John Porter (United Kingdom)

John Porter lives in the Lake District in England. An American by birth, John Porter climbed as a teenager in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, before serving his mountain apprenticeship in the Rockies and Yosemite. From the University of Oregon, he went on to do post graduate studies at the University of Leeds and climbed with the leading activists of the day. With partners such as Peter Boardman, Voytek Kurtyka (Poland), Rene Ghilini (France) and Alex MacIntyre, he made pioneering light weight ascents including winter traverse of the Tatra (1976), NE Face of Bandaka (1977), the S. Buttress of Changabang (1978), S. Face Ranrapulka (1979), S.E Ridge Tarke Kang (1982). He joined Alan Rouse and Joe Tasker to attempt the West Ridge of Everest in winter (1980/81) and was on the NW Ridge of K2 during the tragic year of 1986. There were further new routes during trips to Garhwal (1988), Karakorum (Chong Kundam 1&5 1991), Africa, Tibet and Greenland. With Brian Hall, he set up the Kendal Mountain Film Festival in 1980 and was its director until 2007. His recent book ‘One Day as a Tiger’ explores the nature of physical and spiritual fulfillment in the mountains and was awarded the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival 2014.

Mario Casella (Switzerland)

Mario Casella is a journalist, film maker and mountain guide. For a long time he has worked full-time for the Swiss Italian radio and television RSI. After three years as a foreign correspondent in Washington DC he came back to Switzerland and decided to dedicate his time to his own projects, like books, film projects and expeditions. His books have been awarded prizes several times. His book “Nero-Bianco-Nero” dealing with the history of the Caucasus was elected as the best mountain book in Trento. But also several of his films, most of them shot together with the director Fulvio Mariani, have been awarded on an international level and broadcasted by diverse television companies. As a climber and mountain guide he has been on many summits on the whole world. Cho Oyu, Nevado Huascaran, Mount Mc Kinley, Damavand and many other famous peaks can be found in his tour book. Currently, Casella and Mariani are working on the project “The Silk Snow“, which means that they explore the Silk Road on skis.

Frido Hütter (Austria)

The Styrian Frido Hütter is one of Austria’s most esteemed culture journalists. After his teacher training and one year at a school on the countryside, his passion and his working world met each other in a sustainable way. The former rock and pop expert was invited to work in the editorial department of the local newspaper “Kleine Zeitung” in Graz. There he made himself a mark as a culture and a media journalist and as the author of numerous travelogues. He has led both departments from the 1980s to February 2013 and he was a member of the editorship. Despite many offers, Hütter remained true to this great small sized newspaper. “Where else could one write about Barack Obama, interview Mick Jagger, present the Federal President, visit the artist Erwin Wurm in his studio, test a new Tesla and report from the Serengeti, from Greenland, Nepal, Cameroon or else-where in one job?” He enjoys his retirement, without retiring himself from working as author for the “Kleine Zeitung”, as a lecturer at diverse universities and as a presenter.