2021 has been a hell of a year, thank you guys!
Thank you if you have travelled with us, if you are thinking of doing so, if you have used this blog just to get some inspiration for your next rock climbing trip - or even just to travel to off-the-beaten-track places in your mind.
Seeing so many happy Mapo Tapo travellers was heart-warming.
This has been a crazy year. We ran our first trips in July 2021, during what has perhaps been the most challenging year ever for the travel industry. Since then, almost 250 climbers from all over the world (13 countries, including Costa Rica :)), have travelled with us and were super enthusiastic. We have worked with more than 20 partners in 16 climbing destinations (from Molise to Sicily in Italy, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Spain). Places with incredible climbing potential and local communities of climbers happy to show us the crags they have bolted, the boulders they cleaned, the B&Bs they renovated…
Mapo Tapo x Brocchi Sui Blocchi trip to Western Sicily © Roberto Mor
We took our first baby steps towards realising our social mission…
What has kept us motivated over this past year is the solid belief that there is a positive impact coming from responsible tourism, especially in more off-the-beaten-track areas. Climbing is getting more and more popular, and some ‘famous’ areas have started to suffer from overcrowding. But there are thousands of equally beautiful areas that simply didn’t get the same visibility. Visiting such areas can make a difference to the local communities.
… by writing a book…
Over the course of this year, we tried to promote this way of traveling through our first published book, The Climbing Travel Guide. Writing a book: what a ride!!! What was just an idea in November 2020, turned into reality thanks to the support of the whole outdoor community. We are now humbled and proud to hold the guide in our hands and to have shipped almost 1000 copies around the world. Thank you guys for your enthusiasm and we hope the book will inspire you to take some awesome new trips in 2022.
Above: First mock-ups of The Climbing Travel Guide.
Below: Dani, our CEO, unboxing the first copies of The Climbing Travel Guide
…and with our first social impact projects.
Beyond trips and The Climbing Travel Guide, we are super happy to have supported first-hand some local initiatives aiming to develop climbing in remote areas. With the “Share for bolts initiative” we donated €1000 worth of bolts for new crags in the Sicilian countryside. We know that some of our travellers have already been lucky enough to test these routes, and we are psyched to see the local climbing movement picking up in the area!
Mapo Tapo and the Blocchi Sui Brocchi crew sport climbing in Western Sicily © Roberto Mor
And now we are super excited for 2022!
We have many exciting projects in store for 2022, including:
- Trips in exciting new climbing destinations worldwide: from the Atlantic cliffs of Portugal, to the desert of Northern Chile and many, MANY more.
- A new website (which is already live - let us know what you think).
- An incredible new social project, where we will be involved in bolting and developing a culture of sustainable tourism in a pretty special area of Greece - alongside another NGO and a VERY FAMOUS climbing equipment brand. Stay tuned!
And to begin the new year with a bang, maybe the biggest news of all...
We are launching ski-touring trips!!! Starting this February you can join a Mapo Tapo group and explore the mountains with skis (and skins) under your feet. Why? Our love of nature and desire to explore beautiful places is at the heart of everything we do, and there is no better way of experiencing nature than being immersed in it, guided by a local, practicing sport.
Members of the Mapo Tapo team ski-touring in Lofoten, Norway © Alessia Fontanari
The format will be the same as our climbing trips: a local mountain guide, off-the-beaten-track areas, small groups of 3-to-6 people. There are trips for all levels, including for people who know how to ski on-piste but have never tried ski-touring. We have 2 destinations in Northern Italy and one in Norway - stay tuned and let’s make some turns in powder together!!!
I really hope that 2022 brings us more opportunities to travel the world, discover new areas and practice our favourite outdoor sport(s).
Co-founder and CEO
Now a few New Year’s Resolutions from the rest of the Mapo Tapo team :)
Alessia - Co-founder
My resolution for 2022 is to step up our social impact initiatives. Covid-19 has made us forget the huge role that tourism plays, both as a source of sustainable income for rural communities and for us travellers as a way to broaden our horizons. With Mapo Tapo we have the opportunity to re-imagine sustainable tourism through my two favourite sports, climbing and ski-touring - what better way to explore the world?
Alfredo - CTO
We have a fantastic opportunity to make a positive economic impact and empower both extreme sport lovers and local communities. In 2022, I will focus on bringing our tech to the next level and delivering a fast and scalable platform. I will work closely with businesses to make sure we have the right product at the right time.
Andrea - Marketing Manager
As we grow bigger, our chances to play a role in local climbing development keep increasing. We just have to stay focused and seize the opportunities that come our way. 2022 could be the year that Mapo Tapo turns its best-practices for responsible outdoor tourism into reality. However, we need to be aware of the extent to which tourism can negatively impact the environment and the fact that we are pushing people to produce CO2 emissions by traveling with us. The great thing is that we are already working on this!
Antonio - Project Manager
Work wise, I’d like to contribute to the growth of Mapo Tapo and to its impact on local communities. More specifically, my goal is to improve the current business infrastructure to empower local guides and local accommodations to show the beauty of their territories to outdoor enthusiasts looking for their next off-the-beaten-track adventure.
Just because I’m a bit patriotic, a second New Year’s resolution for 2022 would be to see a Mapo Tapo experience set up in my home region, Abruzzo. It is a not really well-known region positioned at the centre of Italy, just one hour east of Rome. Despite not many people knowing it, the region has a lot to offer for outdoor enthusiasts: unpolished climbing crags, alpine routes on impressive mountains, and a lot of snow on the cliffs in winter...
Faustine - Content Creator
My favourite thing about climbing is the community, so working with Mapo Tapo over this past year and (virtually) meeting climbers from all around the world has pretty much been a dream come true! In 2022, I'd like to use the platform we've built for ourselves to foster open discussions on some of the more complex and pertinent issues facing the outdoor/climbing community - whether that be climate change, the lack of diversity, the impact of Covid, or whether to should wear climbing shoes with or without socks :P … Some more personal goals are: to spend less time behind a laptop screen and more time outdoors, to try some bike-packing adventures, and finally get back into some sort training routine (for my own sanity)!
Eleonora - Operations Analyst
When I joined Mapo Tapo (not too long ago) I did so for mainly one reason: its ability to perfectly combine the thrill of the outdoors with the power and potential of aggregating people with the same values and ideals - and wanting to celebrate and work for these ideals. It's about the opportunity to rethink that small unknown town in the Italian Apennines and pour value back into its surroundings and peculiarities. Apply this to the rest of the world and you get what Mapo Tapo is all about… and exactly what I hope we continue working on in 2022.
On a more personal note, Mapo Tapo gives me the chance of being in-synch with and work on my outdoor-self, and in 2022 I will try to bring more of that into (sadly flat) Northern Germany :P