I was born in Pinzolo on 21st January, 1955 and still live there. My family runs the XII Apostles refuge and for this reason, from the age of two I spent most of each summer in the high mountains at 2500 metres altitude.
As a child I instinctively climbed the rocks surrounding the refuge. At the age of nine, unknown to my family and with the excuse of going out to play, I sneeked off on my own to climb first of all up to the Bocca dei Camosci, then to the Bocca d'Ambiez towards the Agostini refuge and on to the Bocca dei Due Denti along the Castiglioni route which is secured with ropes. This was to be my first climb along a secured route. From then on I spent increasingly more time in the summer at the refuge and when ever possible, attempted easy climbs.
At the age of 11 I climbed the up to the Torri d'Agola. Besides school, ski races were my main winter pursuits, while in the summer I worked at the refuge and took advantage of every opportunity to go climbing. I became a ski teacher at the age of 20 and since 1979 I have been an Alpine guide.
In 1980 I ventured outside Europe for the first time to try my hand at climbing in the USA and wandered around Colorado and California for almost three months. In 1981 Elio Orlandi and I began talking about an expedition to the Patagonia mountains in Argentina, which we brought to fruition in 1982. We managed to reach a point 50 metres below the summit of Cerro Torre along the Maestri route, while a year later I reached the summit along the same route accompanied by Maurizio Giarolli. Elio Orlandi joined us shortly after and together we climbed the Fitz Roy, the Aguille Guillaumet and the Poincenot.
The following year the destination was the Himalayas with the objective of climbing the Makalu at 8465 m, though I only made it up to 7000 metres. It was an excellent experience, though for me it could not match Patagonia. In 1986 together with Orlandi and Giarolli I returned to Patagonia, this time the Chilean part and we made a first ascent of the eastern face of the central pinnacle of the Paine, spending seven days on the rock face. A short time after we climbed the southern pinnacle. In 1985 Giarolli, Sarchi amd Caruso and I accomplished the first winter ascent of the Cerro Torre and on this occasion we produced our first television film (Jonathan with Ambrogio Fogar).
I embarked on new ventures in Alaska and Baffin Island, though the call of Patagonia is still strong. Until now I did 22 exoedition in Patagonia. I made films during all these expeditions which have been shown at various festivals in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, USA, Chekoslovakia, Poland and Austria. Today I work as a ski teacher, Alpine Guide and Instructor. My love of the Brenta Group and Patagonia is as strong as ever.
SOME PICTURES OF ERMANNO