Mark Oberlechner: About Me
My name is Mark Oberlechner, I'm about to turn 29 and I come from Issing, a small town in the Puster Valley, near Bruneck. It's where I grew up and I still live there today. After studying geography in Innsbruck, I decided to train as a mountain guide and pursue this as a career. Besides being a mountain guide, I also work as a route setter and trainer at the climbing hall in Bruneck in an attempt to share and pass on my climbing experience.
My home town has as few as 100 residents and is located on the sunny side of the Puster Valley. It's ideal for climbing and mountaineering as the Dolomites are only a few kilometres from my doorstep and the Ahrntal mountains are also just a stone's throw away. The perfect mountains for some action-packed skiing.
I've always found the Dolomites magical. When I was younger, I spent my time there doing easy hikes or skiing. Then when I turned 14, I started to get more and more into climbing. Nowadays, I spend most of my summer in the Dolomites, either leading private trips or working as a mountain guide. The infinite amount of Alpine tours and the variety found in the smaller mountain groups really makes them unique.
The long-standing tradition associated with these mountains is also one of the main reasons why I love climbing there. Every one of us who climbs or wants to climb these mountains should respect and seek to uphold their history and tradition. If we strive to do so, I'm certain that the character of this place will remain intact and continue to fascinate all those who visit for years to come.
After many years and countless climbing trips, for the more curious among us, there comes a point when we start to wonder what else our local mountains have to offer. What else can we add to the mix? And so of course the idea of paragliding comes to mind... What would it be like simply to fly back down after a tour?
To try my hand at something new once again. To grow my passion for exploring the mountains and perhaps to even combine this with the experience of paragliding. And to be a beginner again and learn something from scratch makes the whole thing very exciting.
Mixing mountaineering with flying, cutting time off descents and making the day longer in doing so - now that really motivates me. Especially at home, where I can set off straight from my back door and then land directly in my own back garden.
I spent a long time thinking: wouldn't it be nice to have a wing for the days when I can't go climbing.
Perhaps this activity will open new doors and make mountaineering/climbing even more exciting and diverse than it already is.