I am mountain guide Josef Hilpold

Like most of us, one day I was born into this world, in the episcopal city of Brixen in South Tyrol. As far as I am informed, it was on the 11th of March 1982. In any case, it was a good day for me!

As a child, I did not climb every mountain, because children hardly ever do. But I devoted myself with passion to climbing trees; they just had to be high enough! At some point my family made a Sunday excursion that ended in the Dolomites, on the Sella Pass. There, just below the mighty Langkofel, there is a wonderful collection of boulders of all sizes, the so-called City of Rocks. After having spent a whole day alone and without a rope in this fairytale landscape, I knew pretty much exactly where my future journey was going to go.

At the age of 17, I attended my first, official climbing course. I learned that you really should not climb alone and without a rope. Such excursions, if any, would be considered later. With a backpack full of expertise and the necessary equipment, I swung myself on my Vespa, the classic motorcycle of the Italian mountaineers, and drove over the Sella and the Gardena Pass from one wall to the other.

Soon I had a proper driver's license in my pocket and all of a sudden the distances shrank: The ice giants of the Western Alps had moved into "dangerous" proximity! But even this world was soon too small for me. At just 22 years old, I squeezed myself into the narrow seats of the cheap airline class and toured Asia, America and Africa to try climbing on the most diverse mountains there.

I had meanwhile decided to stay in the mountains. However, staying there permanently only works if you have enough money available. With the money I was just once again at war and so I decided for the mountain guide training, which I began when I was 23 and graduated two years later as a certified mountain and ski guide. It was still up to me to hang up my electrician's job to be fully immersed in a world in which I felt comfortable and in which I wanted to stay for the rest of my life.

Now I accompany people to the mountains, enjoy them immensely and always try hard to bring my clients all the adventures that I have experienced and enjoyed myself.

The mountains are great teachers, but it is often difficult to understand their language. And that is exactly what I want to teach, the language of the mountains. Because it guides us, combines passion and beauty, effort and satisfaction, it gives us the profound feelings that we search for so often without really finding. My mountain passion has not only provided the most challenging routes along the steepest walls, but a deep inner peace and gratitude for every day that I am up there alone or with clients.