cut than the others and thus more appropriate for the first days of hiking out of the huge moraine. The hike was long and tiring (200km round trip at an altitude of between 3000 and 5000 m) and in addition to the normal route, we faced an incredible succession of gravel, rock, stone ice, sand and then rock again, sometimes sharp and cutting and sometimes in the form unstable pebbles, and then finally back to ice and rivulet again. My instinct as a photographer encouraged me to make a few detours that allowed me to have a good field of vision on the images I was going to shoot, and thus to my route was lengthened with small climbs and other obstacles to be overcome.
My choice was spot on, both for the grip of the sole, excellent on all occasions, as well as the waterproof qualities of the uppers that were sometimes in contact with the icy waters of the rivulets for hours and hours, not to mention of the general overall resistance of materials and seams that appeared not to have suffered the blow... A blow felt by my legs although discretely trained, which towards the end of the decent started to show signs of fatigue. During the 9 days of hiking around the majesty of K2, the weather was quite good, but during the descent a couple of showers turned into storms and gusts of icy cold wind made our route even more arduous, turning stones in shiny, slippery traps. When the harsh conditions and slippery terrain became difficult obstacles to be overcome, I suddenly understood why this unbeatable boot had been given the name “Tempesta”.”
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