Climber, explorer, documentary film maker, writer, photographer…

My dad once said: "We had a daughter Gábina, including a peaceful life, and then came the misfortune and Marek was born." It was a chilly November 1974, when I, screaming, first announced to the world that it can count on me. And this is just about the date since when my poor parents began to age twice as fast as ordinary mortals.

"Mára, photo: Lukáš Bíba"

When looking back through time-space, I do not exaggerate. Already from the toddler to the time of the confident man entering the first year of elementary school with his head up and his back as a ruler, due to my ingenious activity, countless dramatic events threatened my own existence but similarly the bell often tolled for the adjacent surroundings.

"Little Mára student, own photo archive"

My mum, who loved her troubled child with devotion, managed to close her eyes with all her maternal love. The pragmatic father however, for the preservation of his son, and probably for general safety, did not intend to wait for what was going to happen at the culminating final, and he began to act. Let's call one of his attempts "discharge the batteries". The trick consisted of totally displacing my free time up to the last hundredth. The resultant should have been to tire out the little naughty body until it fell into the bed in the evening and until it looked like a carcass at least until the next day. Everything came along with alternating success. However, thanks to that, I got to climbing already in my fourth year and then I experienced a number of other sports. Meanwhile, the attacking vertical movement had primarily the purpose to establish the fear and apprehension from the heights in my eyes. Everything worked, but in the opposite direction. This is a proof of clear evidence that the parental desire to distract attention or to gain resistance to activity, or to things, has missed the target by miles.

"Little Mara climber, own photo archive"

There were times when I was drowning in the pool before school, and after school I went to athletics or I kicked football for a local club. I also did not miss running through the woods and looking for lampions or orienteering ending sometimes with the loss of myself.The curriculum itself should not miss my study achievements either. It can be said that they were more than expressive. As a grammar school boarder, I wandered as a hot potato through four schools before they were able to get rid of me with finished basic education. The following technical college, which significantly exceeded my abilities, showed a kindly affectionate face, and above all because of my attendance, in the third attempt to receive the school leaving exam, finally gave me a high school degree. Every higher education always ended in convulsions with the same answer: there’s no choosing out of nothing.

"Mára in highschool, own photo archive"

 Then a work process followed, which I left after seven years as a business manager of the Prague branch. I voluntarily discarded guaranteed security, including badges of power in the form of a working position, a car, a guaranteed salary, a phone, a tie, and polished shoes. The only vision of this change was the reversal of the ratio of the free time versus the working week. Thus, to work like on weekends and to enjoy five days. Since no employer had enough understanding for my philosophy, I found myself on the pavement. The main motto that sounded for the moment: "The only thing I can miss is the time, it cannot be returned or bought."

"Blessed Satisfaction, Photo: Pavel Žofka"

For the freedom of my hands, so that I could do what I dreamed about and would not suffer hunger, I started a little company with one director and one worker in one person. Another activity contributing to the life was writing, shooting, filming and lectures. The stories written in articles and film materials taken during the expeditions is a motto I offer as a counterpart to support "meaningful projects".

"Camera in action, own photo archive"

As far as climbing is concerned, I can only say, I have always had and I still do have great luck with people. The "pals" that were brought by the wind from the rocks became pillars for my everyday life. It is because of the friendly element which accompanied my steps that I cannot classify getting on stones or wading in the cool mountains as a sport, but I would rather choose a more appropriate attribute: lifestyle. This is not to suggest that climbing has a deeper soulful meaning against other sports activities. For god's sake, no. It is pure selfishness. However, the difference lies in extreme and long-term pressure, where there is only the death lurking behind a mistake. The mutual bond of trust built just on experiences where the need one for the other is more than just a friendship, but a necessity. Some moments, which the fate sets, mean a multi-day struggle for rescue. In this moment it is not about the dreamed desire at all, i.e. to climb up to the summit, it is rather about solely trivial little thing like survival. Then you cannot wake up with the mood that today you are not in a good shape, your legs, your hands hurt, you have no motivation; with such you can go to hell. Nobody else around and no help to call. You cannot jump out of a running train unless you intend to get smashed in the bend. The finish is the terminal. Thus, I ask myself, is it a sport or a play with fate? For the right view, I will use one fitting comparison: "Climbing, and above all in the mountains, is for utterly masochistic cretins." Pure naked truth. Even knowing this I cannot do anything else, because it is a valve for me to achieve a blissful satisfaction in this world. So, all what I've ever climbed at home or in the world is not just the work of allies of desire and skills, but above all, of the luck with great people I met during my run…

"You have to trust your partner, own photo archive"

I live in the centre of Prague, where I live on a dog book with a "divine" Klára alias Kája who over the years has survived countless expeditions and who can still smile at me. I'm also the daddy of Viktorka who has become my biggest life surprise. Since July 1, 2010, when she was born, the globe started to turn faster by order. Klara lover became a mother, and I got the job of father. If I sum up my past, “Vikuše” is undoubtedly the greatest success of my work so far.

"A proud man and amazing Kaja, own photo archive"