ROME - Walter Bonatti, one of the world's most accomplished mountaineers and the youngest member of the Italian team that in 1954 made a first ascent of K2
, the world's second-highest mountain, died on Sept. 13 at age 81. According to Sports Illustrated
, controversy surrounded the excursion after Bonatti, who was 24 during the attempt, did not reach the summit, claiming that the two lead climbers moved camp and left him behind to prevent him from upstaging them. Bonatti attempted many dangerous expeditions by himself, creating new paths. The southwest pillar of the Petit Dru
mountain in the Alps was nicknamed the Bonatti Pillar after his 1955 trek up the difficult new route. In 1965 he became the first person to stage a solo winter ascent of the Matterhorn
's north face. He retired from climbing at 35 to become a photojournalist.