May 1998. Far from the noise and fury of the media, Fausto De Stefani reached the summit of Kangchenjunga. At 46, he became the sixth man (and second after Italian Messner) to have climbed the 14 highest peaks of the world, all exceeding 8000 meters. Each of these ascents was made with discretion, in alpine style, without oxygen, ten of them with his buddy Sergio Martini with whom he shares the same sense of alpine ethics.
Fausto has performed this journey to the highest peaks ascending one 8000m per year over 15 years. The difference of one year comes from the fact that he spent the 1990 season to clean-up the K2 with the international expedition “Free K2” organized by Mountain Wilderness . The objective of the team was to give back to this summit, the second highest of the world, its dignity trampled by tons of waste and abandoned equipment. And especially to show by example that it is possible to practice climbing, including high altitudes, without trace of one’s passage, with respect for the mountain and for those who live there. He is one of the founding pillars of Mountain Wilderness, which he regularly and actively support in participating in international conferences and field actions: he has shown such commitment for the international protection of the Mont Blanc when participating in the 1996 “Tour du Mont- Blanc”, and leading on his rope Italian parliamentarians to the Mont Blanc summit in the context of the Mont Blanc 2000 campaign, … Fausto also participated in a series of events with Chamonix as a base, the 15-16-17 and 18 July 2000.
In 2002, during the expedition organized by MW International in honor of Felice Benuzzi (one of the MW founders), Fausto has reached the summit of Mt Kenya completing the way attempted by Benuzzi in 1943 (read the book: Fugue in Kenya).
He campaigns for a mountaineering made of respect, discretion and in harmony with the natural rhythms of the mountain. Fausto is a humble man and despite his exceptional mountaineering track record, he considers himself first and foremost as an nature facilitator, his job. This tells what a master he is in this area!
He returned to Cho Oyu in the fall of 2000, having the opportunity to participate in a trip whose objective was the creation of a school for 700 Nepalese orphans. Member of the “Oxus – mountains for peace” expedition , he reached the summit solo on July 27, 2003. The aim of this Mountain Wilderness expedition to the highest peak in Afghanistan was threefold:
– Show the return of some normalcy in the country hard hit since twenty-five years
– Make a waste inventory probably littering the Noshaq slopes
– Last but not least, to set up as MW did in India and Pakistan, technical and environmental training courses for the young people of these valleys, thus allowing them to master for a living a sustainable tourism development.
Fausto De Stefani has been president of MW Italy for many years.