Walter Bonatti: One of the Greatest of All Time

WALTER BONATTI — 1930 – 2011. Italian.

No. 5.

Bonatti, climbed in the Alps, Himalayas, and Patagonia.

He was part of the 1954 Italian expedition to K2, and at the center of K2 first ascent controversy.

Bonatti was a prolific first ascentionist and often climbed alone, including the period test-piece Petit Dru (which he climbed over six days) and making the first winter solo ascent of the Matterhorn by the North Face Direct in February 1965.

On an expedition lead by Riccardo Cassin, Bonatti with Carolo Mauri made a daring first ascent of the entrancing mountain that may be more difficult than K2: Gasherbrum IV (26,001 ft./7,925 m.)

Courage, vision, commitment and creativity were demonstrated repeatedly throughout his career. His self reliance and resourcefulness may have enabled his ascent to greatness above much else. David Roberts wrote in The New York Times after his death, “Mr. Bonatti… fully accepted the dictum of adventure that had been true for centuries, but that may no longer hold: if you get into trouble, you have to get yourself out.”

This post is part a culmination of a series of posts that considered Who Are the Greatest Climbers of All Time. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following The Suburban Mountaineer on Facebook and Twitter.

Climbing matters, even though we work nine to five.

Click here to see who was ranked at number four.


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