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Giancarlo Gusmaroli, MEDSEA Ambassador, is over halfway through his "Hug The Med" climbing mission

Giancarlo Gusmaroli, an engineer specializing in aquatic ecosystems, an avid sports enthusiast, and ambassador for MEDSEA, relaunches his mission "Climb/Hug the Med" (on Facebook with the hashtags: #climbthemed and #hugthemed). A journey that spans 3 continents, 19 countries, and 22 peaks, totaling approximately 50,000 meters in altitude, all to embrace the most imposing summits overlooking the vast Mediterranean basin. A challenge that is not only physical but also symbolic, aimed at raising awareness about the protection and preservation of the precious interconnected ecosystems that characterise this region. 
In August 2023, Giancarlo restarted his journey. On August 16, he reached the Chemin Des Rèvoires - the highest point of the Principality of Monaco - at 168 meters above sea level, the eighth stop on his long journey. His ninth, tenth, and eleventh peaks were reached respectively on August 24 with the Pico De Mulhacén - the highest peak of mainland Spain at 3,482 meters above sea level. Subsequently, Gusmaroli reached the summit of the Rock of Gibraltar, at 426 meters above sea level in Spain. On August 28, it was the turn of Jbel Toubkal (Mount Toubkal) in Morocco at 4,167 meters above sea level. 
"We have reached 11 peaks (and 1 attempted, to be retried) out of 20 planned, about 30,000 meters of cumulative altitude out of the nearly 50,000 expected from the entire project. In the coming months, there will be further attempts; the journey continues!"Gusmaroli sums up his endeavour with enthusiasm and determination.  
However, not all stages are without obstacles: "Generally, some peaks are located in areas that are theatres of conflict or tensions where it is currently not taken for granted to move safely," he explains. "A still fragmented Mediterranean, with internal divisions that make it a mosaic of colourful tiles, difficult to embrace." 

The "Climb/Hug the Med" venture began with the reaching of the first peak on May 9, 2022, at Mount Corno Nero (Qurnat al-Sawda'), the highest peak of Lebanon and the entire Levant, at 3,088 meters above sea level. Today, we are well over halfway through the planned stages, and after the kayak tour around the island of Sardinia in the summer of 2020 and the one in Sicily in August 2021, successfully concluded, we know he will do everything to complete his mission and bring evidence of the ongoing climate change in the connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountain peaks and vice versa. Two undoubtedly interconnected ecosystems, where human behaviours in one and the other part reflect and influence each other. 

His journey is not just a sporting challenge but also a message of respect and protection of the Mediterranean, a sea that has so much to offer but, at the same time, needs attention and care. Gusmaroli, with his endeavour, reminds us of the importance of preserving and enhancing this natural and cultural heritage. 

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