Erich Abram, the first man to climb K2, dies at age 94

 INSIDER NEWSDESK-- South Tyrolean mountaineer that played a key role in the Italian team that made the first successful ascent of K2 died on Monday.

 Erich Abram passed away at the age of 94 and in many ways his death matched his life; reserved and dignified. The Italian Alpine Society remembers a man who was the last surviving member of the Italian team to reach the summit of K2 in 1954 as being a “shy man who kept away from the limelight.” Other tributes have followed such as his former colleague Reinhold Messner who saw Abram as “one of the best climbers of his generation, from both a technical stand point as well as his intuition that treaded a fine line between foolhardiness and awareness.”

 Many saw Abram as the first climber from Alto Adige to have changed the climbing world and during his life was recognised in his induction to Reinhold Messner’s museum, “Rock & Ice”, and onto a list of the greatest living climbers over the age of 70, along with a select group of 19 of his peers.

 Abram was born in Vipiteno in 1922 and learned to master the art of climbing in the dolomites, in which he discovered several unknown routes through the mountains. It was due to this upbringing and his honed skills on both ice and rock that he was selected to take part in an expedition to conquer the second highest and uniquely difficult K2 mountain. The team consisted of Waleter Bonatti and Amir Mahdi, their Sherpa, who carried the oxygen they would require to reach the summit.

 Abram will be remembered for his passion for the mountains and what was described as almost British sense of humour. “Abram wasn’t just a great mountaineer but a great man, as well. He will be remembered above all as master of the art of living”, added Messner.