The Barefoot Mountaineer

Italian "Tom Perry" tops Kilimanjaro, big peaks sans shoes

We’re still trying to confirm the legitimacy of this one, but the WTF-factor is so through the roof that we can’t help but be compelled to share: Italian climber Tom Perry claims to have topped out on Kilimanjaro, Mexico’s Pico de Orizaba, Bolivia’s Nevado Sajama, and countless peaks in the Dolomites…while hikingbarefoot.

Using my rudimentary Italian to parse Perry’s website, it seems he was born Antonio Peretti in Venice, and climbs mountains barefoot because it regenerates his spirit and that’s the best way for the earth to transmit all its energy to him. Sweet.

In his own words:

Ah. Got it.

To be fair, he’s not totally barefoot while climbing up glaciated peaks: He seems to be wearing what looks like Tevas with crampon points affixed to the sole, which is still pretty gnar.

Since he’s pretty passionate about the nascent sport of high-altitude, barefoot mountaineering, I suppose it’s only a matter of time before he starts tackling Himalayan peaks without shoes, which should be pretty interesting.


Oh, and if anybody out there is fluent in Italian, please check for us and make sure there aren’t any statements like, “After the helicopter dropped me off at the top, we took a picture so it looked like I climbed this mountain barefoot.”

—Ted Alvarez

Tom Perry