New permanent section
Visitable from March 3rd, 2023
The Museomontagna’s Permanent Collection is enriched with a new section dedicated entirely to the great mountaineer and explorer Walter Bonatti.
Walter Bonatti (1930–2011) is unique in the history of mountaineering.
Certainly this goes for his amazing exploits: from the north face of the Grandes Jorasses scaled at just 19 years of age to his solitary winter ascent of the Matterhorn, along with the Grand Capucin, “the “impossible” Dru, and the expeditions in the Karakoram and the Andes. His successful battle to get the truth known about the “K2 case”, fought until the wrong done to him then was publicly righted and recognised, is also unique.
Moreover, Bonatti is unique for how he was able to transfuse the spirit of mountaineering into his “second life” as an explorer-reporter; for how he intuited the link between the harshness of the mountains and Earth’s primordial places, pushing himself to his limits before returning to recount them. For decades, he accompanied us among glaciers and forests, deserts and volcanoes; with his words and images he truly “froze emotions” allowing everyone to share them with him.
The Walter Bonatti Archive, donated to the Museum in 2016 by his heirs, is as rich as his experiences: mountaineering material, notes and typescript manuscripts, interviews and films, decorations and documents, 60 years of correspondence and press cuttings. And about 110,000 photographs. It is impossible to exhibit such a treasure in its entirety: in this space, we have chosen to recount, through a number of pointers, the continuity running through Bonatti’s “two lives” and his ability to engage us in both. His offerings are never simple portraits, but fully lived moments: even in his photographs – still images by definition – Bonatti always seems to be moving towards some goal or marvel, immersed in his enthusiasm and effort. He is never detached: he takes his dreams seriously, and challenges his limits in full awareness. He always reveals the small man’s wonder and respect in the presence of grandiose nature. His dedication and the freedom he is bursting with are part of what he succeeds in transmitting to us, and they still feel as present and fascinating to us as ever.
The project is realized with con CAI – Club Alpino Italiano
With the support of: Città di Torino, Regione Piemonte, Lions Club, Banca di Asti
Technical partners: Petzl, Leroy Merlin