Blog
Categories
© Tirol Werbung / Rodler Ilvy
Food & Drink
© Tirol Werbung / Hörterer Lisa
Companies
© Bert Heinzelmeier
People
© Tirol Werbung / Schreyer David
Architecture
© Tirol Werbung / Aichner Bernhard
Arts & Culture
© Tirol Werbung / Moore Casey
Recommendations
© Tirol Werbung / Haindl Ramon
Feel Good
© Tirol Werbung / Webhofer Mario
Nature
© Tirol Werbung / Herbig Hans
Family
© Tirol Werbung / Schwarz Jens
Bits & Pieces
© Tirol Werbung / Neusser Peter
Sports
Jagdhausalmen Alpine Pastures, Defereggen, East Tirol, Austria, Europe
Specials

New Directions: The Mountain Guide

Updated 12 days ago in People, Photos: Verena Kathrein

Money vs. mountains: Tourism or nature? Mountain guide Martina Mrak is in favour of steering towards the middle ground: Tourism in harmony with nature.
Money vs. mountains: Tourism or nature? Mountain guide Martina Mrak is in favour of steering towards the middle ground: Tourism in harmony with nature.

Martina Mrak recognises a similar desire in all her clients: a longing for unspoiled nature. But for Tirol to preserve its pristine mountain landscape, there needs to be a willingness to compromise. 

“When the pandemic hit in spring 2020, it was a challenging time for me and my colleagues: Right in the middle of the season the number of guests plummeted to zero overnight. Most ski and mountain guides work freelance, so that meant that we were left with zero income.

Do our guests really expect high-tech infrastructure everywhere they go? Or would they be equally as happy, if not happier, if they could simply dive into nature?

As soon as the restrictions were lifted and we were allowed to head back into the mountains, we were straight back to work. Our job involves small groups and the outdoors, and on top of that, many more individuals had rediscovered an appreciation for freedom and nature after going through periods of lockdown. And that’s often the case: We only notice what’s really important to us when it’s suddenly missing.

The humbleness of the mountain: The sight of the rugged Schlicker Seespitze peak and Riepenwand mountain can make you feel quite small.
The humbleness of the mountain: The sight of the rugged Schlicker Seespitze peak and Riepenwand mountain can make you feel quite small.

The guests I spend time with are looking for pristine nature. They book a mountain guide because they want us to show them the tranquil places, the ones that are far off the beaten track. I think that this kind of longing is becoming a social trend on a larger scale. The question is: Do our guests really expect high-tech infrastructure everywhere they go? Or would they be equally as happy, if not happier, if they could simply dive into nature? Working in the tourism industry, I recognise that this is a controversial topic. I wish we could find some middle ground. It’s not just about us humans, it’s also about the flora and fauna.

“In the future we have to work together on becoming more sustainable,” says mountain guide Martina Mrak.
“In the future we have to work together on becoming more sustainable,” says mountain guide Martina Mrak.

Compromises are possible: I, for example, think it’s good that individuals climb a mountain using an e-bike. Otherwise, they might never be able to reach that summit. But out of consideration to other trail users, hikers, and the environment, there should be designated e-bike trails – these already exist in many areas.

Looking Ahead

This article is part of the “Looking Ahead” series, which dives into the minds of individuals who have dared to step into the future, their story, and their views on Tirol.

This past year has taught us that we can achieve a lot if we work together. We have to work together on becoming more sustainable in the future – especially up here in the mountains but also in the valleys. It’s not only because nature makes us healthier and happier, but also because we cannot live without it.”

Mountain Guide

Martina Mrak

Mountain guide Martina Mrak, born 1970, has been out and about in the Alps ever since she can remember. She’s a very experienced sport climbing trainer and also works as a translator for German, English and Spanish for the Austrian Association of Mountain and Ski Guides.

Last article from Wolfgang Westermeier
titelbild
Updated on 05.07.2021 in Nature
Little escapes: the best places to unwind in Tirol
9 min reading time
Unbenannt-1 Kopie
Updated on 10.05.2021 in Nature
Getting Your Hands Dirty: Farmyard Holidays
9 min reading time
20-07-24-HP-Paul-Schweinester-73-1
Updated on 19.03.2021 in Arts & Culture
An Acoustic Journey Through Tirol
11 min reading time
Tirolwerbung-Winderwanderung-2137
Updated on 19.03.2021 in Nature
Kartitsch: Stress-Free Winter Walking in East Tirol
10 min reading time
Lucknerhütte
Updated on 19.03.2021 in Food & Drink
A Vegetarian Guide to Tirol
8 min reading time
Marmot fat is still used to make a cream said to have a soothing effect on the muscles and joints, though today it is more of a souvenir than a salve.
Updated on 03.02.2021 in Nature
Tirol’s „Big Five“
4 min reading time
Ort:
Updated on 18.01.2021 in Feel Good
5 Ways to Find Your Inner Balance
3 min reading time
Updated on 17.11.2020 in Nature
In Other Spheres
4 min reading time
Searching for marmots.
Updated on 25.05.2020 in Nature
The Fantastic Big Five and Where to Find Them
10 min reading time
30.03.2021 in Arts & Culture
min reading time
TEXT Wolfgang Westermeier | PHOTOS Sebastian Schels
25.03.2021 in Sports
Ice, Ice Baby!
10 min reading time
22.12.2020 in Nature
5 Natural Winter Wonders in Tirol
3 min reading time
Der Ballon wird  startklar gemacht.
17.11.2020 in Recommendations
Happiness is nothing but hot air
8 min reading time
All articles from Wolfgang Westermeier
No comments available
Write comment

Keep reading

Go up
Is your inbox in need of a holiday?

Then subscribe to our weekly newsletter full of exclusive holiday tips from Tirol!