First published on Eneko and Iker Pou's Blog
A maestro has left us. A "creator of impossible dreams" has gone forever. The alpinist who saw routes there where no one had seen anything. Or where others had seen, but were not able, he resolved. An alpinist of former times, one of those who never takes the arm away, one of those who made the word "commitment" their religion. An alpinist who through his style put fire into the blood of generations of climbers.
Now that the game of adventure is not in the best health, we hope his example will continue to spread in the future. We had the pleasure and honour of meeting him last year at Courmayer during the Piolet d'Or. It was a unique moment. Getting to know the man, speaking to him, sharing our experiences. We were faced by a living legend of mountaineering, a hero of our youth.
Our latest encounter was this summer, not with him in person, but instead with one of his masterpieces: the Red Pillar of Brouillard. During our first ascent of Classica-Moderna in together with Hervé Barmasse we admired each pitch of his pillar and Bonatti was ever-present during our climb. We try to emulate his style, his way of being, his cold blood, without ever wishing to diminish his works, knowing full-well that there is only one Bonatti. The alpinist of the Dru,Capucin, Brouillard, Freney and K2 has left us. He goes away, but leaves us his heritage.
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