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Alberto Magliano negotiating the knife-edge ridge along the Scerscen - Bernina traverse
Photo by Michele Comi
Alberto Magliano climbing Luna nascente (Val di Mello)
Photo by Michele Comi

In memory of Alberto Magliano


Alberto Magliano, one of the climbers who died in the terrible avalanche on Manaslu, in the words of climbing partner Michele Comi.

“Vagavi co’ nautili, Co’ murici a schiera; E l’uomo non era”. Only someone like Alberto could spontaneously recite verses of Zanella, the 19th century poet while making his way past a series of slender, exposed cairns close to the wild and little-climbed Bernina col. Along this thin ridge he talked about evolution and why the crystalline Bernina rocks didn’t contain any fossils.

Alberto had a great intellect, was an authentic concentration of knowledge, the result of a solid education, be it classic, legal and managerial, insatiably amplified into all fields of knowledge. While out climbing, more often than not rock, ice and the actual line of ascent (albeit along highly respectful routes) transformed into background elements, giving way to pleasant days out in the mountains.

With great naturalness we discussed the most diverse subject matters that gradually cemented our friendship which went well beyond a mere professional relationship. These were fantastic opportunities for a "coarse" mountain guide to draw from this fountain of knowledge and opinions about the world in general.

During our recent ascents we increasingly shared the subversive power of walking and climbing, which are the result of only one’s own muscle power and wild nature, conscious of the fact that our backyard mountains (Valmalenco) are our Earth’s only real great resource.

Michele Comi
Mountain guide Valmalenco

Alberto Magliano had climbed all Seven Summits and had climbed intensly throughout the Alps and the Greater Ranges, motivated above all by the purest passion. Here are some thoughts that we found on his website:
"To all those who in recent years have asked what the mountains mean to me – often somewhat surprised in seeing someone who isn’t a pro being so intensely taken in by climbing – I’ve always replied that they represent, first and foremost, my personal freedom. Freedom from everything that binds, prevents, restricts us. And I’d even go as far as to say freedom from what keeps us “from emerging”.
"I've always hated the drama associated with mountaineering: don’t get me wrong, drama is often a real component in the mountains, but it is an accident, not the substance. This is why I have always fought, and continue to fight, against those who sell the mountain in type or with spoken words to increase sales or audience figures, transforming honest mountaineering adventures into magazine supplements with a heroic underlying theme.

- Manaslu avalanche





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