Matteo “Berna” Bernasconi, born in 1982, Ragno di Lecco since 2003, mountain guide since 2011, died yesterday 12 May 2020, swept away by an avalanche in the Malgina Colouir in Valtellina.

Matteo Bernasconi (born in Lecco in 1982, Ragno di Lecco in 2003, mountain guide since 2011)
– 2006 new icefall route on the SE face of the Baratro in Val di Mello with Giovanni Ongaro
– 2006 with Hervé Barmasse, Lorenzo Lanfranchi and Giovanni Ongaro he opened a new route on the then untouched north face of San Lorenzo (Patagonia)
– 2008 with Fabio Salini completes the first Italian – and seventh overall – repeat of the legendary via dei Ragni on Cerro Torre (Patagonia)
– between 2010 and 2013 three attempts to climb the last great wall still untouched in the Cerro Torre massif, or the West of the Torre Egger, finally resolved by comrades Matteo della Bordella and Luca Schiera in March 2013 a few days after returning to Italy by Bernasconi for work commitments.
– 2017 in Patagonia with Matteo Della Bordella and David Bacci opens a new route on the east face of Cerro Murallon
– 2020 (February) in Patagonia with Matteo Della Bordella and Matteo Pasquetto he opened The die is taken on the north of the Aguja Standhardt, just before repeating the Via del 40esimo dei Ragni di Lecco on the north face of the Aguja Poincenot.

I have already had occasion to mention the darkest part of my passion in telling Mountain Stories, the confrontation with the death of women, men, friends, friends, family; the poor attitude to confront the mystery of physical disappearance, the inevitability of events that overwhelm even the most prudent in the mountains.

You never get ready when a young father dies, such a beloved figure as that of Bern: with his curls, his smile and his overwhelming sympathy, his humble and professional availability as a mountaineer and mountain guide.

While sipping coffee this morning, I saw a silent post on Riky Felderer’s bulletin board, there was a picture of “Berna” (his nickname). A punch in the stomach.

In 2013 I started writing thanks to a series of messages exchanged with Matteo Bernasconi, who the year before had touched the sensational feat on the West Wall of the Egger Tower together with Matteo Della Bordella, when the two remained hung to life “With a Little Help from … a friend “after a fall, both hanging from a 0.3mm friend.

Matteo Bernasconi e Matteo Della Bordella (arch Ragni Lecco)

This is how my personal story as a modest writer and reporter of mountain things began: for the overwhelming sympathy, for the professionalism, the passion that Matteo Bernasconi immediately transmitted to me – and the same goes for the current President of the Spiders of Lecco, the his great friend Matteo Della Bordella.

The fact that his nickname is like mine, “Berna”, seems funny and silly,but  it was something special to me. I don’t write this for rhetoric : without you, Berna, I probably would not have found the courage to write to famous, expert mountaineers to begin my journey in this passion for extraordinary people, capable of extraordinary feats on peaks, like you.


  Tentativo sulla Siula Grande, Matteo Bernasconi (arch Ragni Lecco)

Matteo, you went on too early.

A huge hug to your little daughter, to your girlfriend, to the Spiders of Lecco and to all your friends.





Korra Pesce e Jorge Ackermann


Corrado “Korra” Pesce, born in  Italy in1981, from Novara ; living in Chamonix since over a decade, he is a very strong climber; now more “transalpine french” than italian, as he himself feels, he has become an Alpine Guide in France, he got a family on the French side of Mont Blanc. He likes difficult and technical routes ; has climbed a lot in the Alps and in Patagonia. He has just published a nice, very interesting story of his latest climb on Cerro Torre on Instagram that we copied here. It is really interesting for having a look at the current and future prospective of Patagonian climbing. It should be remembered that for the whole month of January the weather was bad, therefore the window of good weather caused ….


A traffic day on Cerro Torre

written by Korra Pesce 


February finally brought an extended window of good weather here in Chaltén. Together with  Jorge Ackerman we went up Noruegos with the same heavy backpack we already had taken down to the valley ready to fly away from this mad place.

Noruegosapproaching Noruegos, Cerro Torre “Base Camp”

We knew conditions were hardly any good for rock walls especially on Torre. We decided to roll the dices on Tiempos Perdidos a route leading up the south side of Colle della Speranza, opened by Andy Parkin and François Marsigny in 1994.

Is a 800mt ice marvel unfortunately thretened by a massive serac. This route has seen repeats by some of the finest ice climbers ever visiting the range people like Bruno Sourzac, Bjorn Eivin Artun it was not completed to the summit until 2005 when Kelly Cordes and Colin Haley linked this route to the Ragni route all the way to the top.

We walked in on Feb 4th, the 5th we started from Noruegos in the afternoon and after basking in the sunshine under Mocho we slowly plodded our way toward our intended line. We were not sure about snow conditions untel we passed the shrund at around 9:30pm. 

tiempos perdidos on Tiempos Perdidos route

The route was in mega conditions, unbelievable good snow all the way but impossible to place good protection regularly. We simulclimbed the route in 4:30 hours then climbed up along the Ragni until a good bivy place below the Elmo. At 2:30 am on feb 6th we sat down in our light bivy kit and waited for the light. 

Colle Dell'Elmo                                                                                         Elmo Col bivy spot

After a few hours sleep we quickly realized there were a lot of people above. The Ragni route is one of the most coveted routes in the range for obvious reasons and everyone wanted to make it to the top as early as possible.

Cerro Torre

It was clearly a mess of people like 7 parties ,and under these circonstances it felt like ascending Ama Dablam or a technical 8000er. 

We started at 8:30 and joined the group ahead two pitches below the top, they had done a great job of cleaning an unusual amount of rime up to there. From there, one of the climbers of the second party took over.

  If the parties below didn’t seem very psyched of seeing us passing our presence felt welcomed up there. Soon it seemed clear that someone will have to get very tired and wet by digging a tunnel on the last pitch. 

I felt like my and Jorge presence up there were looked upon like something very useful, because we had already open the summit mushroom in past years. In fact we were only going to show that most people who had to dig the tunnel then will not be psyched to do it again, unless it’s really the only option available. Of what i remember of rime climbing is that i‘m notconvinced i‘m especially good at that ,and was pretty impressed of the work made by Fabi and now Christophe. 

I wouldn’t dare pretending to lead or anything so we did not offer but were there in case they would run out of bullets. It could have been a chance of drying out in the sunshine but it was kinda cold and cloudy, we encouraged Christophe and waited. 

Uscita Sommitale Fungo                                                                                           top of mushroom, exit to summit

he first part had a natural half pipe and was quickly ascended. Come to the overhanging part in order to avoid a massive fall we encouraged him digging a vertical tunnel. After hours of digging he came down wet and tired by the exilarating venture which included a 10mt whipper that had us all a bit stressed. 

In the meantime a large group of Italians gathered below the mushroom. They had no bivy gear contrarily to the first parties and were obviously super psyched about making it up asap. Edoardo Saccaro made an amazing job digging his way up. In the meantime the teams with bivy kit or tents prepared for a bivy. 

Affollamento in Cima                                                                                         traffic on Cerro Torre

When Edo eventually topped out all of the incertain of the situation disappeared. We all instatly knew we would top out. We let all of the people w/o bivy kit go and with Jorge we crawled in the bivy bag. 

The following morning there were not one, not two but three ropes fixed, it was clear that no one really gave a shit about any strict climbing ethics and we were all just firing to the top without getting hurt. It honestly was obvious since longtime that the expérience was altered beyond return. 

Jorge made a microtraxion lap and i did the only thing i could think of, warming my frozen body by jugging and taking pictures of the north face. We stand on the top just after sunrise. 

Cerro Torre Cumbre                                                                             Korra e Jorge ,Cerro Torre summit

The descend went really well and we crossed a lot of people on the way up. I wonder if the actual situation on Torre is any different from the time when there were pitons on the compressor route. 

I really see that 80 to 90 percent of the people on Ragni are not doing any of the real workload this ascent require. A lot of people with limited abilities are still making it up. Good for everyone as long as no one will hurt himself. I saw how watered down ice climb tends to become way too popular and the problems will come with this overcrowding. More unskilled people will come giving a try, more guided ascents, more drones. 

I will not return to the Ragni in the middle of the season. Good job to Fabian Buhl, Edoardo Saccaro and Christophe Ogier who were keen to embrace the hard work they are the one who climbed Torre we were merély standing on top of it. Still, psyched for simulclimbing most of 1300mt with Jorge.

#cerrotorre #liveclimbrepeat #lasportivagram

Korra Pesce e Jorge Ackermann                                                                                           Korra Pesce and Jorge Ackermann

Thank you very much to Korra Pesce. All rights reserved by Korra Pesce, previously published on 3 posts Instagram @korra_pesce



A great start for climbing season in Patagonia, with the feat of the French Martín Elías, Jérome Sullivan and François Poncet who have opened a new path, “La Mariposa” (1200 mt, A3, M7, 6a) between 18 and 19 October on the inviolate spire of the South Pillar of Cerro San Lorenzo, called “El Faro” (3150 mt)

South Pillar Cerro San Lorenzo


“We started climbing at 10 in the morning, the forecast gave good conditions of high pressure until the next night, so we had 48 hours. First a part of technical climbing on mixed terrain and good rock, after we reached a ramp of snow and ice that we had identified during the previous exploration. From here, untied we quickly climbed the ramp of over 500 meters, with access to the steepest part of the wall. We climbed quickly and this made us hope to be able to sleep on the hill – but when we reached the end of the ramp, we realized that the bad conditions of the snow, the rock and the lack of ice would have created many problems and slowed down. When the night reached us I was climbing the first 30 meters of what would become the key section of the whole street: a vertical 80-meter chimney covered in snow, which I miss the words to describe the ugly quality of the rock. “Loose” is not suitable. “An asco” as the locals say! “

At this point the team rappelled down 30 meters, grading the ice for an uncomfortable bivouac. The next morning they started climbing rock and ice of extremely poor quality. Finally, a transit on the north wall, where they completed the three final shots of brine rock up to the summit, reached at dusk.

on the route , ph Martin Elias

“We constantly questioned about chance of summit, with all that snow, the horrible rock and the adverse weather – in our experience, the weather at San Lorenzo range is always worse than expected – being on top was really a magical moment”

                                   Route La Milagrosa – South Pillar Cerro San Lorenzo / Patagonia Vertical 


Patagonia / Upcoming


Denis Urubko, the strong russian Himalayst (Polish naturalized, living in Italy), will be in Patagonia to try Cerro Torre – and perhaps Fitz Roy – in duo with the strong Maria “Pipi” Cardell, with whom he has shown excellent harmony already in 2017 (Pik Chapaev in Kyrgyzstan, nomination at Piolet D’Or) and last 2018 Summer in Georgia (long route up Mt Ushba, 4710mt). After 2 months that they will spend in Patagonia, starting from the end of November, they aim to try a new route on Gasherbrum II , during Summer 2019.

Also coming soon in El Chalten,  two more “light” expeditions from Italy: Hervè Barmasse, arriving in the next days and in January the President of famed “Ragni di Lecco” climbing team, as well patagonia “champion”, Matteo Della Bordella. Their climbing goals remains unknown as today.

Kelly Cordes (c) Cerro Torre
                                                                                                                                                           Kelly Cordes (c) Cerro Torre


“with full respect to the current rate of progression and the next-level skills of today’s top climbers, I think it’s fair to say that the single biggest change in the history of Patagonian climbing occurred far from the mountains, circa 2005.”

continue reading the original Kelly Cordes article on his website












Cerro Torre rock falls (c) Lauri Hmlinen,2016 Cerro Torre rockfall  (c) Lauri Hmlinen

“The extreme heat of the last few summers, and the heat of the five summer weeks we had this year, without a doubt have an impact on the permafrost, making the mountains more unstable”

Rolando Garibotti (c) Black Diamond
Rolando Garibotti 


The amazing series of ascents along the Patagonic granite towers, a continuous flow of lines repeated in speed, in free climb for the first time, the traverse crossing record achieved by “Captain Safety” Colin Haley along with Alex Honnold – btw we’ll must talk about what this duo, a perfect merge of very different styles, had been able to show : the vitality and the purest form of alpinism  – seems to have no end, because of a long good weather window  that lasted a month and a half of good and hot weather. Rolando Garibotti, guardian, mentor and singer of all Patagonic ascents and sensitive, ethical and environment “guru”, writes the downside of this extraordinary hot patagonic summer, caused by increasing climate changes , on his Facebook page Patagonia Vertical.



Cerro Torre flake fall (c) Gabi Fava  Cerro Torre flake fall (c) Gabi Fava

Contacted by montagnamagica, with his usual courtesy kindlyallowed us to translate his note of alarm, not coincidentally entitled “Achtung” (danger in german language):

“On January 20th, when Iaki (Coussirat ndR) died on the east face of Fitz, the result of rockfall, Gabi Fava and Martin Lopez Abad witnessed the fall of an enormous flake on the headwall of Cerro Torre. That day the freezing level was at 3800m, and there was rockand ice fall everywhere. Gabi relays that when t hey returned sometime later, with the freezing level at 3100m, everything was quite still. Although one could conclude that the freezing level is the key, the problem is rather more complex. The extreme heat of the last few summers, and the heat of the five summer weeks we had this year, without a doubt have an impact on the permafrost, making the mountains more unstable. Freezing level should be a consideration when choosing an objective but also perhaps it is time to start considering off-limits certain objectives during particularly warm summers, such as this one, regardless of the freezing level of one particular day. This learning has occurred in the Alps in the last couple of decades, it may be time to follow their example down here.”

 In the same post, a comment confirms Rolo analysis : the Finnish climber Lauri Hmlinen publishes a beautiful and at the same time impressive pic of the South Wall Cerro Torre, viewed from Polacos (base camp) where we can observe the rock fall that raises huge dust in the central part of the wall, right upon the huge vertical plate photographed and showed above by Gabi Fava, just below the summit mushroom , which is also seems getting smaller year after year.