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Summits | 22.02.2018 | Dennis Forte

Alaska on Touring Skis - An interview with Mountopia winner Igone Campos Odriozola

What’s your Mountopia? For its third round, the Mountopia competition again drew many international athletes. For the first time, however, there were more women applicants than men. Igone Campos Odriozola was right in the mix from the start and was always among the top 10. This was her third try, and it finally all came together, leaving her right at the top. With commitment, and passion for the mountains and her Mountopia, she was able to convince the community and the Mountopia judges. In the end, she was rightly at the top of the heap. Now, the born Basque can realize her dream of Alaska.

Until now, we only knew Igone from her Mountopia profile. We saw that she loves the mountains above all else, summer or winter. Whether on touring skis or in trail running shoes, she can normally be seen in fast-forward racing mode. We recently had a short chat with the Mountopia winner:



Hi Igone, big congratulations again. On your Mountopia profile and on social media, we saw that you love competitive sports. In the Spanish ski mountaineering championships you were among the top 10 and the third best Basque woman. What are your plans for your future competitive career?


I'm planning to do more skimo races until March, some of them local, and more alpine ones as well, like the Altitoy-Ternua. I'm specially looking forward to this one, as it was my first skimo race, and I really have a special connection to this race and its community. After that it will come to Alaska, and then I will totally focus on my running season: this year I'll be taking part in the amazing skyrunning world series.

You are a teacher. How do you manage to combine work and training?


I'm a teacher at high-school and I teach natural sciences and maths. I work till afternoon so I straightly go to train after work and I try to make the most of the sun rays and spend as much time as possible outdoors. So, it's a matter of squeezing my free time ;)


You have been part of the Mountopia family from the beginning and were among the finalists in all of the competitions. In this third attempt, you finally succeeded and recorded the overall victory. What does Mountopia mean to you, and what was your motivation for this third round of participation?


I surely feel part of this family! Mountopia meant to me a way to dream, to fight for what I love and never giving up. After the first two Mountopias I never lost my motivation, I felt the strength to keep fighting, my dreams were still alive, and I was determined not to just drop it but I felt I had to keep trying. I liked what I was doing, I mean, the process, so it was just fluid.

Your dream is to discover Alaska on touring skis. Why Alaska?


Alaska means untouchable wilderness for me. Lately, I've been exploring Alps and Pyrenees, awesome places, but rather crowded. I dreamt about a wild, quiet place, where to spend some time exploring, getting to know myself and feeling closer to nature and that place undoubtedly had to be Alaska.


What are your plans in Alaska, and when will you put your Mountopia into action?


I will travel to Alaska at the end of march for 3 weeks, as it's one of the best periods for skitouring: longer days and still powder snow elsewhere. I will join an expedition for a week to explore the inner Chugach mountains with my skis. It would be 7 days in the mountains.


Thanks, Igone, for your time. Best wishes for an indescribably good time in Alaska. In closing, just a few quick questions:


Favorite meal? Peas


Chocolate or chips? Chocolate


Favorite band? Berri Txarrak


Uphill or downhill? Uphill!