10 April 2009
The Piolet d'Or is an annual mountaineering award assigned to climbs of high technical level and commitment. Walter Bonatti will be honored with the first Piolet d’Or for lifetime achievement. If we should think to a man representing alpinism and exploration of unknown spaces, bravery and substance, grace and power, light of impossible undertaking and darkness of despair, this is for sure Walter Bonatti. The archetype of a man of adventure, but also a man against. Against all. The hero that every alpinist, once in his life, dreamed to be, even for a minute. Not even slanders by the chief of a kind of regime expedition as it was the Italian expedition to K2 in 1954 could cloud his figure of an hero and anti-hero- His undertakings are numerous, but not countless, each has something special, extraordinary, artistic.The toss of the rope to the scales of Dru and the ascent of the cable to the summit during the first climb of the west pillar (since then Bonatti Pillar) remain for ever in the history of alpinism. Today Bonatti is an resolute gentleman, it is a pleasure to listen to his conversation. That’s why Barry Blanchard, one of the most creative alpinist of North America, wrote on his pick-up. Bonatti is god!