Club Alpino Italiano

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Club Alpino Italiano
Cai Club Alpino Italiano Stemma.png
Club Alpino Italiano
Sportmountaineering
Categoryamateur athletic association
Abbreviation(CAI)
Founded1863 (1863) in Turin
Regional affiliation507 sections
HeadquartersMilan
Official website
www.cai.it
Italy

The Club Alpino Italiano is the senior Italian alpine club which stages climbing competitions, operates alpine huts, marks and maintains paths, and is active in protecting the Alpine environment.

It was founded in Turin in 1863 by the then finance minister, and mountaineer, Quintino Sella; together with the Swiss Alpine Club, founded in the same year, it is the second oldest Alpine Club in the world, only preceded by the British Alpine Club. After First World War and the annexation of Trento and Trieste to Italy, it absorbed the "Società degli Alpinisti Tridentini" and the "Società Alpina delle Giulie". As of December 2018, it had 322,022 members, 507 sections and 309 sub-sections; the greatest numbers of members came from Lombardy (88,057), Veneto (54,948), and Piedmont (51,396).[1][2]

Its most famous achievement is the 1954 Italian Karakoram expedition to K2 that made the first successful ascent of K2.

The CAI operates 433 mountain huts, 224 bivouacs and 106 smaller huts and shelters throughout the Italian Alps, for an overall capacity of over 23,500 beds.[3]

Influence on Italian Army uniforms[edit]

Italian military troops adopted a grey-green uniform during World War I. Luigi Brioschi, president of the Milanese section of the C.A.I. (Italian Alpine Club) in 1905 introduced a combat uniform more suitable for a modern war, replacing the showy uniforms of the Royal Sardinian Army. Brioschi demonstrated that the grey uniforms were less visible by opponent snipers, therefore, the project was financed.

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