Walter Bonatti

The backpack is my home, my caravan, what you want. Just like a snail’s shell. Inside there’s everything I need, having it beside me is my security, a psychological refuge. When you measure yourself with nature, you never win. It’s crazy to say I won such face, I conquered that peak.
If anything, you conquer yourself, measuring your weaknesses and your strengths. On the mountains if you want to survive you have to acknowledge your weaknesses. And, in front of the power of nature you have to bring out your slyness. The image of the minuscule man that wins over Mont Blanc or any other mountain is ridiculous. Man doesn’t win over anything. Nature requires great respect, in every way. But we prefer destruction without realizing that by destroying our environment, we destroy ourselves. Too many times man challenges nature only for the sake of destroying it. Never like today the term adventure has been misused. Adventure as well as courage, they both have been reduced to a series of expected clichees. Everything that is calculated is not adventure, everything that is organized is not adventure. Asserting the excuse of adventure a lot of incapable people is transforming it in an amusement park. The impossible, the mysterious can happen even in my bedroom, in my courtyard. I would conceive and live a long journey even before departing, whilst shaving. I wanted to push myself in the immense solitudes without any technical means, without radio, without planes following me. I was looking for the strength and the will of the antique man, that would explore the world only with his forces. After marching for twenty days I was forced to surrender. Inside me there was a tremendous swing between the will of continuing at all costs and the need to surrender. In the end I had to find the necessary courage to give up. And now I feel richer, especially because I took consciousness of my limits once again.