Thirty-four-year-old Martín Elías is a Spanish alpinist and mountain guide. Passionate about climbing, travelling and adventure, he left the Pyrenees in search of new horizons such as the Andes, Patagonia, intimidating north faces in the Alps, as well as Jordan and Morocco.
Even though his resume enumerates over fifty new routes with top-ranking alpinists, he is a man of great humility who loves to laugh!
Martín is originally from the Rioja Region, an agricultural area nestled between the Spanish Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa. He spent his first years away from the crowds, in a mountain hermitage. His climber brother and a handful of very talented alpinists from the area slowly showed him the ropes. A carpenter by trade, he would stare longingly at the Pyrenees from the rooftops he worked on, with dreams of climbing them and spending more time there. Working as a guide therefore made perfect sense. But what he was really interested in doing was opening new routes. His dream materialized when he joined the national Spanish team but even more so when he met Christian Ravier, one of Europe’s most distinguished first ascensionists, with whom he has shared a rope and numerous memorable adventures.
Well established in the Chamonix Valley, he now earns a living from guiding and dominates the formidable north faces that made him dream: Grandes Jorasses, Cervin, Eiger.
He also undertakes great expeditions, including a recent one to Bhagirathi III in the Indian Himalayas.
"Heading into the mountains allows one to create space for freedom and serenity. If time is money, then I’m filthy rich!"
Our meeting with him
His state of mind seduced us. A great all-around alpinist, Martín is someone who reaches out to others, who enjoys sharing his experiences. Within the Blue Ice community, Martín leads the other ambassadors when we do photo shoots, offers his expert opinion on gear and makes everyone laugh. He is a true resource person who inspires us on a daily basis.
Our shared values
- Simplicity: Martín likes the simple things in life. Choosing a project, taking off with a friend, going fast. Many of his ascents involve the Warthog pack and the Choucas III harness, tools that were created in that spirit.
- Humour: To do things seriously without taking oneself too seriously. Now there’s a motto we can get behind. Alpinism should be about pleasure, not suffering.
Projects that have materialized
- Cordillera Huayhuash and Cordillera Blanca (Peru): several ascents and attempts at new routes (Yerupaja, Siula Grande)
- The Cirque de Gavarnie, first ascent of “Memento Mori” (240 m, ABO-, RS4) with Unai Mendia and Albert Savado on February 12, 2011
- Riso Patron (2,550 m, Chile), first ascent attempt with Lise Billon, Jérôme Sullivan and Antoine Moineville in November 2014
- North face of Grandes Jorasses, repeating the Goussault-Desmaison route during the day with Damien Tomasi, on September 13, 2014
- North face of Grandes Jorasses, repeating the Directe de l’Amitié route with Korrado Pesce, September 26 and 27, 2014
- Bhagirathi III (6,856 m, India), repeating the Estrella Impossible route (1,300 m, 6c [5.11a], A3+, 60°) with Sébastien Corret, Korrado Pesce and Damien Tomasi, May 13-16, 2016