Club News

In memory of Flavio Melindo

In the summer 2018, certainly not lacking in news not very nice, we had to deal with the death of Flavio Melindo.

For all of us at the Sucai Ski School, the loss of Flavio is a very painful emotional event. For me, personally, it becomes even more, given the decades of knowledge that we have in common.

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Flavio Melindo on a trip with the inevitable radiolina, here in a "modern" version (Photo Arch. Fam. Melindo)

In remembering Flavio I find it hard to distinguish the institutional component from the thousand days shared together. In this also affects the presence of Flavio in the fateful day (Ferragosto 1984) at the Pic de Neige Cordier in Dauphine, when I was the victim of a serious accident in the mountains. The high ability of the roped companions to provide for rescue operations (in a historical context where cell phones did not exist) has certainly allowed me to be here today to write these notes. Without a doubt, the contribution of Flavio on that occasion was decisive and therefore I will be the debtor forever.

I immediately handle the institutional part, which (though of unquestionable historical importance) in my eyes is, paradoxically, the least relevant. Flavio Melindo was National Ski Mountaineering Instructor (INSA) and served as Director of the Sucai School for a three consecutive year in the early '70. Among the numerous trips of his mandate stand out the three days in the Dolomites (Passo Tavega-San Virgilio-Cortina, March '71) and the rise of some peaks of 4000 meters: Allalinhorn (' 71), Alphubel and Strahlhorn (' 72). Once the mandate has ended, Flavio has never left the school, ensuring a constant and constructive presence both on the ground and in decision-making.

All this seasoned by a thorough knowledge of the mountains, not only in a snowy garment, and a particular interest in the issues of security, interacting in this with his preparation as an engineer. It was Flavio himself who introduced the use of radios during the Sucai School exits: at first it seemed to be artisanal equipment, that is, of its construction, then of standard production, but still reserved for amateur radio operators. I remember very well, those huge black radios that were given in corvée to the students considered promising and for this "worthy" to carry weights in the backpack! Today we move with micro radios that are in the pocket, but the beginning was definitely pioneering.

Also the effect of Flavio in my life as a high school teenager was pioneering (albeit in a translocated sense). For family visits we happened to share numerous holiday opportunities. Flavio Melindo turned out to be one of those two or three "older brothers" thanks to whom my way of going to the mountains was forged, after the initial paternal imprimatur. Between us there was a difference of about twenty years: it was the right interval that allowed not to be too distant as mentality, but not too close, hypothesis that would have presupposed a friendship on par and not a relationship "master- disciple".

All this began well before my entry into the School: the summers spent together with Bardonecchia in the early '70 constituted, in this sense, a fundamental piece. A close look at the approach to the mountain that came to me from Flavio (a very Turin approach, centered on seriousness, feet on the ground, a mountain never "screamed") extended even beyond the simple boundaries of the trips. In the evenings, which were quickly transformed into the night, spent in the garden of Bardonecchia, we were all meetings around the fire and Flavio led us to the alpine songs, another great passion (until the last was a "column" of the Edelweiss Choir) .

It was on those occasions that I learned the songs of the Sucaine tradition, such as La Blanchisseuse, La Bergera, Barôn Litrôn, Lord of the Peaks and a thousand others .... It was not possible, however, to mention the singing of the summit of the Sucai, the Ciol me, precisely because it was a ritual reserved exclusively for the peaks. I will learn that song only by attending the School, about a couple of years later. Unfortunately I am an incurable out of tune and this has not allowed me, in this area, to be a worthy student of Flavio.

Cover of the Sucai collection of songs created by Flavio Melindo for the 60 years of the School (Photo Arch. C. Crovella)

Flavio's approach extended to a thousand other occasions of activity that, with today's language, would define outdoor. In September of 1977 with Flavio and Carla, but also with my sister Giuliana and Franco Tedeschi, I "discovered" the nautical camping, a way of living the sea literally immersed in nature (dinghy, mountain tents at dusk on isolated beaches, dinner with the camping gas and beautiful baths at sunrise): after that experience in the Maddalena Archipelago (Sardinia) I could not live the sea differently, even if I replaced the canoe or the simple sandals to reach the boat secluded and wild coves.

Because Flavio was always like this, that is, he had an approach that did not distinguish between mountain and the rest of life. Spartan but not austere, an engineer but not pedantic, cheerful but not superficial, at first sight it could appear less "effervescent" than other "supras" pillars of his generation. Yet his presence was equally important.

I also like to remember it in some aspects of everyday life: given its ability to "traffic", all of us came naturally (in the common holidays) asking him to adjust any electrical appliance or to weld a copper wire. "Oh por Flaviot!" He felt softly grumbling, like someone who could not say no, but he really liked these situations. This for two main reasons: first of all for its deeply engineering nature, which made him interpret the problems as small challenges to be solved, and then for his innate propensity to always help others.

These are characteristics that have marked an era and that today are tarnished by the current performance and consumer society. Yet in that conjunction between the approach to the mountains and the way of being in everyday life, a rare balance was concentrated, of which Flavio was certainly one of the most significant representatives.

Now that, for the inevitable fatality of life, the host of such representatives gradually grows thin, our best way to honor them is to continue their example, proposing the message to the new generations.
We know that we are unlikely to live up to those who came before us, but we will also work hard on this difficult task.

Come on, boy, attack 'skins: it's time for us to walk.

Flavio leads his nephew Edoardo to Cima Bosco, then of 9 years (Photo Arch. Fam. Melindo)

Those who want more information on the Sucai of the past decades can consult the document (which gave a substantial contribution also Flavio, especially for the years' 60-'70) available at the link:
https://www.scuolasucai.it/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=24:una-visione-storica-della-sucai-torino-dal-dopoguerra-all-inizio-degli-anni-90&catid=16&Itemid=132

For more information on the peak singing of the Sucai:
https://www.scuolasucai.it/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26:ciolmi-me&catid=16&Itemid=132

Carlo Crovella source https://www.caitorino.it (courtesy) - September 2018)

The "climbing minority" cries Giuliberti

The death of Massimo Giuliberti the 18 in August 2018 in Tanzania has thrown into despair the "climbing minority" of Turin of which the 60-year-old alpinist, Cai's academic, was a member. Destiny wanted Giuliberti to lose his life while he was taking a picture of boulders and cliffs around the base camp of Kilimanjaro after reaching the top along the suggestive Machame road. Things that happen, unfortunately, even to the most experienced. Giuliberti distinguished himself not only for the talent shown in the climbs (he was an instructor of the Cai from the 1978) but also for the commitment to promote the initiatives of the Academician. Among these, many remember the brilliant success of the celebrations in Turin for the centenary of the Yearbook published by the most prestigious association of the mountain. It was the 2008 and a century of mountaineering was traced through relationships and testimonies. A bet won for Massimo, always on the front line of the symposium, kind and helpful, full of information with invited journalists. Outside the leaden sky of an inclement spring overturned on Turin buckets of water, one more reason to stay in the dim light of the beautiful Coat of arms of the Museomontagna at Monte dei Cappuccini to enjoy the honest self-analysis that the Caai performed through the pages of his glorious Yearbook.

Massimo Giuliberti (1958-2018) was an instructor and academic Cai. He died while he was taking a picture at the Kilimanjaro base camp. Here he is with the former mayor of Torino Chiamparino, in turn passionate mountaineer (ph Serafin / MountCity)

On that occasion, the "three pillars" of the Academician, Spiro Dalla Porta Xydias, Ugo Manera and Pietro Crivellaro, who were entrusted with official relations, intervened. An indefatigable cultural animator, Giuliberti, who then led the Western Group, recalled how the Fondazione Banca Intesa - San Paolo made a fundamental contribution to the symposium, as it worked on the re-proposal in the anastatic version of the number one of the Yearbook. The "climbing minority" of Turin was well represented with Daniela Formica, a lawyer, who led the CAI section of Turin and in the meantime climbed all the four thousand available in the Alps, the glorious Andrea Mellano, Dino Rabbi, Euro Montagna. And even the mayor Chiamparino, a keen mountaineer, did not want to miss, welcomed with the elegance that was his by the unforgettable Giuliberti. (Ser)

Giuliberti poses with Gino Buscaini and Silvia Metzeltin just awarded in 2001 as honorary members of Cai (ph. Serafin / MountCity)
Roberto Serafin source http://www.mountcity.it (courtesy) - 13 September 2018

Massimo Giuliberti (1958-2018)

It is with a great sense of sadness that the 4000 club offers its last goodbye to Massimo Giuliberti, who missed Tanzania on Saturday 18 on August 2018 following a fall.

Massimo was an instructor from the 1978 at the National School of Mountaineering Giusto Gervasutti, Academic of the CAI and member of our club.

To all the family the most heartfelt condolences of all the members of the Club.

(PB- 20 August 2018)

First Swedish partner: Peter Sandahl

In mid-August our Club accepted with pleasure and honor the application for membership of Swedish Peter Sandahl. The new partner, accompanied by Danny Uhlmann, an American guide residing in Chamonix, is the architect of the "Climb for Climate" project. The project consisted of the concatenation of 82 Quattromila in 100 days. The aim was to raise public awareness of the impact of climate change in the Alps, thus inducing people to behave more environmentally friendly. The initiative, of which you can find out the details on the dedicated website (https://www.climbforclimate.com /), has enjoyed the support of important sponsors. The great crossing, begun on May 5, ended after three months with the achievement of 72 peaks. There were ten missing at the end, but the two climbers had to stop because of not very good weather conditions but, above all, prohibitive conditions of the remaining climbing routes, due to the excessive warming of the last weeks. An attitude of responsibility that, in the spirit of the project, does not mean a defeat, but an acceptance of the state of affairs.
A special welcome to the new member Peter Sandahl!
(LG- 20 August 2018)

Mourning Club 4000

We received the news that the 4 in August, the partner Alberto Timeus of Domodossola has left us struck by an incurable disease.

To all the family the most heartfelt condolences of all the members of the Club.

(PB- 6 August 2018)