The idea of installing bolts or pitons to protect the classic
Bonatti-Ghigo route on the Grand Capuchin has reignited a feud between
two approaches in mountaineering.
On one hand, there are the "conservatives" who are horrified just
thinking about the idea, arguing that placing such things on Bonatti's
line is a heresy. And on the other hand, there are the "progressives"
who consider artificial protection to be a necessary level of security
on busy routes such as this classic.
The guide Francesco Civra Dano, who has already begun the work to
secure the route, told "La Stampa" that in a few more days the
project, which started last September, will be completed.
"The bolts", he said, "were installed only on the belays, and with our
own money. These bolts do not help you climb, but simply enhance
security on a very busy route which sometimes has queues between the
different stances. Taking risks is absurd when you can avoid them".
However, Azzalea Guido, president of Valle d'Aosta guides, is not of
the same opinion.
"The belay points on the Bonatti route are just fine, and there is no
need to add anything. It makes sense to do so on routes where several
climbers climb, but this is not the case on this route. The mountains
must be climbed with a philosophy of adventure".
The last word belongs to Arnaud Clavel: "Bonatti believed that the
mountains, and some lines in particular, in addition to being climbed
safely must also be climbed with a philosophy of adventure. Installing
bolts upsets this idea somewhat. Furthermore, it is part of our job to
find the right place to belay. When I go on routes that I do not know,
especially in the Dolomites, I always carry my hammer and pitons with