From L to R: Riccardo Cassin, Paolo Bollini, Giusto Gervasutti, A. Frattini e M. Mollinato, outside the old Gonella hut (still there!), August 13, 1940. Gervasutti and Bollini had just completed the first ascent of the Gervasutti Pillar on the Freney face of Mt. Blanc (not to be confused with the much more famous Gervasutti Pillar on Tacul), while Cassin had climbed the Innominata.
Relations between Cassin and Gervasutti, the two "hyperstars" of Italian rock climbing during the 30's (after Comici died) were never particularly easy. Cassin, the hard man, considered Gervasutti too much of an aestete. Gervasutti - XX° century most enigmatic climbing figure - spoke well of Cassin, but was quite bitter - and probably self flagellating - about being beaten on the Walker spur. It should be noted, however, that Gervasutti was by far the best "free climber" of the two - and his 1942 line on the East Face of the Grandes Jorasses is leagues beyond the Walker Spur.
(source: archive CAI National Mountain Museum in Turin - Italy)
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