Walter Bonatti

Before I started climbing mountains, I started reading about climbing mountains. Walter Bonatti, who died Sept. 13 at 81, was one of those guys I looked up to, this iconic alpinist doing what he did simply for the love of doing it. In 1954, his team was the first to climb K2, the holy grail of mountaineering. Bonatti and Amir Mahdi, a Hunza porter, heroically carried oxygen canisters to 26,000 feet (7,900 m), making their teammates' summit bid possible. But those teammates--fearful that Bonatti would steal their glory--hid the highest camp, forcing him and Mahdi to endure the highest open bivouac...

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