I've very, very little time for Internet forums these days because of my other commitments, but I thought it would have been very sad to leave Enzolino's contribution here just "hanging out" because of his sudden passing. I think his Internet and his real life (particularly climbing life) personae were two separate thing, so I've tried to convey here a bit of what he really was (even if I'm probably the least knowledgeable about him, that's why I've called for other Italian climbers to speak about him).
Wish I had more time for happier news, believe me! :)
Lorenzo was a very passionate climber, ready for every adventure and very concerned about ethical aspects of climbing. I had the pleasure to discover with him many routes in my Switzerland and show him some vertical treasures.
The responsibility for his family was important to him. How to console the ambition in climbing and job with the needs and wishes of our families was the topics of many long discussions. The ice avalanche stopped this discussion for ever. We have to be conscious that as climbers we take calculated risks that we are willing to take but that the consequences of these decision have to be carried by our families that might not share the same believes and our passion of the mountains.
A picture of a climb we did but where we returned after some nerve wrackling pitches in loose rock quite far above the last bolt, that was absolutely necessary in this climb and a essential element of local stile.
In my small circle of climbing friends Lorenzo stood out for his dedication to the sport, his commitment, his humility, his all round climbing skills, and his deep understanding of others pursuing this absurd activity known as alpinism.
While in Athens, Greece, as a postdoc researcher, one night Lorenzo agreed too easily to a call (without even knowing me enough) to complete a challenging, unfinished new route together on the mythical Mount Olympus. While leading the hardest pitch in poor rock (a good 5.10.d) he had to run it out a bit... Then, at some point, with one hand he managed to place half a piton in a shallow crack... Certainly, this would not sustain a fall, and he knew it. He also knew that more hard moves awaited above. So, with extreme care, he took a brief rest at this piton, repeatedly cursing himself for "ruining the free ascent". These were his words. At that point, while shooting a photo at him, I dropped the cover of his camera, which belonged to his sister (if my memory does not fool me). Then, not only he did not get upset with me, but as we watched the little thing flying down from our exposed position, he laughed out loud, and pointing at it with his eyes he told me: "it could be us, dude". Then he took a breath and said "give rope, off I go."
Lorenzo opposed placing even a single bolt at few belays that provided limited protection otherwise. He argued that we could well do without, and that hammering holes for bolts we were wasting valuable time. He was just right. Two pitches before finishing the route we had to rappel down so as to make sure that he will be at his office the next morning to wrestle with his wonderful nanotechnology problems. Still, this involved several rappels, hiking in the dark for 5-6 hours, and driving for another 5 hours straight to work. No one has ever repeated this feat of his after a hard day of climbing.
One of the following days we had an ice cream together next to his job to exchange pictures and schedule some more climbing. We discussed about our relationships and the difficulties of moving countries every too often, something that we both kept doing. As a consequence, I had lost track of him until very recently, when delighted to see his name again, I read (and commented on) his wonderful article in the Alpinist magazine, on the Cerro Torre debate.
I would like to express my sincere condolences to his wife and his family, and be close to them for anything that can be done to help growing his son. All your friends in Greece will miss you a lot, mate.
It us good to hear (but no surprise) that Lorenzo had so many friends.
We are going to set up a kind of godfather-hood for Lorenzo's son Manolo.
This wil be something like a bank account into which his former colleagues from work will pay some money in for Manolo's education, etc. over the years to come.
I'll return here with more details later, so if some of you want to contribute, please return regularly to this forum. I will be happy to provide the bank account details directly.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/marco_plebani/6944024323/ here a picture I took just one month before the Ortles. I just met him a few weeks earlier: I was ice climbing with friends, we were odd-numbered, he was alone, we started talking and climbing together.
That day he was soloing with a ropeman, his usual skills and lucid craziness (or crazy lucidity, I did not have the time to know him enough and learn to tell the difference).
We went climbing together one or two times more.
It's funny how people link sometimes: I barely knew him, but the little time spent climbing and free-wheel-talking together was enough to create some deep connection. It's been a bit more than a year now, and still, whenever I am outside and I wear my climbing shoes, I can't help thinking of him for a moment or two.