Slavo Cernak


Slavo Cernak

Given Slavo’s athletic frame, healthy tan and a hearty smile, it would take some guessing to realise that here is a guy coming from a classical background, decorated by a degree in music and philosophy from a Central European country called Slovakia.

His journey into Expedition Leading was a step-by-step affair, starting out in his school holidays as a ski teacher on the slopes of Slovakia’s High Tatras range. Before long, he was hooked to a world of excitement and adventure. Or as he would probably put it unassumingly: it was the perfect opportunity to meet open-minded people, make friends, get a taste of their culture first hand, be part of a community, learn languages and much more. Landing his first full-time ski instructor job in nearby Austria fresh out of the university – to the dismay of what undoubtedly would have been a host of famous philharmonic orchestra scouts – Slavo’s outdoor professional career subsequently led him down to the southern hemisphere, spending over 5 months in Australia and a few years later coaching clients in Chile, all the while perfecting his language skills. Impressed by his previous visits to North America, he then returned once again to snowy Canada, falling in love with its untamed beauty so bad, that he couldn’t help immigrating and living there on and off for over 7 years, with summers spent mostly mountain-biking and winter skiing.

No matter how passionate he may be about the outdoors, in all his endeavors Slavo invariably follows a safety first principle. So it was only natural for him, while living in Canada, to sign up for intensive first-aid training and successfully pass the Outdoor First Aid course exams. To further develop his skills, he volunteered for bike patrol in the world’s biggest mountain bike park in Whistler, Canada.

Around 2007 he moved back to Europe and settled down in the beautiful south-eastern corner of Switzerland known as Engadin, carrying on skiing in winter and sailing and biking in summer. In the spectacular Swiss landscape, with lots of sunshine year-round, this outdoor enthusiast takes full advantage of everything nature has to offer, engaging in any activity or sport out there that stands to make for an enjoyable day. Windsurfing, stand-up paddling, jogging, swimming, road and mountain biking, ski touring, hiking or climbing – you name them. But every now and then, when the cold weather gets the better of him, he will hop in the car and cruise down the valley to nearby Italy to soak up some heat, of course not missing the chance to treat himself to a delicious local dish, coffee and ice-cream in the process.

These days, you’d be most likely to spot him about on the move with his clients, or honing his coaching and organizational skills. Whether it is skiing or sailing you are after, be it in Switzerland or one of its neighboring countries, here is a man with a solid track record of tailor-cut short trips and a growing list of returning customers, who have come to appreciate his fine blend of an adventurous spirit with a reassuring drive for safety.