Mechanic turned mountain guide
Looking relaxed in cool flip-flops, sports clothing and an Adidas cap, Matthias Schiestl greets us warmly when we meet at the Mayrhofen Tourist Office. We are excited to find out more about the professional mountain guide and climber.
Mountains were always Matthias’ passion, although to begin with his life took another direction: "I did an apprenticeship to become a mechanic, but soon realised that it wasn’t for me," he explains with a laugh.
A state-qualified mountain guide at 20 years old
"Lots of my friends are mountain guides and they often took me with them on tours. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to take the entrance exam for the mountain guide training course – and I passed it first time.", says Matthias of the start of his career.
Shortly after completing the course and receiving his master’s qualification, the then 20 year old’s dream came true: As one of the youngest mountain guides in Austria, he opened his own alpine training centre in Mayrhofen in the Ziller Valley.
From ski-touring to via ferrata
Quality, safety and fun on the mountain are what counts according to Matthias: "I want my clients to experience the beauty of the mountains up close.", he says, speaking from the heart. His clients appreciate the wide range of activities which his school offers – in both summer and winter. In addition to ski-touring, ice-climbing, freeriding and snowshoe walking in the winter months, he offers hiking, mountaineering and climbing toursin summer. Of course, each tour is tailored to the client according to their level of experience - from beginner to experienced.
Climbing and walking in the Ziller Valley
For Matthias Schiestl, mountains are synonymous with peace and tranquillity, sport and beauty. However, he doesn’t only enjoy working in the mountains. In his free time the mountain guide loves to scale the peaks of the Ziller Valley. "My favourite mountain in winter is the Schrammacher. There are so many great slopes for skiing. In summer I love to climb the Feldkopf. From the small peak, where there is a 300 metre drop on either side, the views are absolutely breath-taking.", reveals the professional climber.
His ambition: to place in the top 20 in the Climbing World Cup
When Matthias isn’t busy with work, he is training hard for his next challenge: the Climbing World Championship. After several international successes, the three times international mountain guide champion has his sights set on one thing: "I want to place in the top 20 in the World Cup." Matthias is supported by several sponsors including Adidas, TVB Mayrhofen and EVOLV. "My sponsors enable me to continue living my life in the mountains.", says Matthias, who is grateful for the financial support. His girlfriend, who is just as fanatical about mountains as he is, also supports him in all his endeavours.
A mountain top proposal
Matthias has had many amazing experiences in the mountains. But what has been his most unforgettable moment? "I was on a tour with a couple for work. The climb up the mountain was hard work until we reached the summit, where several hikers were enjoying a break. When we got to the peak, the man unpacked a small box, got down on one knee in front of his girlfriend and asked her to marry him. There was total silence and all of the other hikers looked at the couple. Then, to thunderous applause, she said "yes".I was so pleased to share this special and unforgettable moment."
Mayrhofen im Zillertal: Home of the mountain guide
Mayrhofen in the Ziller Valley is Matthias Schiestl’s hometown. But the town means much more to him: "Mayrhofen is not only the perfect location for my business but also for the things I love in life: my friends, my family and my mountains." As an ambassador for Mayrhofen, his wants to people to know that: "Mayrhofen is a fascinating place. It is difficult to describe what makes it so special. Come and visit and experience the breath-taking landscape for yourself."