Along with my wife Giusi, my children Guido, Mario and Carolina we had the great fortune to spend a lot of time on many different occasions with Walter and Rossana, both in Valchiavenna but also on holidays and more adventurous trips in many parts of the world.
Walter loved our particular valley and would often stay with us along with his many friends. After settling in Dubino his presence remained low-key which was exactly as he wished, desiring nothing more than to remain at the heart of the mountains and nature along with
Rossana and other friends he held dear. It was an enormous the shock to lose such a good friend amid memories of times spent together. Newspapers, magazines, television, and the internet have all paid tribute and mourned the passing of Walter Bonatti and recounted tales
of the intensity of his life and the unique, refreshing and immensely human way he appreciated the mountains and nature itself.
He loved the Skiarea around Madesimo and in particular that of Val di Lei and he would happily head off to the Valle del Truzzo which reminded him of his beloved Patagonia. Upper Valle Spluga, Val Bregaglia and the high valleys above Gordona – all came the same to him. We were privileged to host Walter and friends at our home when he would invariably demonstrate his natural charisma combined with a certain humility to everyone who had the fortune to be close to him. He was great company but equally a great man. Generations of climbers worldwide owe a great debt to him, and they would not argue with that.
Certainly the places that we shared and visited together - in particular the simple mountain retreats he so much appreciated - will seem a little emptier without him as part of our entourage. In his generous tribute to our old friend, Reinhold Messner declared “Walter you remain alive in all of us, the very best of Alpine climbers, the very finest of Men amidst mountain, desert, river and ice.”