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Aria Sadr-Salek

Who are you?
My Name is Aria Sadr-Salek, born in south England and shortly after our family moved to Styria in Austria and few years later it brought us all to Luxembourg, where we stayed and grew up. For my studies in Architecture I then moved back to Austria but to the city Innsbruck (xou can say the captial of the alps), where I still live now. Further to this story my Mother is from Switzerland and my Father is from Iran. Kind of a extreme mixture and therefore it took our family quite around the globe I guess. However, I had the chance to learn very different cultures and pick up some amazing languages on the way. While studying in Innsbruck, we started parallel to the university an architecture and photography business - which is still my main focus and keeps me busy during the week. 
 
Why do you love the outdoors?
As a passionate mountain-biker, skier and climber and photographer, the outdoor is the place where I spend my time when I am not working  - like everyone who spend some time outdoor will tell you that these magical places and the impressive mountains with all these incredible blue lakes in between, simply have the ability to clear the mind and make you realise each time in what sort of scale we actually live in and in what amazing places we get to live in. 
 
What do you want to achieve from your adventures?
My adventures actually differ from each other a lot. Some adventures are mainly to reset the mind and get out of the busy and crowded city from time to time, some are sport oriented, where I get to climb some breathtaking mountain-peaks or ride some of the most beautiful mountain-bike trails. And some adventures are to find all these dreamy new places where you just can enjoy nature and pick up new energy - as a passionate photographer, its actually a joy to be able to share this stunning imagery with all the people surrounded in my life and specially with all those, who don't always have the possibility, like some of us to be able to visit these places when ever they want to.  
 
What is your current adventure? 
I actually just got back from my last adventure, where I spent 10 days sort on a Trans-Alp from Innsbruck/Austria to Zermatt/Switzerland passing some unbelievable destinations and from Zermatt through Vorarlberg/Austria back to Innsbruck again. I got to spend these amazing days with my brother and some of my best friends, hiking and climbing to the most remote destinations where we could stay the night out, mostly in the middle of nowhere - spending the evenings staring at the star-studded sky while sitting next to a fire, cooking some delicious outdoor-meals in front of some lakes at 2500meteres above sea level. This is as dreamy as it gets;). The other reason, why we went to Zermatt, is because we are planning to climb a big mountain (over 4000meters) next season and added the famous Matterhorn to our list. So, this was sitting in the back of our heads for some time now and started researching and gathering some information but mostly trying to get a brief feeling of the place and the mountain before we finally decide what we are going for exactly. 
 
What are the highs of your trip?
The highs of every trip is for sure that one point, where you start leaving the comfort zone. However that's one of the aims for sure, as long as you are prepared well enough and equipped with the necessary gear and knowing how to handle mind and body in more extreme situations. 
 

What are the lows of your trip?
I would say that the lows of the trip are very close to the highs - leaving the comfort zone. However they differentiate in that one point, where you find yourself stuck in a situation you don't know how to get out of. Therefore, a good planning is always the most important step of every trip and being prepared and equipped well enough, even for all these unpredictable situations nature will throw at you - having back up plans and being able to turn around, if the situation starts getting unreadable or even dangerous.
 
Have you had any funny experiences?
Oh sure, the most thing we do on our trips and adventures is laugh -haha. One story comes to my mind, where we found a fire-torch in the middle of nowhere... As soon as it got dark and excited about this, we decided to light it and use it instead of our head lamps. Arriving at the our destination in the middle of the night, for us known alp where we have been several times before already, one of our friends asked since when there is a fountain on that particular alp. So we replied, that there is no fountain here, fore sure - we would know. Not believing us and holding the fire-torch towards the fountain and realising that there was no fountain but a huge scottish highland cow sleeping on the ground instead and almost setting it one fire. The highland cow was startled and stood up and started chasing us. Still holding the fire-torch and trying to outrun that situation, which we did not expect and see coming. The funny part however was actually, when he slipped in a huge cow-pat and got covered all over in cow-crap, still holding the fire-torch lying on the ground and scared to death, haha. We had a good laugh that night and still do every now and then. ;) 
 
What is important when you choose a tent and other gear?
The most important thing when it comes to gear, is reliability - there is nothing more essential, than trusting your gear and knowing you can expect the gear to function, mostly of course in bad weather conditions. 
 
What do you like about your Robens gear?
Robens gear have exactly proven that in the worst conditions, they do exactly what they were made or thought for. Knowing that, keeps your mind at ease, even knowing that conditions might change very quickly or tend to get serious.
 
Your top tip for newbie adventurers?
Definitely don't save on gear, it does make a huge difference - be prepared, always check weather conditions in regular time frames - get to know your terrain and where you are heading to - always bring all the gear, weather conditions change quite fast and they often do. Leave a note to where you are heading, and fore sure bring a GPS device and a map if you start going out further - and never underestimate nature.