Stepanek summit: 4.081m
Back in 2009 I was working on a wonderful company called X3 here in Brazil, on Canada the company was called Cell-Loc. It was a great job, I was the supervisor for the financial department with three employees under me. I guess I can say I was a good boss hehehe. Anyway, for some time I was thinking about a new project, another personal project to work on, to establish some goals and go for it. I was working so hard, 9 hours (sometimes 10) every day from Monday to Friday, with sometimes just 15 or 20 minutes for lunch time. Enough, I needed some time off, and some great quality time for myself. So I called on a meeting with my controller and the company CEO in Brazil. Well, I sincerely asked to be released from my job. I don’t know how does that work outside Brazil but here, if you just say “I quit”, you loose some good benefits, a great deal of money. But, if the company let you go you have that money for ending the contract with no previous notice, and you get to check out the money you receive for your service time. Every month the company have to deposit for a special account in your name 8% of you total monthly income. So, at the end of 24 months I had a good money there (you can’t check this money out unless the company let you go – it’s a money apart from your normal month payment). Plus, when they let you go, they have to pay you 40% over the total of that money saved on the federal bank. After that, more money from the contract terminated. Well, if your income is good (and mine kinda was) you can get sometimes a substancial amount of money when the company let you go. I got some good money, around R$ 20.000,00 (by that time, something around US$ 11,000.00).
Vallecitos summit: 5.435m
My former CEO and my controller tried to keep me in, offered me more money to keep working, on three different meetings. But I was determined to stop for a while. They respected my decision and told me to go climbing, and after my project (which btw they asked me to see all the photos after each climbing! Very nice!), to come back there. If the company happens to have an open spot, I’d be back with no hard feelings at all. That never happened but it doesn’t matter, they were just great with me at the time. Plus, I gave them around 40 days notice before to quit for good. So I personally found a replacement for me and trained him.
First Ascent on San Pedro volcano: 6.145m (solo, with no stove, no tent, 4 days First Ascent on Aucanquilcha volcano: 6.176m
So in jan 4th, 2010 I was free to fly away and get my project out of paper. With money at hand and a lot of guts. But there was another issue to resolve before I go since the project consisted in 100 days climbing on the andes, seeking at least one First Ascent for Brazil: my girlfriend Lilianne. I had to be honest with her and ask for understanding on the project. So we talked about the trip and I said to her: “I completely understand if you don’t wanna wait for me that long, but this is just something I really have to do, and I will do it.”
She cried a lot, I cried a lot, but she said she would wait for me. So I went for the project and at the third week of january after buy a great deal of powder juice (hehehe) and some new gear, I got on a bus to the andes. It was three days on two buses until I got on Bariloche, city I didn’t liked at first sight, too touristic. Just ten hours later I got on another bus to Junin de Los Andes, where I did the first summit of the trip: Lanin volcano. As a volcano lover, a dream that became true of course with perfect weather conditions. On and on, I did a total of 8 summits in 65 days, some rest at the end and after 75 days I was back home. The project ended before scheduled because I got robbed for 1900 dollars at some shitty hostel in Mendoza. But hey, money is just paper…
The project photos come with a message: For the message to be taken seriously I chose a fun approach, at each summit I got, I had to take a photo wearing a tie as a protest to long hours on cubicles working without seen the sun, the sky and some green. A protest against the people forgetting to live while going for the endless pursuit of money. Money by the way for me is the worst thing men ever invented. People kill each other for money, friendships end for money, hell, wars occur because (basically) of money!
So, a lot of people knew me here in Brazil already for backpacking and some andean summits I did before this project, but at the second week of the project I got on the news (cyber news, never on TV). Several famous brazilian climbing blogs said something about me and my project. The first one was the biggest brazilian website for mountaineering, alpinism, climbing, www.altamontanha.com. I got officially very known here in Brazil.
When I came back after two concret First Ascents for my country on two volcanos (Aucanquilcha 6176m/ San Pedro 6145m), I was envited by Pedro Hauck, one of the best brazilian climbers (and together with Maximo Kaush, the only ones at the whole season of 2005 that summited Tupungato volcano 6550m after a 75km approach walk without mules!), to be a columnist for the website. Of course, I was flattered by the invitation and accepted right away, I also thought I was very inexperienced by the time, because hey, I do altitude mountaineering now for just 4 years and 2 months, almost nothing! Since may 2010 I write for the website, volunteer work, but I do it with great pleasure. After all, I really don’t like money.
From back then I went for another two expeditions, one for Mont Blanc in Europe and another one recently on the Andes, Ecuador, land of my dear friend Boriss.
It is quite important to work less so you can have a pretty important quality of life, spend more time with family and friends. Don’t beat yourself up 24/7 on the damn race for money and “stability”, that’s absolutly not good for health and you can find yourself on a hospital bed in no time. My father had a similar problem when he was 29. He was the “big head” of the financial department on a big brazilian company. Coming home late every day, working too hard, a couple flights every week, so one day his body said “no more, I just can’t take it no more” and he colapsed on his desk while working. He woke up on the hospital, turns out he suffered a small heart attack and got a “wake up call” so to speak. Had to go on a severe diet, quit the job and relaxed for at least three months.
I am 33 now and thinking about that back in 2009 I feard for my health as well. So decide to resign was pretty much easy for me. I NEEDED a time off. So I got it.
This small article is to get to all Spers a little peace of that, so folks here can understand the tie pictures I have, and also so you guys can think about that too. I didn’t do it because I wanted to get famous, not at all. I did it because it was a necessity back then. Wearing a tie on the summits was my way of protest, to get attention on the subject at hand. Stability for me is set up a base camp, enjoy nature as much as I can cooking my own food, searching for drinkable water, taking pictures on the mountains and of course, writing about it. That way I fell good with myself.
Work Less, live more, enjoy LIFE!
Best Wishes to all,
The news online about it
This one i'll copy here in portuguese, that's the point! You can easily translate it on google, i'll lkeave the url down here:
"Paulo Roberto - Parofes - e a liberdade das montanhas
26/1/2010 | 11:45:00
Preview of the news
O montanhista carioca, radicado em São Paulo, Paulo Roberto “Parofes” está numa nova fase de sua vida. Ele largou tudo em São Paulo e está solto no mundo à procura de aventuras e a liberdade nas montanhas, acompanhe suas histórias aqui no Altamontanha:
Parofes já é um velho contribuidor do AltaMontanha, sempre relatando suas aventuras nas montanhas do Brasil e dos Andes. Desta vez, sua história é diferente, pois ele largou tudo para viver intensamente a liberdade das montanhas andinas.
Paulo rodou mais de 60 horas de ônibus para chegar até Bariloche e, insatisfeito com a exploração turística do local, resolveu ir para o Norte, onde acabou de ascender sua primeira montanha nesta viagem sem planos para terminar, o vulcão Lanin.
A partir de hoje, o AltaMontanha estará divulgando as histórias de Parofes, que são periódicamente publicadas em seu diário de bordo. As histórias do Parofes traduzem o espírito original do montanhista, a procura pelo conhecimento, o altruísmo e a busca por uma liberdade cada vez mais rara.
Estabilidade financeira e trabalho garantido pode ser o sonho da maioria das pessoas em nosso mundo materialista que visa apenas o acúmulo de bens. Entretanto para os verdadeiros montanhistas, respirar ar puro e ver um pôr do sol de cima do monte, vale muito mais do que ter o carro do ano.
Este espírito montanhista é capaz de trazer muita felicidade, quando estamos no meio natural calibrando nossas vidas com a montanha, entretanto não é fácil conciliar esta vida “ideal” com a “real” e o montanhista sempre acaba por entrar em conflito com o pragmatismo do mundo.
Pragmatismo este que força as pessoas a viver em pequenos apartamentos, a sofrerem no trânsito das cidades, a trabalharem o dia inteiro nos melhores dias dos melhores anos de suas vidas. Aonde a necessidade por acúmulo levou as pessoas? a conviverem com a violência, a poluição e à destuição de nossa qualidade de vida... Para que pagar tão caro para viver tão mal? Por que vender nossa liberdade e receber em troca apenas o necessário para sobreviver?
Não temos respostas para estas perguntas, mas vamos acompanhar as aventuras de Parofes nos Andes e torcer por ele nesta nova vida!
Veja as histórias de Paulo Roberto 'Parofes'.
URL to translate: http://altamontanha.com/colunas.asp?NewsID=2081
Work Less, live more, enjoy LIFE!
Best Wishes to all,
External LinksA brazilian website to get mountains info, including gps files to download:http://www.rumos.net.br/rumos/
My youtube channel: www.youtube.com/parofes - Now with 250+ videos online!
The biggest brazilian website about climbing and mountaineering, for which I'm a columnist: