A Life by the Alps – Interview to Marco, Alpine Guide

Marco is one of our mountain guides from Friuli Venezia Giulia who, between a via ferrata and a rock climb, rediscovers the surroundings of Trieste and Val Rosandra in all their beauty. Detached the carabiner for a moment, we were able to interview him for you!

How long have you been a mountain guide?
have been a mountain guide since 2012, so for seven years.

In which activity are you specialized?
Being a mountain guide, I specialize in both summer and winter disciplines. In particular, in summer I practice activities like climbing and via ferrata and in winter activities that have to do with snow and ice, such as ski mountaineering or ice climbing.

Let’s talk about climbing … how long have you been practicing it?
I’ve been practicing climbing since I was 15 years old. The first releases I did on the Trieste cliffs, near where I live, and then I started moving around Italy and Europe. I always go out with friends with whom I have traveled from France to Spain, to Morocco, in search of the next wall to climb.

How did this passion of yours come about?
From an early age, I always went to the mountains with my parents so I immediately cultivated a passion for this environment. Then with the progress of time, I wanted to make increasingly more challenging climbs and for this reason, I approached climbing and soon became passionate about this discipline.

What do you feel while climbing and what are you trying to convey to those who come with you?
When you climb, you get a little bit detached from reality and dedicate 100% to what you are doing. Climbing helps to remove all worries and thoughts … it is a fairly totalizing activity. Beyond the activity, I then try to convey the passion for the outdoors, for curiosity and discovery and I try not to focus attention on climbing itself as physical activity. To the people who climb with me, I try to explain the activity as an excuse to get out of everyday life and ordinary life, a way to do something new that pushes them to know something more.

What places have you climbed and what is your favorite place?
The place to which I am most attached are the climbing walls around Trieste, such as the Napoleonica and the Val Rosandra, places I have always visited. I also traveled a lot and during these trips, I could see and climb in beautiful, almost mythical places, like the Verdon gorges in France, a canyon carved by a river with walls of even 400 meters. However, I like to return to the walls near my home, places that I am more emotionally connected to than to the spectacular nature of the place.

You are also a via ferrata guide… where did this passion come from?
I have been practicing this activity since I was a child with my parents. The vie ferrate is a mix between climbing and trekking because they make a rock climbing route accessible by equipping it with a metal cable and iron hooks. So it’s a way to make a climbing wall usable to an audience that knows nothing about this discipline and has no alpine skills.

Is the activity also suitable for beginners? What are the recommendations you give?
The routes that I propose to Trieste are also suitable for beginners and you can then add variants that can make the excursion more challenging. In Val Rosandra, however, there are even more challenging via ferrata with the smoother and more vertical wall. The path, however, is always chosen based on the participants and whether they have previous experience or not.

The advice I always give is to wear a pair of gloves with a rubberized palm to keep on the metal cable and comfortable to maneuver the carabiners and to wear shoes suitable for walking on rocky terrain (no sneakers or canvas shoes). Furthermore, it is always good not to wear bulky backpacks. During the activity it is also important not to stay in more than one person in the same stretch of cable and wait for the person in front to pass that section. If you are in a large group, you must also be very careful not to move stones that could end up on other people. Finally, via ferrata should be avoided during storms because metal cables propagate the electric discharge. These indications are all provided during the briefing before the activity.

The activities you practice are in complete contact with nature … what is their uniqueness?
The activities I practice have a sports component, with a very specific technique, but they are not just physical activity. Practicing these activities is a way to visit a particular place and live it from another point of view. Activities that open the mind, make you more aware of how small and big you are at the same time and make you reflect on yourself and on life in general. They are activities that fill your soul so much that you can give less importance to superficial things that you may have paid too much attention to before.


Thanks to Marco for his time!

Waiting for you in Trieste for a fun and friendly climb!