Rob Coppolillo on the IFMGA path, guidebooks, moving to Chamonix and more
It’s tough to pin Rob Coppolillo down. Between working as an IFMGA guide, writing a book (his third), raising a family and moving to Chamonix, France, (and traveling to ski in distant lands like Svalbard) you could call him…busy. But we were lucky to get him into the Carbondale ski shop bar/podcast studio during the doldrums of summer for some good old banter.
A co-founder of Vetta Mountain Guides, it took Rob some time to truly find his professional way into the mountains. He raced bikes for a decade before embarking on the all-consuming journey to IFMGA certification. Now he’s a proud wearer of the official IFMGA Guide pin, which he’ll be using regularly at his new post in the French Alps where the guide scene is quite different in the U.S. He delves into the why and how in the podcast (no spoilers). He also teaches avalanche education courses and contributed to content development for the recent AIARE recreation division courses, including the AIARE rec Level II. Having penned the AMGA textbook for climbing, he’s now working on the ski version of it scheduled for release in late 2020. Dude knows his stuff.
Conversation highlights: skiing from a boat, retreating Arctic sea ice, carbon offsets for wide-roaming ski travel, the IFMGA path, eco-friendly industry developments, writing the Mountain Guide Manual and the next iteration: the Mountain Guide ski manual and more.
Stories abound with Rob, and so does humor. Five minutes into talking and you’ll feel like you’re family. Maybe it’s the whole Italian thing, or the fact that he’s just a genuine guy that enjoys sharing the fruits of the mountains with others. Whatever may be, a great time was had by all. Have a listen.
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While most of the WildSnow backcountry skiing blog posts are best attributed to a single author, some work well as done by the group.