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Meet The Dolomite Mountains Guides

Dolomite Mountains Guide Biographies

At Dolomite Mountains, our guides are passionate, experienced mountain enthusiasts who work year round in the outdoor industry, hold the highest guide certifications, and are dedicated to providing our guests an exceptional experience.

Our guides are incredibly knowledgeable about the local terrain, culture, food and customs, and passionate about sharing them with you – you’re in their back yard after all! They live here, work here, play here, grew up here, trained here, and have a passion for the mountains – more specifically, a passion for these mountains.

Most importantly, they are fun to be with, and dedicated to making sure you have an outstanding experience and enjoy your trip in the Dolomites!


Marica Fave - UIAGM mountain guide, DolomitesMARIKA FAVE
Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, and Skiing Guide

The Dolomites and guiding run in Marika’s blood. With a father who was a ski instructor and mountain guide, and mother who runs a B&B in Val di Fassa where she grew up, how could it not? Born in 1973, Marika began skiing at age 3 and ski racing at 6, and raced for the Italian National Alpine Ski Team in her teens and 20s, travelling extensively in the mountains throughout Europe. “Mountains and snow are my passion,” says Marika, “I was born in the Fassa Valley and still live there because of that!”

Marika has also lived in the United States in Nevada, where she attended Sierra Nevada College on a sports scholarship, and won the women’s U.S. Collegiate Skiing Championships in 1998 and 1999. Competitive skiing also provided her the opportunity to travel around much of the United States, where she developed an excellent command of the English language and knowledge of American culture. In addition to English and her native Ladin tongue (a minority language recognized in parts of the Dolomites), Marika also speaks German and Spanish.

In 1999, Marika returned to Italy to resume work as a member of the “forest police.” Working with the government, she was also able to do some ski patrolling and snow study. In addition to being a mountain guide (Marika earned her UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide certification in 2009), she is also a ski instructor, federal ski coach, and was a top ranked ice climber in the mid-2000s. Marika recently became a mother, and now we’re just waiting to see her baby begin skiing and climbing along side her! 


Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, and Skiing Guide

Marco began hiking and climbing in the mountains with his dad as a child (he was born in 1979), and was delighted by the “mythical gymnasium” of the via ferrata. As he grew older, he continued to explore and climb with his friends, improving his skills by taking courses in the mountains near his home town of Padova. He completed his mandatory military service as a young adult – and was fortunate to be assigned to the Alpini, an elite division of mountain soldiers, where he became a climbing instructor and ski rescuer. The impetus of his desire to transform his passion into a profession is clearly written in the rock walls of Italy!

After years of preparation and training, Marco earned his UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide certification in 2009, fulfilling one of his life’s greatest dreams. Today, in addition to guiding, he is a volunteer with an association of ex-Alpini that carry out social welfare projects, and in the past has served as a Boy Scout troop leader in his home town. When Marco is not in the Dolomites, he resides in his native Padova with his wife and child, where he manages two indoor climbing gyms. Marco is fluent in Italian and English. And to this day, he still goes out on excursions with his father!

Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, and Skiing Guide

Massimo was born and raised in the mountains of northern Italy, in the Natisone River Valley near the Slovenian border. A stone’s throw from Slovenia’s Julian Alps, he spent his childhood walking, climbing, and skiing in these mountains, discovering his passion for and the beauty of the Alps.

He earned his UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide certification, becoming a professional mountain guide, and today Massimo guides trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, via ferrata, snow shoeing, heli skiing, ski touring, ski safari, and ice climbing itineraries. Massimo views his outdoor endeavors as “not only a sport but a lifestyle, which puts us in a position to enjoy the mountains in all its aspects… the desire to convey these emotions to other people and to allow them to live it with confidence and total freedom, led me to take the challenging course necessary to become a Mountain Guide – a passion becomes a profession for the love of the mountains, its people, and its silences.” 

While Massimo is based in the Dolomites, he has also guided in other areas of the Alps including Austria, Switzerland, France (including Chamonix), and of course, neighboring Slovenia. He loves to explore, and whether it is in the Dolomites or beyond, and enjoys taking guests on routes where none of them have been – including himself – so that there is a unique, new adventure for everyone! He is fluent in English, Italian, German, French, and Slovenian.

Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, and Skiing Guide

Alberto, or “Albi” as he is called by his friends, was born in Northern Italy’s Padova and began visiting the Dolomites when he was a child. He climbed his first via ferrata at age 14, but it was when he took a climbing course with a guide at age 21 that everything else became secondary. From this experience, the desire to become a mountain guide began to burn in him, with the realization that it was possible to make a living while pursuing his passion.

Albi studied economics and earned his degree from the University in Venice in 2005. In 2007 he moved to Arabba in the Dolomites and began his mountain guide coursework, and started guiding full time as an Aspirant Guide in late 2008. In Fall of 2011 he earned his UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide certification, becoming a professional mountain guide, and today he guides trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, via ferrata, snow shoeing, heli skiing, ski touring, ski safari, and ice climbing itineraries. While based in the Dolomites, Albi has also guided in other areas of the Alps including Austria, Switzerland, and France (including Chamonix). He loves to explore, and whether it is in the Dolomites or beyond, he enjoys taking guests on routes where none of them have been – including himself – so that there is a unique, new adventure for everyone!

“I have a deep passion for what I do in the mountains,” he says. This is unmistakable – the minute you sit down to talk to Albi, his face lights up with enthusiasm for guiding and climbing and skiing and the Dolomites! He is also enthusiastic about Dolomites cuisine – and is happy to offer suggestions about the best dishes at restaurants and the huts (he has many grateful, satisfied customers), as well as to recommend wines and grappas. Albi continues to call the Dolomites his home, where he lives with his partner and their baby. He is fluent in Italian and English, and also speaks a bit of French.

Luca Gasparini - UIAGM mountain guideLUCA GASPARINI
Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, Mountain Biking, and Skiing Guide

It seems Luca was always destined to be a guide. Born in 1965, he has been skiing since he was seven, rock climbing since he was 18, and ice climbing since he was 19. While he is an electrical engineer by training, he is a mountaineer at heart, and his passion for the outdoors has driven him to travel the world – Luca has skied and/or climbed on almost every continent!

Luca is originally from Legnago in the northeast corner of Italy (in the province of Verona), and currently resides in Val di Fassa in the Dolomites with his partner and their baby. He is bilingual, fluent in both English and Italian. Not only is he an exceptional and enthusiastic guide, he has also been able to combine his engineering background with his passion for sport, with projects ranging from installing rock climbing walls to teaching rope work and tree climbing safety systems. 

Luca earned his UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide  certification in 2003, and works as a trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, canyoning, mountain biking, snow shoeing guide, heli skiing, ski touring, off-track-skiing, ski safari, ice climbing, and paragliding guide. Somehow he also finds time to compete in mountain biking, ciclocross, and ice climbing events! “The curiosity to know new places, have different experiences, and to share sports activities with other people, is the spark that lights me. The recent birth of my son Milo has further enriched the emotions of my life." A phrase that identifies Luca: "Every day deserves to be lived as if it were the last. One life, live it!"

Marcello Cominetti - UIAGM mountain guide - DolomitesMARCELLO COMINETTI
Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, and Skiing Guide

Marcello was born in Genova, Italy, in 1961. He is no stranger to travel and new places, as his father worked with major oil companies when he was a child and they moved frequently. Marcello began to visit the mountains early on, and had his first experience of mountaineering when he just sixteen. Immediately fascinated by this world, he began to make friends older climbers who had more experience in the mountains, so that he could learn as much as possible, as quickly as possible. At eighteen, he was already able to climb a grade 7 mountain (at the top of the difficulty scale), and since then he has dedicated his life to climbing and skiing.

In 1984, Marcello moved to the Dolomites, and at twenty-three, he became a professional UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide and started to make a living from his newfound profession straight away. He is an extreme skier and alpinist, and has climbed a good number of the great classic routes in the Alps and a number of Himalayan summits. In 1992, he led the first guided ascent of Cerro Fitz Roy in Argentine Patagonia. He is a pioneer of speed climbing in the Dolomites, where he opened over 20 new routes, and also made the first ski descents of a number of steep faces in the Eastern Alps. He not only shares his passion with clients, but he has also been an instructor of mountain-guide courses since the early 2000s.

Today, in addition to guiding, he divides his time between his children, climbing, skiing, traveling, and exploring remote areas. He lives in La Court (Livinallongo-Dolomiti), a small town between Sella, Marmolada, and Civetta Dolomite peaks. He loves photography, and also shoots and edits films. He works with a range of specialist and non-specialist magazines, in particular writing reportages, which he considers to be the best way to portray the mountains. He is fluent in Italian, English, and Spanish.

Marcello writes “I would like to guide you through the most beautiful lines in the Dolomites, giving you a glimpse into their deep history. In this way I hope we can revisit alpine culture by following the path laid for us by the pioneers.”

Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, Mountain Biking, and Skiing Guide 

Paolo started climbing as a child, on the pylons of cranes and warehouses near his house, stealing the laundry lines from his mom, inventing maneuvers that today he would consider part of a horror movie! When he “graduated” to real ropes, he began to climb everywhere… the Dolomites, which he deeply loves, western Italy, the ice-laden Andes, the challenging granite in California, as well as exploring the world on skis. He has climbed the most beautiful and difficult mountains in the Dolomites, as well as the French and Swiss Alps. 

Born in 1965, Paulo hails from Trieste, Italy, on the sea near the Slovenian border. He grew up primarily in the Veneto region to the west, but returned to Trieste to complete his superior studies. Currently based in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Paolo has been guiding professionally since 1999, and became a certified UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide in 2001. “I’m extremely lucky that I’m based in the Dolomites that, as you might know, are a UNESCO World Heritage area.” Today he guides summers and winters in the Dolomites, but has also guided ski mountaineering tours in Bulgaria, Turkey, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, France, Spain, and Slovenia, as well as rock climbing in Perù, Bolivia, Chile, the USA, and other parts of North America. “The most beautiful day with a customer...? One that ends up in front of a beer, to dream another adventure.”

When Paolo is not working, he loves to spend time with his wife, doing the same activities that he does as a guide, as well as scuba diving around the world, and searching for new places to take clients. As if that weren’t enough, Paolo has worked on a helicopter rescue team since 1999, and conducts safety seminars for the high-roped access workers in between the summer and winter guiding seasons. He is a native Italian speaker, and speaks English and Spanish fluently, as well as some German and French. His favorite countries so far? The USA, Norway, and Canada. His next dream trip? Skiing Chile’s volcanoes!

Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, and Skiing Guide

Marco loves living in the mountains. Born in the foothills of the Dolomites in Valdagno, near the Piccole Dolomiti (the Small Dolomites, also referred to as prealpi or foothills), he has always been an avid skier, climber, and hiker. In his youth he was a professional alpine ski racer (until 1982), and later was a trainer for the Italian National Ski Team on the World Cup Men's circuit, before becoming a guide.

In the early 1980s Marco departed from the Dolomites to study at Modena University, but was never far from the mountains – Modena sits a just few kilometers from the Apennines, the mountain range that extends across the length of the Italian peninsula. In 1986, Marco earned his degree in Economy and Commerce. Upon his return to the Dolomites, he earned his UIAGM/IFMGA mountain guide certification in 1993, and became a professional mountain guide.

In addition to his current career as a hiking, ferrata, climbing, and skiing guide, Marco recently worked as the general director for the ski area Valzoldana at the Ski Civetta resort in the Dolomites. He not only enjoys all types of sports, but he also enjoys reading history books, continuing to build on his education. Marco is fluent in Italian and English. He resides in Belluno on the southern edge of the Dolomites with his wife and two children.

Hiking Guide

For Marco, the mountain comes first. He has spent most of his life hanging on some rock wall, or some ice waterfall, up and down in mountain places here and there in the world, or skiing untouched slopes of virgin snow… Following his passion, Marco began guiding in 2013.  He guides all mountain sports, including hiking, mountaineering, rock and ice climbing, via ferrata, ski touring, and freeride sking, and is working toward his UIAGM/IFMGA Professional Mountain Guide certification.

Marco was born in 1984 small village near Treviso, south of the Dolomites, and moved to the Dolomites when he was 20. While he studied architecture for 4 years, the mountains ultimately called him back “home” to become a guide. He climbs and guides because “the mountains are my natural habitat. I'm lucky, I know: I climb or ski almost every day… every day I take advantage of this paradise… I decided that becoming a mountain guide would be a good way to give something back to ‘my’ mountain.”

Based in Falcade in the Dolomites, Marco speaks Italian, Spanish, and English. Although he has traveled to some of the worlds most beautiful mountains – Patagonia, the Himalayas, and California – he continues to return to the Dolomites, because he has “not found a place in the world more magical!"


Hiking, Via Ferrata, Climbing, and Skiing Guide

Climber, extreme skier, and guide, Alessandro has a true love of the land. Perhaps his degree in “Geography and Territorial Processes” from the University of Padua was our first clue? Born in 1986, Alessandro graduated from university in 2007, became an Alpine Guide in 2008, and earned his UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide certification in 2010. Before becoming a guide, Alessandro competed as an alpine skier from 1996 to 2000. He has climbed over 300 routes in the Dolomites, climbed and ski toured all over the Alps, and trekked, climbed, and skied in Mali, Algeria, Greenland, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan.

Alessandro not only shares his passion for the mountains through guiding, but also through writing. He is a published author, with a ski touring guide book to his credit, articles in Alp, Telemark Mag, Skialper, and Outdoor Magazine, as well as online reportages detailing the history of alpinism in Dolomites, and outdoor winter activities. 

“For me working as Mountain Guide means following the seasons' flow, trying to catch the essence of adventure in the mountains. It's an amazing job, especially if you live in the world's most wonderful region!!” Alessandro divides his time between Val di Fassa in the Dolomites, and Arco to the southwest where he manages the climbing stadium, home to the annual Sport Climbing World Championship. He speaks English and German, and discreetly just a hint of French.

Hiking Guide

Karin was born and raised in the Dolomites, and currently resides in Corvara in Alta Badia. This has given her plentiful opportunities to pursue outdoor activities year round: she telemark skis, ski tours, hikes, rock climbs, climbs glaciers, and has cross country skied and cycled competitively.

In 2007, Karin began guiding. Her personal mission is to transmit knowledge, and guiding, being able to share her enthusiasm with her groups, is one of her favorite ways to do this. But she doesn’t stop there. In addition to being a hiking guide in her beloved Dolomites, Karin has been a science and chemistry teacher at the high school in Alta Badia since 1995, and has guided her teenage students on countless local and international excursions. In the fall of 2011 she became a yoga teacher, which allows her to share her message of peace and global understanding. And she also works as an art director, making documentaries about Ladin arts and culture.

Her other passions? Travel and photography. She is fluent in six languages: her native Italian, German, and Ladin (a minority language recognized in parts of the Dolomites), in addition to English, French, and Spanish, and can be spotted around the globe anywhere from Japan to Washington state during the off-season!

Hiking and Skiing Guide

Cristina was born in the Dolomites, and has played in these mountains her entire life. She began skiing at the young age of 3, and has hiked here forever, starting with her active parents when she was just a little girl. Its no wonder two of her favorite things to do today are ski and hike!

For 10 years, beginning at the age of 15, Cristina competed on the Italian National Ski Team. She was a participant in the World Championship in Garmisch, Germany, and the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, USA. With 10 years of downhill skiing World Cup Races in the late 1970s and early 1980s, she was ranked one of the 15 best female downhill skiers in the world for several years. She followed her skiing career with 15 years of skydiving all around the world. Cristina completed more than 1,000 jumps from 3,962 meters (13,000'), including participating in some large formations during free fall.

In the winter, Cristina is both an Alpine and Telemark Skiing instructor, specializing in freeride skiing. In the summer she is a hiking guide, and also works at a Paragliding-Tandem Center in Alta Badia. She fluent in English, Italian, German, and Ladin (a minority language recognized in parts of the Dolomites).

Cristina was born in 1960 in Bolzano, and currently lives in Corvara in Alta Badia, both within the South Tyrol / Alto Adige area of the Dolomites. She has an adult daughter, also an active outdoorswoman, who Cristina loves to hike and play outdoors with. In her free time she pursues her true passion, telemark skiing off-piste, as often as possible. In the summertime, she loves to hike, climb, bike, and swim. Her favorite places outside the Dolomites are not far – the Austrian and Swiss Alps, as well as the Italian island of Elba for biking, Sicily and Lake of Garda for climbing, and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands for surfing. “Doing sports in the wonderful nature of the Dolomites is my lovely life and passion,” Cristina says. “I love to share it with people who want to discover our beautiful country!”

Giulia Monego - Dolomite Mountains guideGIULIA MONEGO
Hiking Guide

Since childhood Giulia has dedicated herself to her passion for the mountains and snow. This passion took her first from the Venetian waters of her birth to the Dolomites, and then to Verbier in the Swiss Alps which she currently calls home. Between the ages of 13 and 20 Giulia found success in a competitive alpine racing career; more recently she has moved into the world of freeriding and achieved great competitive and personal success. 

As a professional skier and a passionate mountaineer, Giulia lives to share her love for riding free. She has been teaching skiing since 2002, and guiding since 2006. She loves to meet new people and experience new cultures, so when she is not teaching, guiding, skiing, or competing you can find her traveling the world, exploring new countries and making new friends – easier for her than most since she speaks Italian, English, French, and Spanish!  Leveraging her well-earned recognition and respect, in 2010 she co-founded the NGO Summits4kids.org with 2 other world-class female skiers, dedicated to helping disadvantaged children.

Giulia is currently an Aspirant Guide, working toward her UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain Guide certification. She joins us each summer as a hiking and trekking guide (when is not skiing or circling the globe!), and resides in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Mountain Biking, Road Biking, and Hiking Guide

Born in Colfosco, Alta Badia, a province of Bolzano in the Dolomites, Andrè wasn’t always a mountain guide. In fact, his first profession was as an electrician, something he still does during the off season. The call of nature, however, was too strong and he became a ski and snowboard instructor at the ski school in Colfosco in 1993. He is particularly passionate about skiing off piste on the beautiful mountains of the Dolomites. The warmer months find Andrè cycling the breathtaking trails that weave through the forests and the mountains of the area, as well as along the many Dolomite passes. If he’s not cycling, he’s hiking somewhere or climbing a via ferrata, especially on his favorites Tomaselli, Piz da Lech, and Mesules. 

A world traveler, some of Andrè’s fondest memories involve visits to Thailand, Australia, the Caribbean Islands, as well as biking in Mallorca and Tuscany, Sardinia, Marche and the Alps. He is fluent in six languages: his native Italian, German, and Ladin (a minority language recognized in parts of the Dolomites), in addition to English. At home in the Dolomites, Andrè likes to dine on traditional Dolomites dishes like turtres (fried, stuffed pancakes), Spetzle, gnoch da zigher (cheese dumplings), and enjoy a glass or two of the excellent wines from Alto Adige – Gewuerztraminer and Lagrein.

Andreas - Dolomite Mountains GuideANDREAS IRSARA
Hiking, Trail Running, Road Biking, and Mountain Biking Guide

Andreas began guiding hiking and mountain biking in 1998. An avid cyclist himself, according to his friends he has clocked millions of kilometers on his bike (although he claims it’s “only” thousands). In addition to guiding, he shares his passion for cycling by coaching kids. 

During the winter, when the trails are covered in snow, Andreas is an inexhaustible skier, ski instructor, and ski guide. He skis in every discipline – alpine, backcountry, telemark, cross country, as well as snowboarding (he has been an AMSI and ISIA certified ski and snowboard instructor since 1995). When he is not on a bike or skis, he is also a runner, climber, and paraglider, and has raced in almost every sport imaginable – currently ski mountaineering, cross country skiing, trail running, running, cycling marathons, mountain biking, and in the past downhill skiing, swimming, duathlons (run-bike-run). And, as if that weren’t enough, in addition to his athletic pursuits, Andreas is a furniture maker!

Andreas a native of La Villa, in the Alta Badia valley of the Dolomites. He loves to explore, and became a guide so he could increase the knowledge of the area where he lives – the incredible Dolomites. He is fluent his native Italian, German, and Ladin (a minority language recognized in parts of the Dolomites), as well as English and Spanish, and also speaks a bit of French and Russian. He currently lives in La Villa with his family, including his brother Ivan who also guides for Dolomite Mountains.

Hiking, Mountain Biking, and Road Biking Guide

A native of the Dolomites, Richard hails from La Villa in the Alta Badia valley. He began his career working for the forest service, where he did trail maintenance in the Puez-Odle and Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Parks, repairing trails with new steps made of stone and wood. He also worked cutting trees to clear the way for new forest roads, as well as planting trees to serve as avalanche barriers. After working for the forest service for numerous years, the expression of his love for the outdoors shifted to working with people, and he began guiding in 2010.

In the summer Richard guides hiking and biking trips. He loves to road bike, hike, and trail run, but his true passion lies in mountain biking – he is always looking for new trails to explore, and pushing the limits of what hiking trails can actually be cycled! In the winter he is an alpine ski, telemark ski, and snowboard instructor at the Dolomites ski school. His outdoor forays quickly turn to the same trails he cycles in summer, now covered with snow, backcountry ski touring on skins in search of untracked turns.

When Richard was younger, he played soccer on the Alta Badia Team. If you walk with him through the valley, you may hear people greet him as “Bokšić” – he is the spitting image of Alen Bokšić, the Croatian player from the Italian Juventus football club! Richard is fluent in four languages: his native Italian, German, and Ladin (a minority language recognized in parts of the Dolomites), in addition to English which he learned in high school. He met his wife in his home town of La Villa, in Alta Badia, where they currently reside with their two daughters.


Hiking, Road Biking, and Mountain Biking Guide

Andreas has always had a deep passion for the mountains. Born in 1987, he learned this from his father at an early age; as a child he started hiking during summer and skiing in winter. This led to several years skiing competitively. In 2008, at age 21, he earned his ski instructor degree, turning his passion into a real job! In the winter, he works at the ski school "Dolomites” at La Villa in Alta Badia.

But what to do in summer? The following year he began to learn to paraglide, but this was quickly trumped by bicycling – his real passion. It all began with a road bike. Amazed by the beautiful scenery of the Dolomites, he began riding. In 2010 he qualified as a bike guide, and started work at a cycling company in Alta Badia. In Andreas’ free time, he trains for various amateur cycling races and of course for the legendary “Maratona dles Dolomites” where he consistently places well.
To add to his guiding repertoire, in 2014 he graduated as a hiking guide. Andreas currently lives in La Villa in Alta Badia. He is a native Ladino, and speaks Ladin, German, Italian, and a bit of English.

Maria Paula Medina

Hiking Guide and Yoga Instructor

Paula’s free spirit shines through the moment you meet her. Her love of nature in all of its manifestations is contagious! Born in Argentina in 1983, she began hiking with her father there at age 11, and went on to explore trails throughout Latin America. She arrived in the Dolomites in 2009, and from her first day here she decided to stay for a while. She hasn’t left yet! Her passion for climbing started here in Italy, and when she is not guiding or teaching yoga, she spends all of her time rock climbing and ice climbing, as well as hiking with her dog Scott. This passion has led her to travel to Alps, Yosemite, and Patagonia to climb.

Paula combines her love of the outdoors with a passion for art. After college, she continued her studies, pursuing degrees in architecture, visual arts, and the relationship between technology and culture in today’s society. As an artist, she creates paintings and large-scale installations that are inspired by the spiritual quest and inner strength of every person.

Yoga became part of Paula’s life at age 18, becoming an instructor at age 27. She has logged many hours of training in both Argentina and India, and specializes in hatha and vinyasa styles of yoga. Today she leads yoga and arts retreats in Italy and Spain, practicing yoga outdoors, in contact with nature, and leads both group and private therapeutic yoga in the Dolomites. Paula is fluent in Italian, English, and Spanish.