Matteo Pasquetto perishes on Grandes Jorasses
Yesterday afternoon Matteo Pasquetto, the talented Italian alpinist and aspirant mountain guide, lost his life while descending from the Grandes Jorasses in the Mont Blanc massif.
It happened early yesterday afternoon. Matteo Pasquetto was descending from the Reposoir ridge. Together with his two climbing partners he had just completed a new route up the East Face of the Grandes Jorasses. Another dream had just come true: he had forged a new route up one of the most famous mountains in the Alps, one of the true symbols of mountaineering. We can only imagine his joy. But all it took was an instant. A foot slip. And Matteo stood no chance. This is how he left us, forever, with his dreams, his happiness. In 3 days he would have turned 26 and he was a truly great guy. And also a great alpinist.
Pasquetto was an aspirant mountain guide who, despite his age, had already amassed an enviable climbing curriculum. A lifetime would not be enough for many mountaineers to achieve what he had done in his quarter of a century. Earlier this year he had struck gold in Patagonia when, climbing with Matteo Bernasconi and Matteo Della Bordella, he established Il Dado è tratto, a new route on Aguja Standhardt. Then, the the other two Matteo once again, he made the first repeat of the historic and difficult Ragni di Lecco route on the north face of Aguja Poincenot. Not content, he and Della Bordella found the time to complete Jurassic Park, a new and challenging climb up the north face of El Mocho.
Pasquetto knew the Mont Blanc massif intimately, so much so that he had just shared his encyclopaedic knowledge in the new climbing guidebook co-written with Fabrizio Calebasso for the publishing house Versante Sud. Standout ascents include a repeat of Divine Providence on Grand Pilier D'Angle and Groucho Marx on the Grandes Jorasses. Further afield, the Heckmair route on the north face of the Eiger left an indelible mark, as did his ascent of Delta Minox, the beautiful slab climb in the upper Val di Mello. After repeating it with Tito Arosio, Pasquetto returned to climb it solo. A very personal journey, reserved for only those who have an intimate and deep connection with the mountains.
Matteo’s untimely death comes just two months after the death of his friend and climbing partner Matteo Bernasconi. It goes without saying that the loss of "Berna" was devastating. This recent death has left everyone in utter shock. Sometimes words simply fail. At the time of his fall Pasquetto was on the Jorasses with Matteo Della Bordella and Luca Moroni, himself an aspirant mountain guide and member of the same guide’s club. We cannot even begin to comprehend their pain. Nor that of his parents and loved ones. Our thoughts and condolences go to them and, we are sure, so do those of all mountaineers.
Alpinists know all too well that there is also this side to mountaineering. There’s passion, but also pain. We are certain that Matteo was aware of this aspect. This is how he described his love for the mountains: "I adore rock climbing, I adore ice climbing, I love skiing, but above all I love adventure and exploring new places: I'm damn curious and I love looking at what I can see behind the peak I’ve just climbed."