For many 9-5 workers, a nice vacation away means time on the beach. For one City of Grande Prairie employee, it means climbing the highest mountain peaks for kicks.

“I’ve been climbing for more than 35 years, I am 48 now, and I started when I was like 8,” jokes Horacio Galanti.

Galanti, who is fresh off the powder on the peak of Mount Everest for the second time, completed the “Seven Peaks” project in 2015, after climbing to the top of Mount Vinson. The city manager says the second trip up Everest was special for a number of reasons.

In 2013, he climbed from the Nepal side of Everest, which is famous for guided tours for the masses. In May 2019, he started from the much more challenging, and much more secluded Tibet side.

“Very few climbers, and climbers with more experience you see on the north side. It’s more technical, with more exposed rock and ice.”

He says even getting the opportunity to climb from the Tibet side poses more of a challenge.

“The Chinese Government is very strict in terms of issuing permits. Just to give you an example, I had to submit my mountaineering resume with all the experience I have with all the different climbs in my life. I even had to submit a certificate from the Nepal government that I had summited Everest already.”

Galanti adds if you are looking to get into mountain climbing at any level, fitness is a must, especially when it comes to leg strength.

“As long as your legs keep moving, you’ll come back home.”