Ciao Berna! Farewell to Matteo Bernasconi
On 12 May 2020 Matteo Bernasconi, the talented Italian alpinist, mountain guide and member of the Ragni di Lecco climbing club, perished in an avalanche. Born in 1982 and loved by everyone, Berna was ski mountaineering in Valtellina when the accident occurred.
Berna is no longer with us. Swept away by an avalanche while negotiating the remote Malgina couloir on Pizzo del Diavolo high up in Valtellina. Bernasconi was on his own yesterday, 12 May 2020, when the accident occurred. The news struck like lightening last night and spread like wildfire across the web early this morning. As always, that thought that he is no longer among us seems impossible, absurd.
Matteo Bernasconi, affectionately called Berna by everyone , was one of the most talented Italian alpinists. Born in Como in 1982, he had become an Mountain Guide in 2011 and 2003 he had joined the Ragni di Lecco. He was one of the representative members of this famous mountaineering club. Now he has died and many, at the moment, cannot find words to express the huge, unexpected, unpronounceable loss.
Berna was a rock. Quiet, determined, reliable. He never backed down. He had a love for the mountains and mountaineering that was limitless. It was bigger than him. Taking to the mountains, climbing, was what he most wanted. There were his life, nothing else needs adding. Except that whatever he touched he did in grandiose style, ranging from his backyard mountains to Patagonia where (with Matteo Della Bordella) he shared some memorable experiences, like his determined attempts on the West Face of Torre Egger. Epic and unforgettable.
Bern was not one to put himself in the limelight. Actually, he never behaved like a leader, although that’s what he was. You could always trust him, in the mountains and even while sipping a bottle of beer. He was one of few words, but deeds never failed. He was the ideal companion. For many, even, an older brother. You felt safe in his hands. And many will remember him for this, as someone you could always rely on.
Matteo Bernasconi (born in 1982, Ragno di Lecco since 2003, Mountain guide since 2011)
- 2006 new icefall on the SE face of Baratro in Val di Mello with Giovanni Ongaro
- 2006 with Hervé Barmasse, Lorenzo Lanfranchi and Giovanni Ongaro he established a new route on hitherto virgin north face of San Lorenzo (Patagonia)
- 2008 with Fabio Salini he completed the first Italian - and seventh overall - repeat of the legendary West Face Ragni Route on Cerro Torre (Patagonia)
- between 2010 and 2013 he took part in three dogged attempts to climb the last big virgin wall in the Cerro Torre massif, namely the West Face of Torre Egger. This was finally resolved by his climbing partners Matteo della Bordella and Luca Schiera in March 2013, just a few days after Bernasconi's return to Italy due to work commitments.
- 2017 with Matteo Della Bordella and David Bacci he made the first ascent of a new route up the East Face of Cerro Murallon in Patagonia
- 2020 (February) in Patagonia with Matteo Della Bordella and Matteo Pasquetto he established Il dado è tratto, The die is cast, on the North Face of Aguja Standhardt, before repeating Via del 40esimo dei Ragni di Lecco on the North Face of Aguja Poincenot.