Our Family

Esprit Carrel is a family-owned company established in 2016 by Stefano Carrel and his wife Irene, along with their children Thierry and Silvie. It all began with the renovation of their grandparents' house in Aosta Valley, in Valtournenche, a town also known for the achievements of its Alpine Guides, including their grandfather Marcel.

The idea was to create an open space to be shared and expanded together, with mutual respect, where every individual could feel free to express themselves, showcase their qualities, and experience their emotions. These were all aspects lived by their grandfather Marcel and their ancestors, who dedicated their lives to conquering the peaks and mountains in the Aosta Valley and across all continents, from Chile to Greenland, from Pakistan to the African deserts.

Grandfather Marcel

Marcel Carrel was born in Chatillon (AO) on June 29, 1912, and emigrated to Lyon with his family. He returned to Valle d'Aosta and studied until the fourth year of high school at the seminary in Aosta. He dedicated himself to mountaineering throughout his life. Later, he went to Saudi Arabia with his sister Henriette and brother-in-law, where he stayed in Aden for a year.

Upon returning to Valtournenche, he resumed his career as an Alpine Guide, which he successfully pursued until the age of sixty when he retired, saying, "I can no longer do it because I can't provide the clients who want to climb the mountains with the necessary safety."

He was married to Secondina Pession, with whom he had three children: Giovanni, Ettore, and Rinaldo. He served as the mayor of Valtournenche after the last war and was a councilor and President of the Society of Guides and Porters of the Matterhorn for many years.

Key Achievements

1927: Ascent of the Matterhorn with his brother Luigi and Professor Don Augusto Quey di Ayas.

1928: At the age of 16, he crossed the Matterhorn with his fellow student Obert Osvaldo di Ayas.

1936: Climbed the Cresta de Amicis on the Matterhorn with his brother Luigi and alpinist Francesco Cavazzini.

1940: Completed the full traverse of the Grandes Murailles, with two overnight stays, with Luigi Carrel (Carrellino) and Piero Alfredo.

1942: Attempted in vain, with Carrellino and Italo Muzio, to open a route on the Grand Murailles at the Lioy Col.

1953: For training, he, along with Carrellino and Munzio, accomplished the first descent and ascent of the North Face of Becca d'Aran, the winter ascent of Dente del Gigante, and finally the first winter ascent on the South Crest of Dufour on Monte Rosa.

Mountaineering Expeditions

1956: Alpine expedition to Grandes Murailles.

1957-58: Italian expedition to the Patagonian Andes (South America).

1959: Guido Monzino expedition to Kanjut Sar (Pakistan-Karakorum).

1960: Guido Monzino expedition to Western Greenland - 66th Parallel.

1963: Guido Monzino expedition to Eastern Greenland.

1963-64: Mountaineering expedition in Africa - Tibesti.

1964: Eastern Greenland - Stauning Alps.

The Memory

On March 13, 1981, he left behind his wife Secondina and his sons Giovanni, Ettore, and Rinaldo.

His friend, Father Don Vittorio Désandré, remembers him as one of the admirable figures in Alpine guiding, a charming mountain personality, a popular man dear to the hearts of the entire community and the mountaineering world.

His courage, spirit of sacrifice, and passion for the mountains, which not everyone understands, were highlighted. It's a passion that elevates a person and takes them to the highest summits, not only those at six or seven thousand meters, but also those of commitment and responsibility.

Guido Monzino emphasized his modesty, honesty, and his humble demeanor, free from any human glorification. He praised his values as a guide and as a man.

Esprit Carrel takes you on a journey to discover the experiences lived by Grandfather Marcel and the Alpine Guides of Valtournenche, allowing you to live and feel them yourself.
We can provide you with accommodation in his house, and thanks to our fragrances, it will feel like you are in the places he explored, breathing in the same scent of conquest.
We transmit his passion by sharing what he loved and creating products with love.

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Created in the heart of the Matterhorn and Valle d'Aosta mountains, Esprit Carrel is our family company that is inspired by the legacy of our grandfather Marcel, and brings back his values and passions in the products and services we offer to our guests.

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development:
Europe invests in rural areas

Operation 19.2
Support for the implementation of actions within the framework of the participatory local development strategy

Initiative funded by the Aosta Valley Rural Development Programme 2014/2022
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