House, the ambassador Patagonia
Celebrates 150 Matterhorn
To rediscover the “alpine style” is to use the oldest form of mountaineering, a conscious and respectful style for nature and man. It also means rediscover climbing methods which don’t need the aid of fixed ropes, oxygen tanks or types of equipment harmful for the environment. These are the principles which incorporate Steve House’s philisophy, he is the Patagonia Ambassador, he is a worldly famouse mountaineer, writer, and for one night, unquestioned star of an encounter with the Cervino public, which occured this summer when the town celebrated their 150th anniversary since Cervino’s first climb.
House’s visit had a double justification: one being presenting his last book and the other being the birthday of the historical Patagonia shop of Cervinia: Berthod Sport. The shop opened in 1965 and since then, the Berthod family promotes the best technical ski, hiking and mountaineering garments, all Patagonia brand.
For the first time in Cervinia the legend of alpinism “natural”
What is your experience as a Patagonia Ambassador?
“We are here to thank and support the Berthod Sport shop, which after only six years of its opening started selling Patagonia equipment. This year we celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Berthod family was one of the first supporters of this brand which wants to officially “Thank” them. I am an international ambassador of the brand since 1999 but the Berthods are the region’s ambassadors since 1985. This is loyalty. My job consists of two components: marketing and PR, and product development through technical experiments. All the mountaineers, including me, spend some time testing the materials and garments. Afterwards we compare the results with the designers and developpers which often ask us: “What do you need that you don’t already have?” from this simple question we start working on an incredible project that bring innovative, high quality, unique products to life.”
What do you think of Cervino and Aosta Valley?
“I spent a long time at Aosta Valley. Since 1995 I’ve been coming here to live the mountain, to climb it and to ski on it, but also to come and visit dear friends of mine that live in the area. I have to admit however that this is my first time in Breuil – Cervinia. I’m ecstatic for being here, for being able to gaze at the wonderful mountains and simply explore.”
“I’m ecstatic for being here”
“Wherever I go in this region I find places with great particularities. This is why I appreciate Europe and particularly Italy: in America one moves to live in a place, for esthetic reasons, while people here are proud of Their Aosta Valley, and Their Mountain. As a tourist I appreciate this very much, the local pride that people transmit to you really have made an impact on me: everything becomes a big tradition. The mountains are not only part of the culture: they are the culture and the locals are very good at maintaining and handing it down”.
Messner has defined you as one of the best moutaineers in the World. What do you do to train?
“It is an honor to be described as one of the best but I believe Messner was talking in the sense of explorer. Alpinism is different: who climbs won’t change the surrounding environment. Our job is to leave the area as we found it, that way those who come after us may enjoy the aplinistic experience, just like the first ones who went through the area. This is was “Alpine style” means: we need to use the mountains to get to know ourselves and explor ourselves. Messner and I agree in this point of view and I believe it is for my approach to exploration the reason why he defined me as “the best”. Mountaineering is not a competitive sport therefore fortunately it is not necessary to train a lot. Actually everything is in relation with a sense of safety: the more you are in the mountains the more dangerous it becomes but at the same time it becomes extremely pleasant. This is what I’m trying to teach to families through my latest book which revolves around those with little time to enjoy their hobby and want to make the most out of the mountains”.
Will you write another book?
“Yes, I’ve been working on it these past months but it won’t come out for at least another year and a half. It will talk about trailrun athletes and ski-mountaineering. As usual I am writing it with my old coach and co-writer.