Die italienische Freeriderin Giulia Monego ist eine anerkannte Größe in der Freeride-Szene. Sie gehört zu den besten Extremskiern der Welt, was so viel heisst, dass sie sich extrem steile Hänge und Rinnen (mehr als 45° Steilheit) hinab stürzt. Und dafür hat sie ein ganz besonderes Talent. Beeindruckend zeigt sie, was für sie das herausfordernde und zugleich faszinierende Freeriden bedeutet. Eine prädestinierte Lady für ein Interview bei Outdoormind!

Interview mit Giulia Monego

Your home is Venice. How did you discovered skiing in general?

I was born in Venice and I lived there since I am 12 years old, but my family luckily was passionate about the mountains and rent an apartment in Cortina d’Ampezzo. There I spent most of my summer hiking and in winter holidays skiing. I started skiing at 3 and I felt in love with it.

How and why did you brought your skiing to a next level with freeskiing?

When I quit the alpine racing career in 2001 I decided to get my ski instructor license and go to work abroad for one season. I first picked Chamonix, then I changed my mind for Verbier where I heard the off-piste was really good. There I discovered a new world and a new possible career. Freeriding was totally new to me and I approached it with friends and colleagues first, then I met professional skiers and snowboarders and they persuaded me to try my first freeski competition. Then, my career started.

If you haven´t been a professional skier, what would you do?

I would probably be a ski instructor in the winter and a hiking guide in the summer… a bit what I am doing now, but with a lot more hours of work in the week!

Where are you living at the moment and what is your favorite place to be?

I am mostly in Verbier, but I am moving a lot. In the summer I spend a good amount of time in the Dolomites where I have friends and family, in the free time I spend a lot of time in the Aosta Valley where my boyfriend lives.  My favorite place? Hard to tell… I love Chamonix, but i’ve never committed to move there. I feel good in any place where I am surrounded by friends and nice people, but I guess could never live for too long away from the mountains.

Why did you decide to live in Verbier and not in Chamonix, for example?

Since the first decision to leave Cortina I was debating between the two. I ended up in Verbier by chance and I am really lucky I did so. It was a big chance in my life and a big opportunity that I don’t know I would have in Chamonix. I started going to Cham a little later, when I was more „mature“ to really enjoy the skiing there at another level. You need more mountain experience than in other places to be able to appreciate safely the skiing in there. I am still hesitating to rent a flat in Chamonix every year… I might do it one time and see what will happen!

As a professional skier you have to travel a lot. How often do you meet your friends and family? How do you handle it? It is not easy I guess.

Especially in the winter, I travel a lot and I don’t have much time to dedicate to my family and friends, but I have the opportunity to travel with other friends usually and meet new people on my way. I love this side of my job. Meeting and sharing experiences with different people all the time make the travelling hustle a lot easier. The down season is when I take the time to see my parents my sister, nephew and niece, and spend more time with my boyfriend ;-)

What is your personal goal in 2013?

I had few goals for the is season and I’m still working on it… One was the filming project with EndlessFlow to create 4 video episodes for the web, which are going pretty well. We called it Turns ’n Curves and you can watch it on the EpicTv You Tube page. The other big challenge I had in mind for this year is to do the mountain guide course in Italy and to do that I first have to pass some practical tests first. Some already went well, in May I will have the last ones. Fingers crossed then!
As expeditions wise I was on a trip in India in March but unfortunately we couldn’t reach our goal, so I guess I’ll have to find another objective for later on this year!

Your biggest success so far?

I had many small and big success so far in may career, front the alpine ski racing career to the Freeriding or Mountaineering. As I am growing older any previous success change it`s importance as my personal goals changes, so it is getting harder to say which one was my biggest so far. As an optimistic person as I am, I believe that my biggest achievement is yet to come!

Many Athletes in the steep skiing want to archieve their dreams in the big mountains. You often risk your life during experiences. How do you manage the mental training? Do you have a coach?

My mental preparation for many of the steep skiing days, expeditions and objectives is pretty simple. I have to feel ready for it. I don’t like to involve myself in situation that don’t think I can deal and control them. I need to love what I am doing and I am about to do. I need to feel enough safe stand in that place in that particular moment. In the mountains is often a question to timing more than location. The scary moment come from the wrong time not the wrong place.
I believe that my personal experience in the mountains is what makes me safer and ready to front the challenges that I choose. I had moments in the past years were I went close to cross that fine line that allow us to get back home safe at the end of the day and I learnt that the closer you get to it, the more responsible and present you are in the mountains after. Being scared to die is normal but being scared to live is not productive. I decided to live at the most doing what I love to do and what make me feel really ALIVE.

Giulia Monego
Giulia Monego (c) Giulia Monego

Summer is coming up now. What are you doing during the summer months?

I normally take a little brake in the spring after the ski season and go to the sea, to either surf, kite surf or something… Then I work a bit in the Dolomites as a trekking guide for the busy months, and the rest I try to climb and stay fit. Making plans for the next season and prepare expeditions is also part of the summer duties, but I have to consider myself really lucky, because I have a lot of time off to enjoy.

What is your favorite outdoor product for women?

I like the idea of products designed to fit specific women physical needs but in some cases,  there should be a bigger consideration on the performances. Some women are as strong or even stronger than many men, so the range of women gear should allow them to pick the best product for their needs without loosing in performance.
Said that I love my Scarpa Gea RS boots or The North Face Summits Series products that follow really well the rule of high performance, perfect fit and female look.

Anything else you want to spread?

I’d like to underline another big project that I am personally involve in, which is Summits4kids. S4K is a non profit organization born form two friends and myself in 2009, aiming to help unfortunate kids in poor countries. The concept is simple: we raise funds for a small charity association in loco where they help local kids, giving them education and hosting other than physical and mental care. We travelled in Peru and Ecuador so far, but we are aiming to go to India in June (unfortunately I won’t go this time.) and many other places where we can combine a ski mountaineering objective to a charity fund raising. During our expeditions beside speeding time climbing and skiing mountains, we always visit the kids and the local associations to make sure the money will go to the right project and where the money is really needed. Then trough sponsors, events, slideshows and second hand gear sales over the years, we collect the money to enable the new project and to give a long term support to the previous one.
For more info and to make a donation, please visit www.summits4kids.org

Mehr zu Giulia gibt es auch auf Ihrer Webseite .

Weitere Interviews mit Persönlicheiten gibt es bei Outdoormind unter der Rubrik PEOPLE zu lesen.

Photo ofGiulia Monego
Giulia Monego
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Outdoor & Sport: Hier bin ich zuhause. Sei es beim Biken im Sommer oder Freeriden im Winter – Draußen sein in der Natur ist für mich ein Geschenk. Das bedeutet, völlig lebendig zu sein. Bei Outdoormind setzte ich im Speziellen auf frauenspezifische Produkte und berichte über Abenteuer mit Bike & Ski.