The story of Toni Gobbi: from citizen to mountain guide - by Oliviero Gobbi

Published on 2022/08/12

Toni Gobbi was a mountaineer, a mountain guide, a ski instructor and an entrepreneur. Born in Pavia in 1914 and raised in Vicenza, he moved to Courmayeur in the early 1940s. He has to his credit many important ascents in the Mont Blanc area in the 1950s, among which the first ascent of the Grand Pilier d'Angle (4234m) with Walter Bonatti in 1957 stands out. He participated in the Italian expeditions to the Patagonian Andes (1957 -58) and to Gasherbrum IV (1958).
Dynamic mountain guide, he is considered not only the father of Italian ski mountaineering, but also a great innovator of the discipline and an active popularizer. He was one of the founders of the UIAGM (Union Internationale des Associations de Guides de Montagne), the international federation that brings together the associations of mountain guides.
His sporting goods shop in Courmayeur, opened in 1948, has been for many years an absolute reference in the Alps for connoisseurs, sportsmen and enthusiasts.
He tragically died in 1970, in an accident on the Sassopiatto, in the Dolomites.
"On March 18, 1970, an accident in the mountains ended the life of my grandfather Antonio, known as Toni, Gobbi, a few weeks before my parents got married. I never met him because I came into the world a few years later, but my middle name, Antonio, is in honor and memory of him. His untimely, unexpected and tragic death caused a strong trauma in our family, so much so that I remember very well on the one hand my curiosity as a child about my paternal grandfather and on the other the difficulty of touching this subject which remained an open wound.
More than 50 years have passed since that day in March, I am now an adult and I work in the world of the mountains that he loved so much. I therefore go with great interest to discover this character, opening a window on my origins and trying to connect the dots of my life."

Oliviero Antonio Gobbi - owner of Grivel srl


Part 1 - The man: from the city to the mountains

Part 2 - The mountaineer: from the Alps to the world 

Part 3 - The mountain guide: evolution of a profession

Part 4 - The death