Millet “It’s time to rise up again”

Millet “It’s time to rise up again”

Millet Mountain Group and Francesco Ratti together: “It’s a new challenge, we can face it”. The message of encouragement for the restart of the country. Health was and continues to be the priority for all of us, but we face a new challenge and we can face it.

Millet, the reference brand in clothing and equipment dedicated to the vertical world, relies on its athletes to convey a message of encouragement in the planning phase of the restart in the country.

“To encourage them to stay focused on their challenges, during the lockdown phase we asked our athletes to share their training routines at home to keep their body and mind ready for mountain sports” – comments Hervè Locatelli, Millet Mountain Group’s Sales Director for Southern Europe – “In addition to the priority of health protection, we focused on the moment of the restart by deploying the best energies of ourselves and our athletes to face the challenge that presents itself today, in a very different reality from the one we have been used to. Millet has in his DNA the concept of Rise Up, a mantra that invites the athletes and all of us to never give up and to always pursue new challenges, to reach the next summit”.


Francesco Ratti, Millet athlete and guide of the Matterhorn Guide Company, tells in this interview how he is facing the restart. Watchwords: gradual restart, progressive workloads, training on your own and safety distance if you happen to meet hikers. But that’s not all! The K2 project, the mountain of mountains, summer in the Alps, and the image of Sichuan in the dark days of lockdown.


What advice do you want to share with athletes and mountain enthusiasts?

The time spent at home was definitely long: we are talking about 7-8 weeks. I recommend to everyone a gradual restart, it’s unthinkable to go back to doing the same things we did two months ago when we could train every day outdoors. Surely during this last period we have all worked on strength and power exercises and these will bear fruit in the coming months. But now we have to start again gradually by imposing progressive workloads so that we can return to the endurance levels we had before we closed, painlessly and above all avoiding injuries that would force us to stop further (which would really be a joke!).


Can you suggest a new training routine?

Personally, during the next few weeks I will dedicate myself to building a solid aerobic base and then long workouts at a slow pace, below the aerobic threshold. Afterwards I will put in more intense sessions to develop the strength gained during the long period of exercises at home.


Which mountain expedition did you daydream about during these many days of lockdown?

The mountain I was dreaming about this summer is K2, the mountain of Italians, the mountain of mountains. Unfortunately at the moment our expedition to Pakistan, whose departure was scheduled for mid-June, is really very uncertain. Inevitably I also had to think about a possible plan B and luckily the quarantine brought advice and interesting ideas for this autumn! The goal at the moment is still K2 but if this is not possible, I would like to focus on some projects here in the Alps during the summer season and then start the expedition again in the autumn.


Mountaineering at altitude: with or without oxygen?

Absolutely without. Climbing with oxygen doesn’t make sense to me, if my body is at its limit I’d rather go back and know that’s my limit for the moment. But I would like to say that this is my point of view, an absolutely personal vision. I do not despise those who go up using oxygen, they are simply two completely different things, two planets apart.


In the moments of despair during lockdown, what image of all your adventures were you referring to in order to escape?

During this period of “lockdown” I often thought about the expedition to Sichuan in China in 2017, when we spent a month in a valley where we were the only expedition present and where almost all the peaks around us were inviolate. Every day we could plan an ascent along a new route on a summit never climbed by a human being: for me the maximum expression of freedom!