Daniele Chiappa (1951-2008)
Daniele Chiappa, for all “Ciapin” was born in Lecco in October 1951.
At the age of 15 he attended the Rock School of the Ragni Group of Lecco: his instructors were Claudio Corti “Marna” and Dino Piazza “Sdoec”.
In 1973, the military service as a rock instructor of the Alpine Military School in the “Special Courses Department” of La Thuile in Valle d’Aosta began with the Ragni di Lecco for the expedition on the west face of Cerro Torre.
Two months later, on 13 January 1974, Daniele Chiappa and his climbing partners, Casimiro Ferrari, Mariolino Conti and Pino Negri from Lecco reached the summit.
Among the pupils of Riccardo Cassin, academic mountaineer, there are many climbing, many new routes are open, but his name was and is linked above all to the world of mountain rescue, of which Daniele was national vice president, regional president of Lombardy, instructor national and reference point for techniques and studies on mountain safety. “After all, we of the rescue are privileged,” explained Daniele.
“If I had to look after a poor deformed boy from Cottolengo who can’t hear us, he can’t see us, he doesn’t talk. It would be a tremendous thing, an experience for me unattainable. The mountain rescue is instead a fascinating, interesting, joyful activity. Each mission is different from the other, in the background there is always the adventure even when everything seems to belong to the flattest routine. As the French say, we are amateurs specialistes, specialized amateurs. Ours then is an activity that is cloaked in heroism, arouses admiration, even envy. The activity of those who dedicate themselves to the elderly, to the poor Christs of Cottolengo, is instead quite another thing: obscure, unknown, submerged ”.
He was only 24 years old when he climbed to the top of the Cerro Torre in consortium with Casimiro Ferrari, Pino Negri and Mariolino Corti. The ascent, organized on the occasion of the centenary of the Ragni di Lecco, animates the twelve mountaineers from Lecco, including Claudio Corti who became famous for his attempt to climb the north face of the Eiger, and succeed in bringing these four men to the summit of the Tower which went down in history as the first official ascent of the legendary Patagonian mountain, from the historic West wall, one of the symbols of the great Italian mountaineering.
After that historic climb, Daniele Chiappa continued to dedicate himself to climbing and the mountains, focusing in particular on the problems of safety at high altitude. Known and loved for this activity, he also had an intense editorial activity whose latest product is the book “In the shadow of the moon. Stories of mountain rescue”.