In this post I want to tell you about something I don’t talk about very much, something that I love: my passion for the mountains.
What I like best about being there is the feeling of being in direct contact with nature. It also allows me to spend quality time with my brother and other friends and to be with only a few people (something that is very nice once in a while). When I’m in the mountains, surrounded by calm, I totally disconnect, and this helps me quite a bit with sports. Mountain sports clearly don’t have much to do with racing, but they do allow me to supplement my physical training. The best thing is breaking with my routine, disconnecting, and enjoying nature.
When I plan a trek I usually do it the same day; I don’t plan much. I wake up early in the morning and get together with some friends. I have a big breakfast before going out, but of course you always need to take along some supplies to make sure you keep your energy levels up. A few muesli bars and something to drink is necessary and, depending on how long the route is, we take sandwiches too.
I almost always go with my brother Alex, and my assistant, José Luis, often comes along, too. We go on short trips: we do the trek we’ve got planned and then go home later the same day. I like to mix it up and do lots of different activities. Lately I mostly go trekking, skiing, and snowshoeing, but I’ve also gone ski mountaineering in the past. I’ve come close to trying out rock climbing several times, but I’ve never got round to it. One day I will.
It’s difficult to choose a favourite place when there are so many so close to home! I really like the Pyrenees because, aside from being nearby, they are the ideal location at any time of year. In the winter I go snowshoeing and downhill skiing, and in the summer I go hiking. I don’t do a lot of different routes, but every year I go to the Pic de Comapedrosa because one time I climbed it and it brought me good luck. It’s the highest mountain in Andorra. It’s beautiful and I really like it. I would recommend it to anyone in the area who’s looking for an amazing landscape.
Finally, a couple of recommendations and warnings to keep in mind when going to the mountains – or at least precautions I usually take:
- Always go with another person and use the paths you know best or ones that are well-marked.
- You should always make sure you’re well equipped and your clothes and footwear are suitable for the terrain and temperature. I personally like to take a little backpack with all the essentials: mobile, keys, and something to eat. It’s very comfortable and practical.
- Always take your mobile, just in case.
- Make sure your clothing is suitable for the weather and the type of activity to avoid being too hot or too cold.
The activity you decide to do depends a great deal on your tastes, and also on whether you’re looking for an extreme or more gentle sport. The good thing about mountains is that you can enjoy them regardless of your fitness level. The same peak can be climbed by a 20-year-old kid running like a crazy person and a more relaxed 60-year-old, and both of them will have a great time.
Remember that even if you’re cautious, anything can happen. Who hasn’t gotten lost in the mountains some time? You need to be really careful.
The most important thing about falling is getting back up so, whatever happens, keep seeking new goals and challenges, always while respecting the environment. Mountains give us a lot and it’s important to leave them as we found them.
Best wishes from Marc Márquez.