La montaña hecha cómic

mountain made funny

Andres Espinosa (Amorebieta, 1903-1985) Climbed 2,519 meters of Naranjo de Bulnes without a rope and barefoot. He left 4,809 of his Mont Blanc ice cream with rubber sandals and some skimpy crampons. And he did his most famous achievement, the 5,895 Kilimanjaro, all by himself. But this Zornotzarra mountaineer’s skills go beyond the sport. More. Because Espinosa freed mountaineering from economic ties at the beginning of the 20th century. He showed that with small means, but with desire and talent, great achievements can be achieved. And so, unintentionally or unintentionally, this Biscayan man became a pioneer and a touchstone in Basque mountaineering. before its time. Like this, To honor his figure and legacy, BBK Mendi Film Bilbao Bizkaia, an event sponsored by DEIA, presented comic Andrés Espinosa yesterday.. Alone and free. Through illustrations by César Llaguno, advice by colorist Fernando H. Navarro, and texts by Ramón Olasagasti, it is a comic that tries to remember the life of a man who never wanted to be recognized or respected.

Because Espinosa was a lonely and sensitive person, a humanist who found his home in the mountains and built an unusual lifestyle around him, turning his story into something extraordinary. In one of the greatest stories of Basque mountaineering of the last century. Because this zornotzarra was the first child of six siblings who lost their father early. So he takes over his job as a fabric salesman. A profession that does not satisfy him and that he escapes by dreaming of adventures in remote and exotic places. Dreams first lightened by the most emblematic peaks of Euskadi and the province’s territory: in 1927 he overcame the ascents of Veleta and Mulhacén in a single day; and the following year he climbed Mount Teide and completed the Naranjo de Bulnes alone. And only with socks. But over time, these achievements begin to fall short of his extraordinary physical and mental strength. “Lonely, crazy, free, three beautiful words. Lonely, crazy and free for the world before him, which is too big.”says one of the writings he left for future generations. This has become his life motto. So he dared to sell part of his textile business to finance his adventures.

These took him to the Alps in July 1929, where he succumbed to Mont Blanc’s worries. Espinosa had seen a glacier for the first time, but swallowed it with an ice ax and crampons, a cloth jacket, and some he had bought just before the ascent. rubber sandals. A fragile piece of equipment that allowed him to eat the Matterhorn as well a few days later. And the name began to be repeated among those who knew.

Espinosa escaped recognition and social conventions with everything. He just wanted to go higher, further. Thus, he went to Mount Sinai in 1930 and said goodbye to Europe. And as it happens, to Jebel Katherin (2,642 meters), the highest peak in Arabia. He had crossed the desert before without a guide and without adequate gear; what they were, he told himself, “He walked almost non-stop for nine and a half days. Four days lost in the mountains”. He then marched to Suez, where he boarded a boat that would drop him off in Mombasa. At the bottom of his next challenge: Kilimanjaro (5.895). So he went from the desert to the jungle, where he met unaided, and thus took part in the first solo ascent to the roof of Africa in September 1930. Recognition continued to pour in after that, but Espinosa fled from fame to the distant Himalayas. There he found the only thing that could paralyze his meteoric orbit: bureaucracy. British authorities prevented him from advancing towards his next dream, Kangchenjunga.

And later, the Spanish civil war locked him in a Bilbao prison. When he left, he did not stop going to the mountain; but he never again breathed great peaks or distant air. Despite being comedian Andrés Espinosa, he became anonymous and commonplace by the end of his days. Bakarrik is free, now give him back the recognition he deserved and escaped so much.

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