Antonio Miguel Pérez, better known as Anto, already has a mountaineering curriculum. This native of Orotava remained for years out of the media focus and making expeditions on your own and with no other objective than to enjoy them. The Muztagh Ata (7,546 meters), in China; Lenin Peak (7,134), between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; Illimani (6,438), in Bolivia, and Mera Peak (6,479), in Nepal, are the main peaks he has trodden. Up to now. Anto will face in fifteen days his first eight thousand, the Manaslu, in Nepal and of 8,163 meters, the eighth highest mountain on the planet. It will be in a challenge in the most autonomous way possible (without oxygen or Sherpas, the Himalayan porters on which many expeditions rely) and with a charitable background.
Also mountaineers Pako Crestas and José María Ponce, Catalan and Alicante, respectively, will accompany Anto Pérez in an adventure that will last between August 30 and October 10. His expenses have been financed thanks to the support of two people who prefer to remain anonymous. «They do not seek any financial or advertising benefit; They are from Orotavian and they are excited that someone from the municipality undertakes a challenge of this type, ”he explains about his particular patrons. The only public institution that collaborates with him is the La Orotava City Council. This administration contributed 1,000 euros that have been “redirected” to a social purpose: to make commemorative t-shirts to sell and that the benefit goes to the initiative that the Pichón Trail Project association carries out with multiple sclerosis patients and their families.
Postman and mountaineer
Anto, 50 years old, is a well-known face in the Villa for his profession as a postman, half his life wandering around and knocking on every door. The zero kilometer of his sporting career is, at the age of eight, on Mount Teide. «My father went up because he liked the mountains; What happens is that the people of that time had little time for that, but they were working all day, ”he recalls. “At that time, he organized an excursion with the family and I went up to the Teide for the first time when I was eight years old”, he points out about a day of which he keeps a “very beautiful” memory. Then came the camping trips with friends and, later, those same friends leaving the activity because their vital preferences were changing. «Little by little, friends were having girlfriends and I stayed there hooked on the mountain. In the end I ended up walking just because people were going one way or the other, “he says.
The next step was to tour the Archipelago and then, already in the Post Office and with a salary, he began to dedicate his annual vacation to an expedition. “From my first vacation, they were all destined for the mountains,” he says. «I started going to the Pyrenees for several years and then I made the jump to the Alps and I was doing four thousand there. I have gone by steps, little by little. I was going another four or five years to South America, to Los Andes, where the great five thousand and six thousand are. There I climbed six thousand in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina… I also went to Africa ”, he adds. “With more confidence and having climbed a few six thousand in South America, I started in the Himalayas, which is where the 7,000 and 8,000 meter mountains are found. There I have visited many countries: India, Nepal, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, China … », he completes. To mention some of his main milestones from the sporting point of view, he ascended Kala Patthar (5,643 meters), in Nepal; the Tanzanian Kilimanjaro (5,895), the highest mountain in Africa; to the Licancabur (5,920), between Bolivia and Chile; to the Acamarachi (6,046), in Chile; Huayna Potosí (6,088), in Bolivia; al Stok Kangri (6,153), in India; Al Imja Tse (6,189), better known as Island Peak, in Nepal; to the Sajama (6,542), in Bolivia, and to the Llullaillaco (6,739), between Argentina and Chile. Now, he assures that the meters are not his main motivation.
«My trips are not only the mountains; I like to get into the country. I have lived in Los Andes very beautiful experiences, and I don’t even tell you about Africa … The trip I made to Ethiopia was a brutal enrichment in terms of getting to know other cultures, ”he says. Partly because of that way of understanding mountaineering, and until his friend José Maza recommended that he move on social networks (his name in them is Anto Illimani Mera, in honor of two of its main peaks), he always acted anonymously.
A complex expedition
This new expedition has been marked by the covid. Anto had it scheduled for 2020, but had to postpone it due to difficulties and border closures. “Permits are a bit cumbersome, but they are done and that’s it; the worst has been the uncertainty, “he says when asked about the preparations for this long journey. «To begin with, there are two days of flights. The idea is to be in Kathmandu for two or three days for bureaucratic procedures, permits, buy whatever it takes … And then we have to do an approach trek to the mountain, which is five days walking through Nepalese villages, through the Manaslu National Park », He relates. On the fifth day, he and his teammates will arrive at base camp and, from there, it will be about 25 days in the mountains.
The preparations have been made, how could it be otherwise, on the Teide. “The initial intention is to go up without oxygen and in the most autonomous way possible,” he highlights about a decision made for financial reasons but also because it is how he really likes adventure the most. That is, him and his ice axes, crampons, carabiners … and the mountain in its purest form.