“It’s a real and invaluable sensation when I take off my boots. I realize why, being barefoot, the earth transfers to me his energy, it spiritually reborns me, I feel really another man. It pacifies me with mankind, I feel as a witness of positives and genuine values, without gambles or interferences.”
In brief, this is the way of life of Antonio Peretti, alias TOM PERRY, usually called as
“barefoot climber”, the man who goes up and down from nearly every mountain of the world without his boots.
Antonio Peretti was born on 1960 in Sovizzo, a small village not far from Vicenza (Venetian region) and since when he was young, he shows a marked tendency for the sports activity. Soccer, middle-distance race, parachuting, intense hiking and daring motorcycle racing are the main practised by this pleasant forester from Vicenza.
But it is in his quite ripe age, just on the mountains near Vicenza, every day for his job, that Antonio Peretti finds out his most particular vocation: running barefoot on mountains.
It happened, by chance, in a summer’s day on 2002, on stoned gullies on the sides of Carega mountains, which were sites of many battles of the Great War, and which are a good training site for many hiking lovers.
The sturdy forester takes off his boots and, nearly by stake, starts running headlong barefoot towards downhill. It’s a sweeping action, the result of a necessary athleticism and a highest mental concentration. Antonio Peretti now finds his own and new way to go on mountains.
So, TOM PERRY was born, the “barefoot climber” since the official nomination on 15th of August of three years ago, during the non-stop downhill from Cima Posta on the “Piccole Dolomiti”, the athlet from Vicenza has competed in always more exacting and incredible adventures: on “Monte Cristallo”, on Sinai Mountain, on volcanos in Equador, on the “Gran Sasso” in Italy, on the “Tofane”, along the main ways of the Dolomites, always crossed strictly “barefoot”.
He got his international approval last year, with the barefoot downhill from Kilimanjaro, about 6000 mtrs, the highest African peak. Tom Perry has been the first man in the world to perform this and this event has been emphasized by the African newspapers.
On last July, the barefoot climber has been the main character of a new and very difficult range of tests, in South America, on the Andean tableland. He ran barefoot over the Salar de Ajuni, the highest and widest in the world and than he faced the burning sand of the Atacama desert. He climbed the Licancabur, a 6000 mtrs volcano, coming down barefoot, ignoring the wind and the temperature of about 30°C above zero and he reached the top of Nevado Sajama, a crest of 6550 mtrs (the highest Andeand mountain in Bolivia), giving the proof of being a complete mountain climber.
But the new challenges of Tom Perry are not without purpose, are not a mere exhibition, however brave and unusual they could be.
In fact, the barefoot climber would like to send a particular message to all the always increasing people which are interested in his performances. He invites to altruism, he wishes to push for a consideration on the doubtful values of the modern human society.
Getting off his boots is the way to tell this: the industrialized countries have a lot, they often have a surplus and many people, in too many countries in the world, do not have to satisfy their primary and vital needs.
This is the complete and deep reason of his simple way of life, to be supported, for going on mountains.
These are the reasons for which Tom Perry combines every performance to a beneficent initiative. It’s a form of solidarity which is promoted by Tom Perry.
This is made by this forester with fun and practising a sporting activity, alpinism, which is always charming and exciting.
But he performs this with the most of simplicity, with no hypocrisy or presumption,
as to have a small attention, without bothering, softly…as walking on tip toes…