HAMILTON – Known throughout Bitterroot as the Montana Mountain Goat, Mario Locatelli has done more in his life than most people dream of accomplishing. Even today, the 88-year-old still finds the strength to climb a makeshift rock face in his Hamilton home.
His stories have been making the local papers for years, you’ve probably heard of him for a number of reasons, and now that he’s writing his fourth book, we wanted to stop by and hear some of these stories in person.
Tucked away on Mountain Goat Road, Locatelli spends his days walking, rock climbing and remembering 88 and a half years of his incredible life. “I was born on December 21, 1932, next December I will be 89 years old, where the hell is the time going? But I think positive and I feel good. “
Make no mistake, under that thick Italian accent you are looking at the face of an American dream. Born and raised in the town of Berbenno, Italy, Locatelli’s education is something of a storybook. The angry dad always trying to make a quick buck, the caring mom and enough siblings to line up one side of the grill.
With dual citizenship, Locatelli sailed to the United States at the age of 12 – a chance for a new life. And when the opportunities presented themselves, he seized them.
From climbing Mount Denali in Alaska to raising nearly $ 30,000 for charity, working for search and rescue, breaking records and writing books, every moment is perfectly preserved in clippings. of newspapers scattered throughout his house.
One of his favorite memories to share with visitors is his crash with an avalanche. “In 1981 I got caught in an avalanche and saved my friend’s life, I had my wallet in my pocket, matches in my pocket and I finally started a fire with $ 3 bills. $. “
As you can imagine, this is just one story among many. After all, you don’t earn a name like Mountain Goat without hitting a mountain’s goal value. Almost 90 years old, Locatelli still has a lot to do, such as releasing his fourth book entitled “From Italy to Hamilton”. It is a testament to the American dream.
“A lot of people tell me I’m an inspiration and it makes me feel good to be able to help someone in need, you know,” Locatelli told MTN News. “I guess as you get older you get very emotional, but I’ve had a great life.”
It’s a beautiful life that isn’t even close to reaching its final chapter.
Locatelli has too many stories for a quick news article, so if you want to learn more about his extraordinary life, he’s already written three books and has another on the way. You can find them in various bookstores across the Bitterroot.