Gronell Experience

Stories, feats and emotions of those who, together with Gronell, live his passions.

Cristina Piolini

Cristina Piolini

Premosello Chiovenda - "My name is Cristina Piolini, I live in Valle Ossola, in the heart of Valgrande, precisely in Premosello Chiovenda. I started skiing at the age of 3, at 8 the first ski races in winter and mountain running in summer. At the age of 14, the first climbing experiences on the cliffs near home and then in the Finale area. The high-altitude gym was on Monte Rosa on the East, from the first ascents on the minor peaks up to the east Himalayan wall. In 1992 the first experience began. at high altitude in the Pamir, and then off until arriving in October 2005 with the first eight thousand, the Shisha Pangma 8013 meters in Tibet "looks like this, all in one go, with a disarming simplicity mixed, but always with simplicity, in terms technicians on which you do not have time to block it for you to explain.

Now Cristina, researcher abroad in life and mountaineer in the world for passion, is momentarily in Italy, in her family home, leaving, next January 14, for a new adventure "at the extremes", as those of her staff say, a long journey, "AROUND THE WORLD IN 7 PEAKS", through Nepal, Pakistan, Bhutan and to discover new horizons, lands and untouched peaks of Pakistan, Patagonia and China, on Karl Unterchirker's Mount Genyen. "Since December 2005 I have been working in Nepal at the scientific-laboratory at the EVK2CNR Pyramid in Bergamo headed by Agostino Da Polenza as manager and assistant to researchers. I still live in Nepal for work and to cultivate my passion for the mountains. Since June I will collaborate with the Margherita Refuge on Monte Rosa ".

Cristina, what are your great adventures from the past?

The first high altitude experience dates back to 1992, in the Pamir with the ascent to Peak Communism and Peak Karzhenevskaya, with some very strong Russian climbers and an Italian, Carlo Benedetti, with whom I climbed from the Rosa to the Andes passing through China. A beautiful and original experience in '96 with the ascent to Muzstaghata, 7569 meters in China and the descent on skis. In 97 a summer in Peru, climbing the beautiful peaks of the Andes. Then go up in the Dolomites, on Mont Blanc and in 2005 the first experience in Tibet with the ascent of Shisha Panama to commemorate the 150th ascent to Punta Dufour on Monta Rosa. Lastly, in May 2006, the attempt at Lhotse 8516 meters and reached the altitude of 8300 meters.

What are the moments you remember best about these past challenges?

Surely the wind on Shisha Panama is always constant and having reached the altitude of 8300 meters on Lhotse alone, enjoying a first-time show, and the eye on the summit of Everest. Then there are other moments also on climbing in the Dolomites ..... but it is difficult to make a ranking because they are indelible moments if you experience the mountains as a passion and a way of life.

Can you tell us more about this new adventure?

This adventure was born on paper in May 2006, before climbing Lhotse. Other projects were underway, such as the winter ascent to G2 in Pakistan, logistically difficult due to a lot of snow, intense cold, but my partner's injury in November stopped us and we therefore decided to postpone it. This adventure starts on January 14th with the AROUND THE WORLD IN 7 Peaks. I will try to climb the highest peak of each continent, wandering around the world. The first stop of the trip will be South America, Argentina, with Aconcagua 6962 meters, spring will be the turn of Everest and also Lhotse. September Africa with the Kilimanjaro 5963 mt, and then Oceania with the Pyramid of Carstensz 4884 mt, Russia Elbrus 5633 mt, Alaska North America with the Mc Kinley 6195 mt, and to conclude the adventure the Antarctica massif of the Vinson 4897 mt.

Will you be alone or in a group?

The departure is from Linate on January 14 for Argentina and I will be in the company of Plamen Shopski, Alpine Guide and Ski Instructor, and a nice group of 9 guys. Everest and Lhotse I will be alone, in fact the permit is in my name and it will be a great experience, I will be followed from Italy by a great friend, GianCarlo Parazzoli, by Alberto Cortinovis, from Bergamo, and Giorgio Tiraboschi will follow me in Kathmandù. Communications through a thuraya will come through sms and from the base camp with email.

Overall duration?

The world tour will last 2 years if all goes well, what worries me the most is Antarctica that I have already started to organize.

In your travels, are there more Italians or foreigners you meet and collaborate with?

The most beautiful and richest experiences from a human point of view have always been with foreigners from Korea, the Philippines, Americans and Spaniards ..... I don't have a good memory of Italians as mountaineering expeditions, but as trekkinists yes, I met Plamen Shopski. and with which I will leave for some stages of my world tour. I am a bit critical, but I have had negative answers with Italians, too much hypocrisy in the mountaineering environment and envy that leads to not valuing the mountain as it should be.

Here, in fact, the mountain: a passion or a drug?

Good question ...... surely the passion for the mountains and the Himalayas transports you into a "tunnel" that is difficult to get out of. I consider Himalaya not only for its high peaks, but for the surroundings, the traditions, the fantastic people you meet, a life experience that no one can deny you, the places .......

How would you explain the reasons for these trips to someone who has never experienced the mountains?

You have to have values ​​in life. I cultivate my values ​​while traveling, looking at the peaks, but also at the "lower part". The reasons .......... to travel and give life to one's values. In life everyone gives themselves a "target", from the employee to the postman, everyone wants to reach their "goal" in life, I look for it during my travels and at each climb, at each step I want to give value and a peak.

What are you looking for in these trips?

I am fortunate to work in the heart of the Himalayas at the foot of Everest, I am fortunate to be able to travel and I also have the opportunities to do so. I try to make it a resource for my personal culture and maybe, through images, pass it on to the less fortunate.

Are you looking for a little bit of yourself too?

Surely you grow up traveling, many negative and positive experiences lead you to know yourself.

What do you expect from yourself and what do you want to prove?

I don't have to prove anything and I don't demand anything from myself, every trip is personal, you don't communicate true emotions selfishly ... in life sometimes it's nice to dream and chase dreams with fantasy.

Do you have a sponsor?

I have partners for Valandrè clothing, accessories and mountaineering tools Grivel Courmayeur Aosta, Ferrino for tents and sleeping bags, Scarpa and Gronell for footwear. Sponsors are hard to find, mountaineering is unfortunately not considered much ... I should have chased a ball.

How do you finance yourself?

I work like any human being, I use my resources, I do jobs where I am well paid and also free to travel.

Who are your admirers?

Certainly, and I smile, not the climbers. Family are my great supporters and the strength to go on, friends are the real ones and those who believe in me.

What relationship do you have with the internet?

For my research it is essential, for communications during my travels a direct line with home and family. It is a beautiful invention, but sometimes a double-edged sword, where you find everything and more, lies and truth, so you have to know how to use it well.

What would you like to communicate to young people who see a symbol in you?

To any person I tell to be honest and to value everything he does every day. Cultivating a passion and never giving up dreams sometimes come true


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - He made it. The Ossola mountaineer Cristina Piolini has reached the summit of the highest mountain in South America, Aconcagua, one of the famous Seven Summits.

"The day was long and tiring due to the cold - says Cristina Piolini, fresh and successful - At the Campo Berlin, 6,000 meters, from where we started, it was 30 degrees below zero. We only saw a little sun at Canaleta , then the bad weather accompanied us to the summit ". Piolini and some members of the expedition reached the summit of the nearly 7000 meter high mountain (6962m to be exact) on Saturday around 2.30pm local time. Just enough time for two photos and then running down, because the storm was lurking.

"During the descent we were surprised by the snow - continues the mountaineer from Ossola -. Only thanks to Plamen's GPS were we able to reach camp Berlin, or camp 2. The next morning we went down to the base, but beat the track with backpacks of 20 kilos on the shoulders was not easy. I thank all those who believe in me and my friends at the summit Plamen, Igino, Luigi, Giorgio, Nicola and Bruno ".

Last night at 19 Italian time, the Piolini was at base camp. How do you feel after reaching the summit? "The first stage of the Seven Summits has gone, olè - jokes the mountaineer -, now the world tour continues".

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Artisan passion, Italian tradition.

Ours is a story that begins a long time ago, but that still today is made of love for the mountain and patient dexterity.

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