Media Coverage

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Barefoot climber tackles Mt. Fuji

(ANSA) - Tokyo, September 20 - An Italian mountaineer who has become famous for scaling peaks in his bare feet is to take on Japan's highest and holiest mountain, Mt. Fuji.

Antonio Peretti, 47, a charity-driven forest guard and part-time adventurer from the mountainous Veneto region, is to attempt his feat next month - on the heels of similar exploits that have earned him the nickname "the barefoot climber".

Peretti, who pits himself against nature under the adopted name of 'Tom Perry', is an amateur parachutist, hiker and biker who says he "discovered his true calling" when he flung off his boots and started running headlong down a local mountain one summer's day in 2002.

Over the next five years, Hobbit-like, he clambered over most of his native Dolomites as well as venturing farther afield to Mt. Blanc, Kilimanjaro, the Himalayan heights of Makalu, volcanos in Ecuador, Bolivia and Etna in Sicily - while it was erupting.

On his website,, Peretti says he feels "the Earth transfers its energy to me while barefoot.

"I am spiritually reborn, I become a conduit for positive and genuine values".

On each of his climbs Perry has raised money for environmental causes and peace groups worldwide.

This time he will be bringing ash from Etna to the top of Mt. Fuji in a sort of symbolic 'twinning' of the two famous peaks.

Perry will also carry up a plaque commemorating the exploits of Italy's late 'Human Condor' Angelo D'Arrigo, who died in a plane crash last year.

The Mt. Fuji ascent will be covered by Sky TV and journalists who have recorded Peretti's other exploits will put together an 'instant book' on the initiative.