7 amputees to the top of Monte Rosa, the project by Moreno Pesce

My name is Moreno Pesce, I love the mountains. Even as a child, I found myself walking first with my backpack on my shoulders and my parents behind me ... at a great distance!

 

One day my life stopped. Maybe I was riding too fast. I learned to look, think and wait. After all, losing a leg is not so bad if this doesn’t stop your will to live. A motorcycle accident threw me to the ground in every sense and life changed meaning.

I was reborn when I realized that the only difference is that I am now only a little slower when I am running or I am walking.

My aim is to continue to do it not only for myself, but to bring out that same strength that made me start living again in every person thinking of giving up because something in their lives has changed irreversibly.

A strength that every day returns to me stronger than before and accompanies me in all the things I do.

You are disabled not because you do not have a part or function of your body, but because you do not use all the other talents that you have to reach your dream.

My mission is to set goals and try to realize them, which are only intermediate goals, transmitting the energy that animates me every time I undertake any adventure.

With this motivation, I thought of trying to climb Monte Rosa with other amputee friends.  I had already made three attempts and I thought it was feasible even for others.

The "AMA-BILMENTE" project was born thanks to the collaboration between the AMA staff and a group of guides, who made themselves available to help us and deepen the knowledge to help other disabled people in the future.

Reaching the summit of Monte Rosa would not have been an individual achievement, but the result of the group. Everyone with his time, more or less fast. Time does not matter. The value to be shared is the common journey. The bond that is created between the parties.

 

The Team was made up of seven amputees, one of whom was a disabled guide. Alongside each person with a disability, in addition, there was a "travel" companion: the experience that I lived on the mountains until today has allowed me to understand that it helps. And my reference guide, Lio De Nes, knows me very well. He took my hand to approach the world of climbing, with wise patience.

But not always things go as we would like them to go. It was evening, after a day of walking from Rifugio Mantova to reach Gnifetti at 3.647 meters, we had to decide what to do. The departure for those who, like me, would have needed a dozen hours to go up and down to Capanna Margherita at 4.565 meters was set for 2.00 in the morning. The guides didn't even wake us up: there were forty centimeters of fresh snow around the refuge and eighty on the summit. Impossible to proceed. I shook my head, accepting the "here and now" situation. It was not a defeat, it was the realization that it is impossible to plan everything to perfection. Sometimes it goes well, others it doesn't. We had been preparing ourselves since October!

We were a nice group. I believe that ours is the largest group of people without lower limbs on Monte Rosa. For me it was the fourth attempt at the top. I couldn't do it this time either. But what matters is being there and living those moments. We will try again, for sure and with the same system, that is an amputee, a companion and a professional mountain guide.

 

In order to be able to live these situations, we must experience, share it and manage information in a simple, direct and clear way. Without rivalry and primogeniture, but simply putting them with professionalism at the service of those who follow us and live the experiences with us. Mountain guides and guides, in addition to common travel companions, are valid witnesses to pass our experiences to create the bases of a future accessible to most people, above all thinking about tourism.
Because any disabled person, can one day say “I can go there”. Evaluating one's personal condition with rationality, without causing damage to others and first of all to himself.

Article by Moreno Pesce, pictures by Jacopo Bernard, video by Jacopo Bernard-Niccolò Aiazzi. July, 2019

 

Moreno Pesce, born in Noale (VE), Italy in 1975, has been part of Team Grivel since 2018. He has participated in more than 150 races between Vertical, Sky race and Trail; he practices mountaineering since 2016. Favorite Grivel products: Condor poles, adapted to his crutches to climb along icy slopes and Running Arm Sleeve.