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“La mia Montagna” by Luca Petrone: review and interview

“La mia Montagna” by Luca Petrone: review and interview


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On the occasion of one of the last parkruns, at Parco Nord in Milan, I had the pleasure of meeting Luca Petrone, a mountaineer with a passion for the mountains and nature.

Chatting before leaving, he gave me a copy of his latest book "My Mountain”Which I started reading the following day and finished in a few days!

Luca's story and his relationship with the mountains involved me and made me want to go back for a walk in our Alps at the first opportunity!

The book tells of Luca's relationship with the mountains, explored by climbing but also running trail races, without aiming at the challenge of increasing difficulty but rather looking for a way to reach unspoiled places of great beauty far from the destinations of mass tourism.

In the book there are stories of some of his exploits, moments of joy but also of concern, the companions who sometimes accompanied him but also the pleasure of enjoying solitude during the climbs and when reaching the summit.

Among the chapters that I liked the most, I would like to point out the one entitled "Learning slowness" which begins with a beautiful quote from the great Jean de la Bruyère: "There is no path too long for those who walk slowly, without straining; there is no goal too high for those who prepare with patience. "

I also appreciated the balance with which Luca faces his exploits, which includes respect for the mountains and the intelligent management of difficulties and fear.

At the end of the book, Luca proposes a sort of breviary entitled "The Mountain taught me ..." in which we find 10 teachings.

I propose the first, perhaps the most significant and important: "Not to feel the fatigue, not to stop not to give up in the face of fatigue, difficulties ... but also knowing how to decide to go back, when the conditions are not there, when the difficulties are too great ..."

Luca Petrone at parkrun Milano Nord

After finishing the book, I had Luca's availability to answer some of my questions that I think may be useful in introducing you to the author of "My Mountain", here are his answers ...

Matteo Di Felice: Luca, how was your passion for hiking in the mountains born and when?

Luca Petrone: The passion for the mountains is something that I have in my blood and I inherited from my maternal grandfather. I remember the stories of him when, as a boy, in the first post-war period, with little money he went from Milan to Lecco by train to climb the Grigne. I have been going to the mountains since I was in a stroller, but I never wanted to forge ahead. Step by step. First going for a walk with my parents, then wandering around shelters and finally aiming for mountaineering peaks.

Matteo Di Felice: The title of your book is "My mountain”: Would you like to give us some anticipation on the relationship you have created with nature and in particular with the mountains you climb?

Luca Petrone: The title has a double meaning for me: in this book I put "my" way of seeing the mountain - the solitary, rough, little known one, seen from the eyes of a mountaineer who looks for a way in the climbs to access the beauty that surrounds - but also the regions, valleys and peaks to which, over the years, I have grown fond of and that today I can say that they have become a bit "mine", so much so that I recognize them, as dear friends, everywhere look.

Matteo Di Felice: Would you like to give some advice to IdeeGreen readers to approach mountain hiking with the right approach?

Luca Petrone: The mountain is joy, freedom, but also suffering and fatigue. The best way to approach it is to do it gradually and without outside help or shortcuts. Only in this way will we always be able to feel that sense of respect, fear, reverence towards the Mountain, which it demands of us. If in our walk we encounter chains, brackets and via ferratas we will have the false illusion that everything is easy, that a harness and a heat sink are enough to climb a wall, we will lead hikers to expose themselves to dangers they are not accustomed to, but above all we will distort, trivialize the climb itself. How the use of cable cars would artificially simplify it. A climb begins where the road ends.

Matteo Di Felice: In your book I was pleased to find a great passion and the story of great enterprises combined with self-discipline which also passes through a correct interpretation of the concept of risk and fear. Do you want to give our readers some anticipation on these issues?

Luca Petrone: When I go to the mountains the important thing is the goal, not the adrenaline of the difficult route. On the other hand, I am not satisfied with climbing any peak, perhaps frequented by many people, nor with returning to one that I have already climbed. I love to be able to admire the view around me and to be able to say from below “what a beautiful summit I did!”. And it is essential to limit the risk to acceptable levels, always maintaining self-control, serenity and that sense of fear, of respect, in the face of difficulties that allow us to always return home safe and sound.

Matteo Di Felice: What is the goal with which you wrote your book, do you have a particular message for readers who will read it?

Luca Petrone: My book was born in the first place for myself, as a collection of my reflections on my way of "going to the mountains", and in fact the first thing I wrote was everything the mountain taught me about itself. and about life. It was not my intention to indoctrinate anyone, nor to leave messages to the reader, at most to spread a vision of the mountain different from the one usually found in books, made up of adventurous and dangerous climbs. Simply, I hope that the reader will understand in my words the passion and sensations that a mountain lover feels.

Self "My Mountain"Intrigued you, you can buy it online on Amazon in the version with flexible cover at 12 Euro or in Kindle format for only 4 Euros (!) following this link.

The cover photo of "My Mountain" with the summit of Tsa de l'Ano in Val d’Hérens, Canton of Valais (Switzerland). In the background, the Pointes de Mourti, the Dent Blanche and the Dent d’Hérens.


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