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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving on up with Bonatti
Bonatti takes us on a roller coaster ride of his most audacious and awe-inspiring alpine adventures. You feel the bone-chilling bivouacs and the mind-blowing exposure of his most creative climbs, many of which were done solo and in the finest alpine style.
This book is a must read for collectors of the genre and anyone interested in alpine history. From the...
Published on 26 April 2003 by MR D CARTER

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BONATTI - OUCH!
Bonatti writes some very interesting facts about climbing and what he achieved. Really very good. His weakness is his persistence that if you use any sort of mechanical aid (except pitons that he used extensively) then a climber is cheating. Fine......but he goes on and on about this, driving me to distraction, deflecting the stories he had to tell elsewhere,...
Published on 21 Feb 2011 by J. C. Wormington


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving on up with Bonatti, 26 April 2003
By 
MR D CARTER (Bristol United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Bonatti takes us on a roller coaster ride of his most audacious and awe-inspiring alpine adventures. You feel the bone-chilling bivouacs and the mind-blowing exposure of his most creative climbs, many of which were done solo and in the finest alpine style.
This book is a must read for collectors of the genre and anyone interested in alpine history. From the humourous but life threatening hitting of his thumb whilst hammering in a piton on the first ascent of the Whymper Spur, to his tortuous arrival at the Gamba hut after the tragic sequence of events on the Central Pillar of Freney during which four climbers perished - it is all told in a human and compelling way.
In the final section of the book there is a detailed analysis of the K2 controversy which is disected from every angle, from the ascent of the mountain to the ensuing court case ten years later. These chapters for me were a little dry but formed a contrast to the previous alpine adventures. However, this shouldn't put anyone off reading such a thought provoking book about one mans achievements and life adventures. One is left in no doubt that Bonatti was the most accomplished and prolific alpinist of his era.
He has a great story to tell and he forces you to keep turning the pages, as, in his life not only was he stalked by controversy but whilst 'on the heights' he seemed to be a magnet for storm and bad weather.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fair play prevails, 23 Jan 2009
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D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
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With its budget paperback binding of The Modern Library Exploration Series this book appears small - but it is immense - physically at almost 500 pages in length, and spiritedly telling a big, big story from one of the greatest mountaineers of all time - Walter Bonatti. His dedication to extreme mountaineering life set new standards yet spanned a mere 16 years from 1949 when as a teenager he climbed the NE Face of the Piz Badile (not NW as publication) until stepping down in 1965 after an audacious solo winter ascent of the N Face of the Matterhorn. Bonatti climbed continually in the Alps between these dates with first ascents including the E Face of the Grand Capucin and the SW Pillar of the Dru, plus in the Himalaya and South America. His traditional yet aspirational approaches were full of passion and almost innocence, and though this attracted respect and fame he was also attacked by some with envious agendas. In addition to early controversy arising from the first ascent of K2 Bonatti was criticised over his tragedies with fatalities of companions in the mountains, eventually leading to his `early retirement'.

All these elements and many more are embraced by `The Mountains of My Life' and readers will live through Walter Bonatti's triumphs, excitement, joy, suffering, fear and despair. Aware he was regarded by commentators as somewhat masochistic, even deranged, Bonatti acknowledges in his Preface how his career is studded with highly dramatic episodes, but points out how many wonderful ascents were completed without incident and with tranquil mind. Set in the post Second World War years there is a historical significance throughout with explanations on rudimentary gear/techniques, but more importantly with reference to emotional elements and degenerating ethics. The book pulls together many classic writings by Bonatti who states clearly how pleased he is with translator Robert Marshall for keeping faith with his true meanings. Astonishingly the translator played an investigative role and is responsible for bringing forward evidence to clear Bonatti over K2 accusations - and Marshall is the author of the chapter: `What Really Happened on K2?'. `The Mountains of My Life' vindicates Bonatti and confirms him as a sensitive and sincere man seeking adventure and fulfilment from his `impossible' achievements. The book ends with brief but eloquent descriptions of later trips as a pilgrimage on Mont Blanc and a survival experience in Patagonia, plus publication of the keynote address to the 1989 International Mountaineering Convention giving a most meaningful insight to the entire ethos of Walter Bonatti. `The Mountains of My Life' is worth buying for this final contribution alone.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonatti recounts his exploits in the mountains., 4 April 2009
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This is a classic read from one of the greatest mountaineers in the history of climbing. All his major climbs are recalled by the man himself who gives vivid and poetic accounts superbly translated by Robert Marshall, a friend of Bonatti. Bonatti's account of his 1984 climb of Mont Blanc is particularly beautiful, revealing the spiritual dimension of the man. The book gets bogged down for a few pages when Bonatti attempts to clear his name regarding the events of the 1954 K2 climb, but his reasons are understandable and he reveals himself as a man of great integrity. One of the best mountaineering books I've read. The man is a legend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of biographical writing by one of the 'top men', 9 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Mountains of My Life (Paperback)
Bonatti is a hero to many mountaineers. This collects writings about many of his greatest exploits - Bonatti pillar, epic on central pillar of freney, Bonatti Zapelli route on Grand Piler d'Angle. Plus an exhaustive run down on the ins and outs of the infamous K2 affair. Tremendous. He makes the climbing itself sound easy - wish it was for mere mortals!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 28 May 2014
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This review is from: The Mountains of My Life (Paperback)
A really interesting book that looks into a selection of snippets throughout his life, rather than concentrating on one specific climb or adventure.

It's exciting, harrowing, moving, and inciteful.

Well worth the time to read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The mountains of my life, 8 April 2013
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A. R. Burnham (BUCKINGHAMSHIRE UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mountains of My Life (Paperback)
I love to read books about climbing exploites and once started find it difficult to put them down.
Well packaged and arrived on time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Classic., 10 Sep 2011
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Well written and a very, very easy read. Bonatti conveys his experiences with a depth of experience that if you've been there you'll truely appreciate. One of my favourite reads.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beauty of the mountains and a cry for a simpler life, 1 Jan 2011
This is a beautiful book. In addition to chilling descriptions of the mountains, it is a haunting description of the perennial man versus nature quest and a plea for simpler times and purity. Bonatti's appears as a man not made for the pettiness of human reationships always drawn by the honesty of the mountains.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 17 Nov 2014
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Not read fully yet - it is an on going project. Very interesting and illuminating so far though.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BONATTI - OUCH!, 21 Feb 2011
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This review is from: The Mountains of My Life (Paperback)
Bonatti writes some very interesting facts about climbing and what he achieved. Really very good. His weakness is his persistence that if you use any sort of mechanical aid (except pitons that he used extensively) then a climber is cheating. Fine......but he goes on and on about this, driving me to distraction, deflecting the stories he had to tell elsewhere, particularly the very interesting K2 adventure.
Otherwise a very good read.
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The Mountains of My Life
The Mountains of My Life by Walter Bonatti (Paperback - 27 May 2010)
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