Talking in Torino, Italy – Presentation Goes Well

Post by blogger | February 28, 2012      
Visual food humor, crosses the language barrier.

Visual food humor, crosses the language barrier. Yeah, that's me.

When you do public speaking on lighter subjects, you’re supposed to keep as much humor flowing as possible. I’m not as good at that as some of the raconteurs of the ski world (Andrew McLean comes to mind), but I always get a few laughs. That is, when the audience understands English. Luckily, most of the folks at my Italian venue got enough of what I was saying to understand the gist, if not even a laugh now and then. Nonetheless, a few times I whipped off one of my humorous stories only to be met with the wall of silence. Talk about humbling.

Ironic thing is that I’ve been trying to become a better public talker and not put so much emphasis on the visuals, yet when go up against a language challenge you need to fall back to your visuals. Seems a new task is always around the corner. At least I’ll not claim my life is boring.

At any rate, my Italian hosts (the Turin ski touring school of the Italian Alpine Club) were incredibly gracious and helpful. Especially Elena Cottini, who went the extra nine yards to help arrange a few ski tours.

And yes, Italians talk. I’m pretty sure the introductions lasted longer than my presentation. Thanks to translator Laura Sgarlanzetta I got the first part since I was sitting in the audience with her and she could translate next to me. For the second part (or was it the third part?) of the intro I sat up front with journalist Linda Cottino with no translator so I just had assume she said good things, even if she did probably exaggerate a bit. Like I say, if nothing else “keep the myth alive!”

Torino introduction in Torino at Monte de Cappuccini

Linda Cottino introduces me to the Torino ski touring crowd at Monte de Cappuccini, which I was assured is NOT a coffee shop on the mountain, though the resturant does of course serve caffee.

Monte, Torino Turin Italy

The venue for my presentation was easily the most exotic I've ever been privileged to be hosted by. Monte dei Cappuccini is an ancient monastery and church (1656) that still provides home to a group of Franciscan monks. Much of the building is taken by the Italian Alpine Club's Museum and Library, while a nice restaurant exists as well as numerous meeting rooms and offices.

Another view of the Monte, this one a bit more sublime.

I shot this travel brochure style shot during a walk around the city. Another view of the Monte dei Cappuccini, this one a bit more sublime. River is the Po, which defines the 'Po Valley

View Larger Map


Please Enjoy A Few Suggested WildSnow Posts


8 Responses to “Talking in Torino, Italy – Presentation Goes Well”

  1. Mark W February 28th, 2012 10:51 am

    What a fantastic venue indeed. Never heard of such disparate groups sharing an edifice.

  2. Andy February 28th, 2012 11:22 am

    Lou, Congrats on this! What a great honor!

  3. Lou February 28th, 2012 12:39 pm

    Mark, don’t be so sure, I think I know a few backcountry skier guys who are monks.

  4. Carl Pelletier February 28th, 2012 8:14 pm

    I’m going to guess……OREO… the dessert. Finally, I got one!

    Nice Lou. Considering the history of skiing over in Europe and specifically, Italy….you are in good company and to be chosen to speak….quite an honor. Congrats Lou. Safe travels back across “the pond”.

  5. Silas Wild February 28th, 2012 11:18 pm

    How about some views of the mountains from the Monestary / Alpine Museum? Looks like the weather was good, when we visited it was pouring rain and dumping new snow in the hills. A little over an hour drive from Aosta. That building and the museum are beautiful and informative.

    The ultimate alpinist monk in my opinion is Padre Alberto de Agostini, pretty much the guy who put Patagonian peaks in the minds of Europeans (and later North Americans) with his Andes Patagonicos published in 1945. Padre de Agostini was a Salesian (sp?) based in Punta Arenas, an explorer in the spirit of the Duke of the Abruzzi and a photographer in the spirit of Vittorio Sella.

    Torino meat and vegetable open air market is awesome, too. The city is a great day diversion from the mountains in bad weather.

  6. dmr February 29th, 2012 12:15 am

    Congrats, Lou. Glad the presentation went well.

    Torino is well located, with lots of options depending on the snow/weather conditions.

    My dad told me that the greatest alpinist monk was Father Guido Sarducci, my guess is that he was mistaken.

    On a serious note, one of the main reasons most Italian summits – both major and minor – have crosses is that once upon a time, priests / reverends / etc. would take the youth (mostly boys I would guess) out into the mountains with one of the missions being to, well, put a cross on the summit.

  7. Ali E February 29th, 2012 2:15 pm

    Mark, what Lou said. A number of the monks at the St Bernard Hospice are IFMGA guides.

  8. Julian March 2nd, 2012 3:21 pm

    Lou, it was a real pleasure to meet you in Turin. Your talk was really inspiring for the audience, as your passion for the sport we are all so dedicated to beamed across the room! The Maira Valley is waiting for you and your family, come back next winter 🙂

  Your Comments

  Recent Posts

Facebook Twitter Email Instagram Youtube

WildSnow Twitter Feed


  • Blogroll & Links

  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

    All material on this website is copyrighted, the name WildSnow is trademarked, permission required for reproduction (electronic or otherwise) and display on other websites. PLEASE SEE OUR COPYRIGHT and TRADEMARK INFORMATION.

    We include "affiliate sales" links with most of our blog posts. This means we receive a percentage of a sale if you click over from our site (at no cost to you). None of our affiliate commission links are direct relationships with specific gear companies or shopping carts, instead we remain removed by using a third party who manages all our affiliate sales and relationships. We also sell display "banner" advertising, in this case our relationships are closer to the companies who advertise, but our display advertising income is carefully separated financially and editorially from our blog content, over which we always maintain 100% editorial control -- we make this clear during every advertising deal we work out. Please also notice we do the occasional "sponsored" post, these are under similar financial arrangements as our banner advertising, only the banner or other type of reference to a company are included in the blog post, simply to show they provided financial support to and provide them with advertising in return. Unlike most other "sponsored content" you find on the internet, our sponsored posts are entirely under our editorial control and created by WildSnow specific writers.See our full disclosures here.

    Backcountry skiing is dangerous. You may be killed or severely injured if you do any form of ski mountaineering, skimo randonnee and randonnée skiing. The information and news on this website is intended only as general information. Due to human error and passing time, the information, text and images contained within this website may be inaccurate, false, or out-of-date. By using, reading or viewing the information provided on this website, you agree to absolve the owners of Wild Snow as well as content contributors of any liability for injuries or losses incurred while using such information. Furthermore, you agree to use any of this website's information, maps, photos, or binding mounting instructions templates at your own risk, and waive Wild Snow owners and contributors of liability for use of said items for ski touring or any other use.

    Switch To Mobile Version