This is not a cliché.

June 2016

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06
Monday,
06 June 2016

Our very own mountain guide

My favourite colour is white, for I have scaled the Monte Bianco 24 times.
"When I turned 18, I took the mountain guide exam. It’s a tough exam in South Tyrol: it takes an average of six years and a will of steel. That never was a problem, as I love experiencing the mountains in all their shapes and forms, on my skis, using my ice axe, crampons, carabiners, ropes and an open mind, which was the lightest tool I carried."
What’s funny is that everyone calls me Pippo… and I’m not really sure why. I’ve been Pippo since childhood, so I don’t complain that much.
My father introduced me to the mountains, when we went looking for mineral salts in Val di Vizze. We come from Vipiteno, yet minerals are found away from the beaten track, close to rocky walls. While my father explored his quartz-shaped world, I started climbing: five, then ten metres, my dad hunched over his rocky treasure. I climbed and climbed, learning about this new vertical dimension. The 80’s rolled along during my teenage years, and I replaced my knickerbockers with shorts. I kept on climbing, higher and higher. And I was lucky enough to meet strong, brave people who would teach me a trick or two. Like Manolo. When I turned 18, I took the mountain guide exam. It’s a tough exam in South Tyrol: it takes an average of six years and a will of steel. That never was a problem, as I love experiencing the mountains in all their shapes and forms, on my skis, using my ice axe, crampons, carabiners, ropes and an open mind, which was the lightest tool I carried. It was also my most important tool: how else would have I even have found the will to scale the Monte Bianco twenty-four times, run across all the Dolomite paths, and open a new one in Madagascar, too? I relish accompanying people to discover something new, bring kids and teens closer to a dimensions made up of true things, like the rocks they are climbing. I was happy to accept La Perla’s invitation to become part of their team. To be fair, I’d also studied at a hotel school as a youngster and was lucky enough to work at the Savoy, so I know what service is all about. Forget about the lone wolf stereotype: sharing is at the heart of everything mountain guides do, respecting the mountains and whoever lives here. There’s something for everyone: for kids who want to learn how to climb to guests who want to test their skills on the southern face of the Marmolada, our programme encompasses all requests. Vie ferrate, glaciers, rock walls, you name it. And off-pistes, ice waterfalls and snowshoe guides during winter. All guests who want to be guided on the mountains can now rely on the La Perla team for beautiful Dolomite excursions. And while you decide what kind of excursion you’d like, I’ll keep on training. Physical fitness is an essential element and a way of being happy. So I’m just waiting for you, to raise our gazes from the bottom to the top of the mountain for a beautiful spectacle in front of us. And then start caressing it as it deserves, respecting its breath, and its beauty.

Pippo