Emilio Comici was an Italian alpinist who pioneered a number of important techniques and routes.
During the 1930s, Comici was one of Italy’s finest climbers. He made over 200 first ascents in the Dolomites, including the first ascent of the north face of the Cima Grande in 1933, and Eastern Alps. He was nicknamed the “Angel of the Dolomites.”
He pioneered the first Italian grade six, invented the aid-ladder, was the first major proponent of solid belays and hanging bivies and was the first to bring a tag line on a number of routes. He was an important contributor to big wall climbing techniques.
Comici originated the idea of a direttissima, a route that follows the path a drop of water would take from the summit of the mountain. He died in a climbing accident in 1940, but not before he wrote a book called Alpinismo Eroico. Comici was one of the first climbers to see the sport as a means of self-expression through movement.
Watch some of that movement in this retro-film that was recently uploaded to Vimeo: