A thrill-seeking athlete who spends her time traveling the world scaling rocks and climbing mountains has revealed she faced discrimination as a woman in a male-dominated sport.
29-year-old mountaineer Giulia Fusconi, an Italian accountant, has explored the Italian and Swiss Alps, Polynesian volcanoes, as well as the mountains of India and Nepal.
However, despite her skills and experience, Guilia says she is constantly discriminated against as a woman playing this risky sport.
She said: “Being a woman is difficult in this particular area. You are hardly respected or taken seriously, even though there are some amazing strong climbers, it is mostly a male dominated sport.
Mountaineer Giulia Fusconi, 29, from Italy, has been climbing mountains since the age of seven
But despite more than two decades of experience, the athlete says she regularly faces discrimination in the male-dominated sport.
According to Giulia (pictured), there are some amazing and talented female mountaineers out there, but it’s still hard to be taken seriously in the sport
The 29-year-old, who has spent more than two decades climbing peaks (pictured), wants other female climbers to continue despite gender discrimination
“I mainly climb Italian or Swiss mountains because it’s my land and I feel quite connected with the Alps.
“It’s really important for me to feel that connection with the mountain.”
According to Giulia, “being a woman is difficult in this particular field”, but she has no intention of giving up her beloved sport
The 29-year-old works as an accountant – a stark contrast to her daredevil lifestyle outside of work
She admits the sport is expensive, due to equipment and travel costs, but although she has sponsors, she largely self-funds her excursions.
Giulia, pictured in action, started climbing mountains with her father when she was just seven, more than 20 years ago
Although she loves the sport, she admits it can be “scary” at times, when the weather conditions suddenly change without warning.
But, she says, the sport is “special, unique and empowering”, and it gives people the opportunity to excel
According to Giulia, the sport can be expensive due to the equipment needed as well as travel and accommodation costs.
She explains: “I have sponsors who help me, but most of the time I fund the trips myself.
Giulia started climbing with her father when she was seven years old and says she “hasn’t stopped since.”
Strike a pose: The 29-year-old looks totally at ease climbing tough peaks and balancing between rocks (pictured here climbing a mountain in Alpenliebe)
Adverse weather conditions like snow and fog can make the activity scary, admits seasoned climber
Giulia (pictured climbing a mountain in Alpenliebe, left) has traveled the world to climb different mountains, but says she mainly climbs Italian or Swiss mountains because ‘it’s my land’
The athlete says that despite the sport being dominated by men, there are “some strong and incredible mountaineers”
She experienced ups and downs while climbing, from being scared in adverse weather conditions, to feeling “so blessed and alive” as she reached the summit of Piz Bernina.
“I have traveled all over the world, from Polynesia to Russia, from American national parks to India,” she reveals.
“One of my favorite moments so far was when I reached the top of Piz Bernina. My heart was so full and I felt so blessed and alive.
“However, it can get quite scary when the weather suddenly changes without any warning.
The 29-year-old says that when she climbs, it’s “really important for [her] feel this link with the mountain’
Giulia calls on other women interested in the “special, unique and empowering” sport to “never stop” and keep pushing to achieve their goals.
“For example, when it starts snowing and it’s pitch white, you don’t know where to go.
“Mountaineering is special, unique and challenging.
“My advice to other climbers would be to never stop and always push your limits.” This is the only way to truly achieve your goals.