Bonatti, Walter

views updated

Walter Bonatti, 1930–2011, Italian mountain climber. He became famous for such feats as the first climb (1951) of Grand Capucin in the Mont Blanc massif and the ascent (1958) of Gasherbrum IV in the Karakorum; other landmarks include solo ascents of the Petit Dru in the Alps (1955) and of the Matterhorn's north face in winter (1965). His triumphs were overshadowed by the controversial first ascent (1954) of K2, during which Bonatti was denied the summit and the climbers accused one another of wrongdoing. Bonatti's claims were later largely substantiated by summitting climber Lino Lacedelli's K2: The Price of Conquest (2004, tr. 2006). Among Bonatti's books are On the Heights (tr. 1964), Great Days (1971, tr. 1974), and The Magic of Mont Blanc (tr. 1985).

See his autobiography (tr. 2001).