Montura

 

GIORGIO DAIDOLA

GIORGIO DAIDOLA
Bio

Giorgio Daidola, born in 1943 in Torino (Italy), is professor of economic and financial analysis for tourist companies at the University of Trento, journalist and ski instructor.
He has been the editor of the magazine “Rivista della Montagna” and of the yearbook “Dimensione Sci” for many years. He also published articles and photographs on the most prestigious italian, french, spanish, norwegian, australian and US outdoor magazines.
He has been director and actor in ski-mountain movies that have received awards in important film festivals. He was protagonist of Alberto Sciamplicotti’s movie “Il diritto e il rovescio", shot in Armenia in winter 2012: this movie has been awarded at the Orobie and the Sestrière film festivals and selected at Trento's film festival.
He currently writes for the italian mountain magazines  SkiAlper, In Movimento and Meridiani Montagne. He is also  collaborator of the sailing magazine Bolina.
In 1982 he reintroduced in Italy telemark, the “free heel skiing”,  and with this style he skied many mountains in all the seven continents and carried out ski traverses in Karakorum, Hielo Continental and Rocky Mountains. He also made with telemark the first descent of an 8000 metres peak, the Shisha Pangma.
At the beginning of the eighties he started sailing with his first boat, a Ranger 29 named Bétemps like the famous hut on the north side of Monte Rosa, now called Monte Rosa hutte. With this boat he sailed in Greece and in Turkey. Thirty years later he went back to eastern mediterranean with his second boat, a ten metres Gladiateur named “Zeffiraglia III”.
During his cruises Giorgio has always tried to combine the pleasures of the sea experience with the pleasure of mountain experience. Walking  along the coasts on forgotten paths and climbing the highest peaks of every island. Starting from his boat he also climbed and skied on lava the 900 vertical metres of “Sciara del Fuoco” of Stromboli (Eolie Islands).
In 2013 he wrote the book "Viaggio in Mediterraneo - Immagini, incontri, riflessioni di un velista curioso", published by “Il Frangente”. This book is not a nautical guide, but the story of five years of summer cruises in eastern mediterranean, focusing on meeting both people and landscapes.
In 2016 he published the book "Ski Spirit - Sciare oltre le piste", publisher “Alpine Studio”. The book won the award Gambrinus "Giuseppe Mazzotti" 2016, section Alpinism. In this book Giorgio tells about his way of conceiving skiing as a journey in search of the deep emotions that the white mountains all around the world can offer. For him skiing is not just a sport. It is something that involves the spheres of the spirit. Great writers like Doyle, Hemingway, Nabokov, Mann, Hesse, Buzzati, Gozzano, Parise has been inspired by conceiving  skiing in this way. “Ski Spirit” means also to follow their tracks on the snow and so to recover a great past.
On Alessandro Gogna's blog it is possible to find a deep analysis of this book with several interesting comments.
Giorgio's greatest dream is to live sea and mountain as an unique adventure. “Sea and mountain are very similar in offering emotions and vertigo of freedom to those who love them deeply” wrote his friend Carlo Bistagnino. For this reason, Giorgio considers Bill Tilman, mountaineer and sailor, the greatest explorer of all time.

Tracks on snow

The tracks left on snow represent the ultimate meaning of skiing,  that is much more than a sport,  than an atletic and phisical expression,  than a childish enjoyment given by sliding on the snow. The tracks are the skier’s signature, the expression of his personality, of his style and of his way of living the ski experience.
Even the animals mark the winter space with their graceful tracks, without destroying the delicate balance of the white nature. Skiing is decorating with good taste the winter environment. A good skier often stops to admire or to disapprove his own tracks. The world famous architect Carlo Mollino, that was also a great skier and a good photograph,  used to take as a model the photos of his own tracks in powder to draw his famous works. The Regio theatre of Torino is a great example of how he transformed his best  ski turns in art. He transferred also his turns in powder snow in the design of his famous round tables and fornitures.
(Extract from Giorgio Daidola's book, "Ski Spirit", published by Alpine Studio)


Back to the future

What will happen to me if I will be no more able to travel with my skis? To ski big mountains and to do big traverse? What will remain of my "Ski spirit"?
Bruce Chatwin wrote: "Nobody can travel without a base... everyone must  have his own magic circle".
For the skier the magic circle is the perfect turn. It is the round turn that takes back at the beginning of our ski experience. To be able to make this perfectly round turn means to be able to go back to our own origin.
The slope is ready: almost 50 meters in front of my house, looking at the north. Last summer I prepared it catting small trees and grass, imagining how it should have been covered with snow. I am proud of my work. This winter, with the new snow, I am be able to ski slowly just nine perfect round turns, feeling the pleasure for every snowflake that I am moving. Every day I will go up and down severals times, even with bad weather, as far as there will be snow.  I will imagine the perfect turn before doing it, I will savour the pleasure of the true snow’s noise under my skis.
All my ski travels on wonderful mountains, all my endless skiing descents, all the infinite white spaces I saw will find a logical conclusion in these few turns. I will feel the excitement of my first turns when I was a child.
One more time I will ski with a very heavy backpack, full of my past. All my travels, all my busy life will find a meaning in these few turns.
It will be a way to close the magic circle nicely, because when you go back to your own Itaca you are supposed not to need to travel in search of white mountains anymore.

(from “Ski Spirit” author Giorgio Daidola, published by Alpine Studio)


From Mediterranean to Azores

In february 2016 I came back from a long ski traverse in norvegian Finnmark with two frozen fingers, as the temperature was -35° degrees inside the  tent. I understood that my great dream to cross Greenland with ski, like Nansen did, was better to remain a dream. I decided to do another kind of challenging traverse, at least for me: to sail through the Atlantic, from Lagos in Portugal, where last year I left my old 10 meters boat, after many years of sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.
The crazy destination was Azores islands, about 820 nautical miles far, with contrary dominant wind. With my boat the traverse would last at least 7 days. I didn’t have ocean experience, my longest traverse in the  Mediterranean lasted 48 hours.
I spent a lot of time and money to prepare the boat, installing a Windpilot, a satellite phone and other gadges.
Finally on July 17th, 2017 I left Lagos,  together with the welsh Keith Edwards and the portuguese Miguel Sousa.
As planned we reached the biggest Azores’ island of São Miguel in 7 days. The first 4 days were the most difficult, with 3 meters high waves against us and with 25 knots of wind.
We sailed first 50 miles towards the north, in order to have better wind in the second part of the traverse.
Indeed in the last 3 days we could feel the pleasure of perfect sailing with gennaker, dancing with the the ocean waves.
I understood that long oceanic sailing is not at all boring. It is first of all a fantastic spirit’s adventure.
When finally I stumbleing disembarked in the small marina of Vila Franca do Campo I felt like after having reach the top of a big mountain. I felt strongly the magic of those islands  in the middle of the ocean. I thought that my boat Zeffiraglia would be stopped in this lost paradise for a long time. It was July 23rd. The day after would have been St. John, patron of Vila Franca and also of Torino, my native town. We feasted together with the hospitable and wonderful people of Vila Franca, singing and dancing in the streets of the old village for two days. We felt far from our stressful way of life, for a moment we touched what we think is happiness.


Sciatori di montagna (Mountain skiers)
12 histories of great skiers made the ski-mountaineering’s history

My new book as been published by Mulatero Editore in december 2017: it is a journey in the past to discover the white inheritance of the most famous mountaineering skiers that passed away.  I tell about the lives and the exploits of ski fathers like Paulcke, Hurz and Lunn, of ski explorers like Ghiglione, Zwingelstein and Parmentier, of ski champions like Preuss, Mezzalama, Castiglioni, Gobbi and Traynard, of one of the first extreme skiers like Heini Holzer. Twelve skiers who strongly have influenced my way of living the white mountains. I think that through their lifes it is possible to better understand what mountaineering ski means.