Marco Confortola, Europe’s youngest mountain guide between 1993 and 1997, class 1971, was born and raised in Valfurva where he still cherishes his unconditional love of the mountains. A passion of his, that for the mountains, cultivated from an early age thanks to his father Alfonso. Starting in the mountains at home, in the Italian mountains, he began some quite remarkable exploits that led him to raise his ambitions ever higher, culminating in the decision to climb and complete the crown of 14 eight-thousanders.
Marco’s first Hilmalayan expedition : Everest 8848m
His first expedition to the roofs of the world began in 2004 with the ascent of the world’s highest mountain, Everest 8848m. This was the starting point of his quest to achieve this formidable goal. To date, Marco is at 12 eight-thousanders, only two more to go to complete the crown.
And it is also after having climbed Everest that Marco makes another important decision, to climb all these peaks without the support of oxygen, which entails different and very specific training and not a few difficulties. In addition to careful physical preparation, careful mental preparation is necessary, learning the ability to listen to one’s body and to know how to give up at the right moment in order to continue safely. Just as happened during the last expedition targeting Nanga Parbat, when he arrived a short distance from the summit, he decided to descend and return to base camp because the weather conditions changed very quickly.
Because as Marco Confortola wrote in his latest Facebook post about his latest expedition and said in several interviews and speeches over time:
I hope to always have the lucidity to sense, at the slightest hint of danger, to be able to GIVE UP. I could have reached the summit that day, but I probably would not have returned home.Marco Confortola
K2 expedition: the beginning of a new challenge
Climbing an eight-thousand metre peak is a feat for the few, a complex undertaking full of unforeseen events and difficulties, and Marco knows something about it, because following the 2008 K2 expedition, which made its mark on the world of Himalayan mountaineering, all his toes were amputated and here a new difficulty presented itself at his door. Having to re-learn how to walk. But by setting his mind set on his motto ‘no pain no gain’, the constant help and presence of friends and family and a lot of rehabilitation, he has started walking again and not only that, he has returned to pursuing his dream.
I wanted to prove that willpower is stronger than handicaps.Marco Confortola
The SCARPA team was involved in the study and preparation of “special” boots and shoes to allow him to return to doing what he loves, both in mountaineering and in everyday life. In fact, with the amputation of his toes, he went from having a size 9.5 US to having a size 5 US. But with these highly technical and specific shoes for his needs, he was able to resume his life. In fact, in addition to the difficulty of resuming walking, one of Marco’s greatest fears is the cold on his feet, but with these special boots created by SCARPA he is protected even on this source.
Among the high altitude boots used by Marco Confortola are the PHANTOM 6000 by SCARPA, a shoe with a reduced volume and a high degree of thermal insulation, a blend of innovation and technology designed specifically for extreme mountaineering. For the development of this boot, numerous field activities took place, including glaciers and icefalls and 3 years of design work.
A story of great strength, positivity and hard work, a tale of trust, support and great performance. Numerous extraordinary feats to achieve a dream!
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