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Marco stands at the forefront of adventure in Iceland, overseeing the glacier tours and expeditions of Icelandic Mountain Guides in the Skaftafell region.

Marco's journey to becoming our Operations Manager showcases his remarkable dedication and passion for nature and adventure. A native of Bologna, Italy, Marco originally found his first love in art and architecture, which he studied in high school and university.. He wasn’t much of an outdoorsman at that time. At the age of 23, something happened that had changed his life forever. He was bitten by the travel bug and felt the call of the wild.

Stepping out of his comfort zone, Marco, with no prior outdoor experience, decided to challenge himself by joining a guided 12-day trek along Finland’s legendary Karhunkierros Trail. This 80-km journey was his first real outdoor adventure and became the turning point that would redefine his life's path.

After he returned from this trek, Marco soon realized that he couldn’t imagine his life sitting behind a desk. The call of the wild was too strong, and the thrill of adventure too compelling. Over the next years, he dedicated himself to mastering rock climbing, skiing, and professional mountaineering. His focus and dedication were so intense that within just three years, Marco was ready and confident to take on the challenge of crossing Vatnajökull, Iceland's largest glacier, alongside his experienced friends—a venture they successfully accomplished.

Over the next five years, he traveled around the globe. He climbed in the European Alps, trekked through Peru, climbed Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, and climbed several peaks in the Himalayas, reaching altitudes up to 7200 meters. He practiced ice climbing in Norway and Scotland and tackled an expedition across Svalbard, following footprints of polar bears.

After his global adventures, Marco felt ready to settle down a bit. He returned to Italy and began working as an industrial climber. He quickly progressed from an employee to running his own business, merging his climbing passion with his entrepreneurial spirit.

Soon, Marco crossed paths with Matteo, an Italian climber, with whom together they built numerous tree adventure Parks in Italy and Spain. Eventually, Matteo moved to Iceland to follow his volcanologist wife, and became a glacier guide at Icelandic Mountain Guides. Later he invited Marco to join the glacier guide team in Iceland.

Despite not speaking English, Marco accepted the challenge. He struck a deal with his manager: they would hire him based on his impressive experience, but he had to commit fully to learning English.

Eager to rise to the challenge, Marco began joining tours as a secondary guide to learn and listen. Working intensely on his English skills, he quickly progressed to leading tours himself. By day, he worked on the glacier; by night, he studied English. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from customers fueled his efforts.

When he didn’t work, he immersed himself in extensive training programs, completing all possible glacier and mountaineering courses. His growing expertise and commitment soon led to a position as shift manager, and eventually, he was appointed as the Operations Manager for the entire Skaftafell operations.

Today, Marco oversees everything from safety, tour planning to guide hiring and training. He coordinates with shift managers to inspect glacier routes and conditions, developing safety plans and regularly monitors changes in the glaciers, utilizing years of data collection to understand and adapt to the evolving environment. He doesn’t consider himself a boss in the traditional sense. He sees himself a part of a collaborative team of versatile experts, each member being vital.

Marco's passion for adventure continues to thrive. He crossed the Vatnajökull glacier once again and scaled Hvannadalsnjukur, Iceland's highest peak, an impressive 38 times. He loves running long distances on Iceland's rugged trails, and - after the recovery from a recent surgery - he wants to start training to run across the highlands from Akureyri to Skógar.

Looking to the future, Marco is planning on starting a non-profit to help young Nepalese climbers, especially women and girls interested in the mountain guiding industry. His goal is to provide them with essential gear and training, opening up more opportunities in this challenging and rewarding field.

Marco's journey from Bologna to Iceland shows us that with passion, hard work, and a willingness to learn, the sky’s the limit.

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