David Sota

Lead Guide 

Born and raised in Santander, Cantabria, surrounded by mountains and sea (my beloved Picos de Europa and the Atlantic Ocean), I have loved mountains for as long as I can remember (my first climb was actually in my mum’s belly). I have been hiking since I was 3 years old when my parents used to take me to the mountains (although that was more piggybacking than hiking for me, haha). As a kid, however, I mostly played football like all the other kids my age. I had an introduction to MTB when I was 12 but did not really take it up until 2010, my legs tired from 30 years of football but in shape from winter hiking and snowboarding on my white mountains.

I studied Business and Management and worked in a Consultancy Office for 10 years, until I had enough (just 20 vacation days plus weekends for travelling and the outdoors—no way!) I quit my old life and started a new one, beginning with the trip of a lifetime: India, Nepal, New Zealand and Australia. The main part consisted of biking NZ from the North of North Island to the South of the South one, camping freely or sleeping in random strangers’ houses. That was life-changing!!!

I had trained and competed in some long MTB races before this trip, but they never took me anywhere—after 13 hours of pushing my bike I always ended up in the same place. Touring on my bike showed me another way of travelling and experiencing places and local people. I also found, on another biking trip through the Alps, from Milan to Prague, heading to Germany for a wedding (not mine!!!), that I enjoyed joining and encouraging other bikers that I met along the way. So, here I am to support all you achieving your happiness.

What our cyclists say about David…

David was incredible. Considering this is his first year with Marmot, he showed initiative at every stage. Highly supportive, very positive, exceptionally helpful and always there when needed. He is hardworking and a great team-mate to Christel. Whatever it is that Marmot does to select, develop and keep guides motivated – please keep doing that. David was highly positive about the entire Marmot team and clearly loves what he is doing with Marmot – he is DELIGHTED to be on the team. J Ruszka Classic Cols of the Dolomites 2018

Both guides did an excellent job dealing in a caring way with a number of problems that could not have been foreseen. Their use of the support vehicles was thoughtful and most helpful. R Chandler Classic Cols of the Picos 2018

David was super friendly, full of enthusiasm and very helpful. He was happy to hang back and support me to do the bonus climb of Tre Cime di Lavaredo on day 1. Conversations over dinner were always entertaining! C Bloomer Dolomites Minibreak 2018

David’s passion for the area was great and really came out in his descriptions of places, foods, etc. He gave us a few tips on extra places to visit slightly off the route, which was great. He was super-dedicated, including on top of the Angliru in the rain, when his spirited cheering helped us get to the top, and then he managed to get all the bikes into/onto the van, with frozen hands, and get us all down safely. It was evident how much he cared about ensuring we all had the best possible week. M Phipps-Taylor Classic Cols of the Picos 2018

David was brilliant. He gave us tremendous encouragement, help and support throughout the ride. Great fun too. J Fryza. Dolomites Minibreak 2019

David was absolutely superb – he went above and beyond in delivering first class support, guidance and encouragement throughout the whole journey – First Class. I Nichol. Bormio Minibreak 2019

David has all the qualities I want in a guide. Knowledgable, helpful, enthusiastic and hard working. He even went out of his way to take a rider to the hospital even when he was not in our group. N Crowther. Classic Cols of the Dolomites & Stelvio 2019

David went out of his way to ensure that I felt well supported during the holiday. Lots of encouragement at every stop. He even drove down one of the climbs to find me slowly climbing up, to take an order for a (late) lunch at a mountain top cafe before they shut – truly above and beyond the call of duty! Thank you, David, for everything! O Negyal. Classic Cols of the Dolomites & Stelvio 2019

Outstanding! So friendly and accommodating, nothing was too much bother. Very knowledgeable and approachable. A fabulous guide. A Stafford. Dolomites Classics & Stelvio 2019

David’s ability to maintain his enthusiasm level at 101% for the whole week was impressive! He was there with the van when you needed him, full of good humour and always willing to share his knowledge of the area. On the toughest section of the Angliru, he was there for me, glorious in his Viking hat and cowbells, yelling at me that I could do it when I was having very severe doubts… I did make it, though I only claim some of the credit for myself; the rest belongs to David. J Burke. Classic Cols of the Picos 2019