KYRRIAKOS ROSSIDIS – Breaking the Barriers Within

#interview #KyriakosRossides #TMF2019 #TMFRocksShow #rockclimbing #mountaineering #FullTimeChallenge

Born and raised in Kyperounda, a beautiful setting within the mountains in Cyprus, IFMGA mountain guide Kyriakos Rossidis found his passion for the outdoors from an early age. Having the mountains on his doorstep allowed him to explore different sports, before settling for 10 years of ski racing and competitions. He discovered climbing later on and decided to study BSc Outdoor Studies with Sport Science in UK. In 2018 he also became a certified IFMGA mountain guide. 

For Kyriakos climbing is a vocation with goals to accomplish not easy to measure. The reasons he climbs and his choice of climbs refer to his power of breaking the barriers within, rather than distance, altitude or grades.

Kyriakos Rossidis is one of the protagonist of Full Time Challengedocumentary of the TMF Expedition powered by Garmin – premiered at the Transylvania Mountain Festival on stage, last November. The documentary tells the story of two friends, alpinists and mountain guides, who try to balance the passion for mountains with their profession.

Kyriakos Rossidis – on Beyond Good and Evil / Chamonix, France

[A.B. – Anca Berlo]: How did you discover your passion for mountains?

Kyriakos Rossidis: I grew up in the mountains, in Cyprus, so it was kind of obvious to go out and have fun in the mountains. First it was just hanging around, hiking, then skiing came along and then everything else on the way. 

[A.B.]: You are an IFMGA certified mountain guide. What does this mean?

Kyriakos Rossidis: It means you can work pretty much anywhere in the world. In Europe it is a mandatory title to have to be able to guide in the mountains on skis, ice, rock or alpine terrain. 

[A.B.]: What was the path to getting this certification?

Kyriakos Rossidis: You need a lot of personal climbing experience, ski tours and a pretty good level in all those disciplines. Then you go to an exam. If you pass the exam you start the training and courses. 

It all takes around 3 years and a lot of dedication. Those interested in this formation can find out more on the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations webpage: https://ifmga.info and East European Mountain Guides Association: http://www.eemga.org

Kyriakos Rossidis – IFMGA training in Georgia with EEMGA

[A.B.]: You also trained for IFMGA in Romania. How would you describe the Carpathians?

Kyriakos Rossidis: The Carpathians in Romania are quite a wild place to climb and ski. A rather unknown destination where you can experience more wilderness compared to the Alps. I definitely recommend visiting those mountains and ranges. 

[A.B.]: Alpinist or mountain guide?

Kyriakos Rossidis: Good question. Sometimes it is a bit hard to tell the difference because even if you go out with friends you are still a mountain guide and you have to act as one. But sometimes when you are guiding you take less risk than when you are doing personal explorations. 

So I would call this a mindset, that you embrace depending on the context. 

Kyriakos Rossidis – mixed climbing on Frendo Spur / Chamonix

[A.B.]: How did you come up with the idea for this expedition?

Kyriakos Rossidis: Myself and Mihnea (Prundeanu) wanted to go somewhere for 2019’s expedition. Mihnea had the idea for the remote Rolwaling valley, in Nepal and I looked into it. I was not fully committed until one month before we left. It seemed like a really cool place to be so I jumped into it, we arranged everything and we went on the expedition. 

[A.B.]: Planning vs. real conditions. Any surprises?

Kyriakos Rossidis: Reality and planning did not quite match I would say because we had a different perspective. 

It was my first time at such altitude. I thought we could move the same way as we move in the Alps at lower altitude, but when we got there and we tried to move at the same speed we could not actually manage to do so. We had to take it a bit slower and climb for longer. 

[A.B.]: Best vs. worst thing that happened in the expedition.

Kyriakos Rossidis: The best is that we discovered the area, those proper mountains with steep faces all over, some of them with no easy way up. I would say the worst was not climbing the mountain after putting so much effort into it. But still at the same time is was a really good experience so I can not say it was bad. 

Full Time Challenge Chobutse Nepal Expedition

Kyriakos Rossidis – on expedition / Chobuje, Rolwaling Valley, Nepal

[A.B.]: Lessons learned for the next expedition? 

Kyriakos Rossidis: Always. Maybe taking it a bit slower from the beginning and try acclimatise a bit more. We did not have the chance to do that much. We had a lot of snow. Adapting to altitude was harder because of difficult access to routes and the conditions found on the walls. Maybe this kind of mountains need to be climbed during a different time of year. 

[A.B.]: Future plans?

Kyriakos Rossidis: I want to go back on an expedition. I am not sure whether on the same mountain, but definitely something technical, to try to push the limits a bit.

Full Time Challenge, (2019) / producer: Alex Sava / Ibex Media

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Kyriakos Rossidis lives in Chamonix where he is currently based and where he works  full time as a mountain guide. He spends the warmer days in Cyprus and Greece, trail running, rock climbing and developing new climbing areas. 

You can find stories of his adventures on here:

http://www.kyriakosrossidis.com

https://www.facebook.com/kyriakos.rossidis

https://www.instagram.com/kyrros/

Be ready for the next screening of his adventures in Cluj-Napoca. Stay tuned!

Interview “Kyriakos Rossidis – Breaking the Barriers Within” by Anca Berlo.

Chamonix, 15/04/2020