My name is Mark Guido and I am a 27-year-old Waiter from Illinois. How does a Waiter from one of the flattest states in the U.S. become a high-altitude Mountaineer? Self-belief and commitment to a dream. I am just a regular guy who is allowing my adventurous spirit to play out. At the age of 24, I traveled to Africa and decided to climb the highest mountain on the continent. This was my first high-altitude mountaineering experience and I fell in love with the challenge. From then on, I have fully committed to pushing my physical and mental limits in some of the most dangerous environments to complete the “Seven Summits.”
What Motivates Me?
For some, the thrill of the climb would be motivation enough, but I am one of those people who needs to take in the scenery and enjoy the moment. On my various climbs, I have realized that the children of the areas I have visited did not have the resources for a decent education. I am the son of a teacher, so I was instantly aware that if something could be done for these children, it should be. I was quick to partner with different groups that support the local children and in doing so my project has helped the lives of many. Before each climb, I have the children sign a special flag unique to each place, which accompanies me to the summit. This is what keeps me motivated. I am no longer climbing for myself, I am climbing with and for all these children to show them that anything is possible!
I will climb Mount Everest via the South Col Route next year. By climbing to the top of the world in 2021, I am also climbing for all the children at SOS Children’s Village Sanothimi, in Nepal.
Peaks for Purpose