• Santi Padros

My mountaineering?
Simple as a smile, to share with my partner, my friends and my clients.

“Mountaineering as a way to stay in the mountains, as a form of thought and life, as simple as a smile, to share with my partner, my friends and my clients”.
This is the thought of Santi Padros, a Spanish mountain guide who has chosen to live in the Dolomites of the Val di Zoldo.

His life as a mountaineer began at 15 and until he was 20 he devoted himself above all to ski mountaineering, ice climbing and canyoning in the Pyrenees. After twenty years his horizons broaden, first towards Europe, with mountaineering on classic difficulties and with ski mountaineering, and later in 2003, thanks to a trip to Yosemite for a few months, his life changed radically. In 2006 he became a mountain guide, decides to move to live in the Val di Zoldo and here he dedicates himself with increasing commitment and passion to ice climbing.

In Santi’s mountaineering career, to date, there are four expeditions in the Himalayas with four new routes opened in Nepal (Karyolung 6511 m, Kang Nachugo 6735 m and on the west face of Ama Dablam), four expeditions in Patagonia with two new ascents in Cerro Adela (Cerro Torre group), a solo expedition on the Cordillera Blanca in Peru where he made two new extreme skiing descents. He has traveled to Oman and Morocco, climbing to Reunion Island, Greece and the USA, New Zealand and Kyrgystan on mountaineering skis.

In addition to the activity of Alpine Guide and Canyoning, which he carries out in Italy and abroad, he is an instructor of Guide Canyoning in Italy, collaborates as a guide instructor in the Spanish schools where Alpine Guides, Accompanying Guides and Canyoning Guides are trained.

Santi Padros collaborates with AKU as a product tester.

“I walk, climb, ski, canyoning, with those who want me to accompany him and with all the people I like their company”

My favorite AKU

Santi Padros‘ favorite footwear is the AKU Tengu Lite GTX.
  • Ezio Marlier

Ezio Marlier icon of modern ice and mixed technical climbing

Ezio was born and raised in the Aosta Valley, he is a mountain guide, athlete and mountaineer. Master of piolet traction, for thirty years an icon of modern ice and mixed climbing at an international level. He has opened routes on mountains all over the world, although Mont Blanc and the Alps remain his main terrain; his specialty is ice climbing, but he also practices sport climbing at excellent levels and, thanks to his profession as a mountain guide, he lives the mountains every day.

Ezio Marlier collaborates with AKU as a product tester.

“My motto is freeway: the freedom to choose your own roads, in mountaineering as well as in everyday activities”

My favorite AKU

For mountain activities as a mountain guide Ezio Marlier uses different footwear: AKU HAYATSUKI GTX at high altitude and in winter environments, while AKU TENGU GTX for light activities at low altitude.

  • Elisa & Leonardo

Elisa Bessega e Leonardo Panizza / Photographer, writer and environmental activists

Zero-impact mountaineering and slow trekking

Elisa, lover of the highlands, photographer, activist and zero-waster. Born in the province of Padua, in the flattest place in Italy, she approaches the mountain very late, but since the first trek it leaves an indelible mark on her personality and lifestyle. From that moment on he devoted much of his time to the outdoors, moving permanently to Trento and learning all the mountaineering disciplines from scratch in order to fully experience the mountains in each of its forms. Hand in hand with the discovery of this sense of belonging to nature, he changes his way of life trying to minimize its impact on the environment, he is passionate about the SLOW and ZERO IMPACT philosophy and tries to apply it first in everyday life and then in excursions: self-produced most of the products he uses at home and where it is not possible undertakes to buy them in bulk. When she is not busy spending her time outdoors, she writes and talks about her passions through images and collaborates with the collective of activists The Outdoor Manifesto.

Leonardo, a psychologist, has always been a frequent visitor to the mountains of Trentino, a frequent user of bivouacs and has always paid particular attention to moving independently. In the various ascents he tries to emphasize the exploratory side and knowledge of the territory rather than the performative one. He often decides to sleep in the bivouac without leaning on the shelter for a total immersion in nature, without filters or facilities. Without the use of shortcuts, it is possible to discover that the adventure is a stone’s throw from home. Getting information and getting to know the mountains in which you move is something that enriches the experience and makes it more respectful of the places. He devotes his time mainly to climbing, ski mountaineering and mountaineering but he is also passionate about trekking, always strictly on his own. Auto produces vegetables and eggs thanks to four very white hens.

Elisa and Leonardo collaborate with AKU as photographers, storytellers and product testers.

“The mountain is not something to be bent to satisfy your will, it must be not only the place to be heroes”

My favorite AKU

For their excursions Elisa and Leonardo wear AKU Trekker Lite III GTX and AKU Alterra Lite GTX, perfect for supporting not exactly light backpacks and for walking several days with maximum comfort.
  • Ruggero Alberti

More than a photographer, he prefers to define himself as a mountain man who lives his own mountain and as such has a deep respect for it

Photographer and mountaineer, with a degree in Forestry and Environmental Sciences, born and raised at the foot of the Pale di San Martino, he managed to combine his passion for the mountains with photography. More than a photographer, he prefers to define himself as a mountain man who lives his own mountain and as such has a deep respect for it.

“For many people the mountain is simply an element of the landscape, something beautiful, to be admired from home or during their holidays, for others it is a mass of rock. For me, however, the mountain is everything. When I am on a peak or even simply in a forest, I feel alive and an integral part of everything around me. I love the mountain and I have a feeling of respect towards it that comes from the desire to know its deeper aspects, its rhythms and its will. I concretize my personal vision by getting up in the middle of the night to walk for several hours and reach little-frequented places. Other times I reach the top of a mountain at sunset and then stay there to sleep. Most of the time I’m always alone in these photographic outings.”

Ruggero collaborates with AKU as a photographer and product tester.

“I love the mountain and I have a feeling of respect towards it that stems from the desire to know its deeper aspects, its rhythms and its will”

My favorire AKU

For mountain activities as a photographer and mountaineer Ruggero Alberti uses the AKU Superalp NBK GTX model, a classic model designed for those who walk a lot, even on difficult terrain, with a heavy load on their shoulders.
  • Altripiani

Altripiani is a combination of photography, mountaineering, cultural, anthropological and linguistic research

Altripiani is a combination of photography, mountaineering, cultural, anthropological and linguistic research, which aims to trace new paths and different paths. Lines that do not run from one city to another, but that slowly cross mountain ranges and small villages in search of faces and memories. A continuous search for the other in elsewhere, to meet and investigate the differences between the cultures and religions of the countries crossed, between the traditions and generations of the most isolated communities in the mountains, avoiding commonplaces to look for those of encounter and of dialogue.

Altripiani is a project by Giacomo Frison and Glorija Blazinšek, two photographers from Venice. “We have different characters that work well together, complementing each other. Two sensitivities, two ways of interpreting beauty and the common desire to tell moments, stories and people spontaneously. When we travel through mountain ranges we walk an ever-changing trail with an open mind and a tent on our backs. We are Altripiani, the most sincere and genuine representation of ourselves, of our passions and of our desire to know.”

Glorija and Giacomo collaborate with AKU as photographers, storytellers and product testers.

“We are Altripiani, the most sincere and genuine representation of ourselves, our passions and our desire to know”

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My favorite AKU

Glorija and Giacomo’s favorite shoes for their crossings are the AKU Alterra Lite GTX, a multierrain shoe, just like they are, perfect for moving quickly on any terrain in total comfort.


Mountain leaders and companions of Val Gardena

Summer and winter. Thousands of kilometers and thousands of meters in altitude traveled every year. The trails of Val Gardena, from the valley floor to the high mountains, have no secrets for AKU and for the more than 20 guides of the Val Gardena Active program. An initiative born 10 years ago and which from the beginning has seen AKU footwear at the feet of a group of qualified professionals, experts in hiking and profound connoisseurs of their territory through which the thousands of tourists who flock to a of the most beautiful valleys of the Dolomites.

“It is a collaboration that honors us and stimulates us” said Paolo Bordin, CEO of AKU “which offers us the opportunity to test our products on their ideal terrain, the Dolomite mountain, where we wrote an important part of our history “.

For over 30 years, in fact, Val Gardena has represented for AKU one of the alpine areas in which the brand immediately met the favor of the public, through the important contribution of the specialized shopkeepers of the valley, first of all Sport Bruno, a historic shop, from over 100 years a point of reference for valley dwellers and mountain enthusiasts who choose Selva Val Gardena as the ideal place for their holidays.

Since 2020 the collaboration has extended and includes all the three main centers of the valley, with Selva, Santa Cristina and Ortisei as starting points for the excursions, gathered in a broad program that in addition to trekking includes experiences of environmental education and knowledge of the uses and Ladin customs, also for families and children. For advanced hiking that becomes a complete experience and a stimulus to deepen the value of contact with nature.

Val Gardena Active’s mid-mountain guides and companions will be your trusted people in planning your excursions, they will accompany you and will be at your disposal with their experience and knowledge, at any time. If you want to know the Val Gardena Active excursion program for summer 2020, visit the website ww.valgardena-active.co

Val Gardena Active collaborates with AKU as a product tester.

“An advanced excursion that becomes a complete experience and a stimulus to deepen the value of contact with nature”

My favorite AKU

The Val Gardena Active guides use different models of AKU footwear, specific for each type of terrain and activity: Selvatica GTX, Tengu Low GTX, Tengu Lite GTX, Trekker Lite III GTX and Superalp GTX.
  • Ingo Irsara

The day I decided to be a climber

Ingo Irsara is a 360 ° mountain professional, as well as a mountain guide he is also a ski instructor and national instructor of mountain guides. He lives in Alta Badia in the heart of the Dolomites.

“I was born and raised in the mountains and I have attended it in all its aspects since I was a child, when I went with my father every Sunday to do via ferratas. I remember a very special Sunday, climbing up the Civetta, from the via ferrata we were traveling on, I saw people climbing the wall climbing. I was struck by what I had seen and from that day on I decided that I too wanted to climb. Later I spent endless days climbing up and down the stone wall that runs along the hairpin bends of the road to my town, before touching the rock.
My passion for skiing was also born at a very young age, my first steps on skis date back to when I was three. Then, slowly, going to the mountains in all seasons, I thought that my passion could become a job. I have been a mountain guide since 2005 and a ski instructor since 2000”.

Ingo collaborates with AKU as a product tester.

My favorite AKU

For mountain activities as a mountain guide and rescuer Ingo Irsara mainly uses AKU Tengu Lite GTX.
  • Andrea Enzio

Andrea Enzio / Mountain Guide_Alagna_Italy

A large Walser family of alpine guides, ski instructors and mountain huts hosts on Monte Rosa.

Andrea Enzio, born in 1968, lives in Alagna, is president of the Alagna Guides Corps and director of the homonymous School of Mountaineering. His activity in the mountains began very early, in the footsteps of his father and a large family composed mainly of mountain guides, ski instructors and managers of mountain huts. As a child he competed as an athlete of the Alagna ski club and soon devoted himself to sport climbing and mountaineering. At the age of 18 he began the course as an aspiring mountain guide and a little later as a ski instructor.

In the mid-80s he became passionate about snowboarding, obtained the qualification of Snowboard instructor and made the most important first descents with the “board” in the Monte Rosa group. As a guide he specializes in canyoning and participates in some extra-European expeditions: Daulaghiri, ChoOyu, Mckinley. Skiing, and in particular free ride, becoming his main activity during the winter and lead him to travel often between the various ski resorts in the Alps and abroad.

He still practices paragliding and for some years also river canoeing on the Sesia river, with sea canoe he sailed in the northern seas (Sweden) and made dives in different corners of the world. For some years he has discovered the sailing boat and has a Skipper’s license. He mainly works as a mountain guide, ski instructor and Helicopter rescue technician.

Andrea Enzio collaborate with AKU as a product tester of mountaineering and trekking footwear.

My favorite AKU

For mountain activities as a mountain guide and rescuer Andrea Enzio mainly uses AKU HAYATSUKI GTX at high altitude and in winter environments.
  • Oscar
    Alemán Milán

Oscar is a high mountain guide, fond of Pyrenean cartography and geography

Oscar Aleman Milan is a Mountain and Ski Mountaineering Guide who works in the Pyrenees and the Alps. His activity in the mountains ranges from simple accompaniment to challenging exploratory missions to support scientific research in the geological and geographical field. For some time now, Oscar has been supporting his driving activity with an intense training activity, organizing courses at various levels in the field of mountain safety, snow science, ski mountaineering and working as a teacher at ETEVA, the Training School for Sports Technicians of the Val d ‘Aran.

Òscar collaborates with AKU as a product tester.

“I am very lucky, I can have fun in the mountains, both in technical and difficult activities, and in fun and family activities”

My favorite AKU

Òscar Alemán Milán’s favorite shoes are the AUK Trekker Pro GTX and AKU Selvatica GTX.



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