Chamonix Glacier Clean Up

Employees from the British Consulate in Marseille and from Crystal Ski Holidays joined forces once again this year to help local volunteers to clean up France’s longest glacier, the Mer de Glace in the Mont Blanc massif, France. The glacier forms a large part of the world’s longest lift-served off-piste ski run, the Vallée Blanche.

The annual clean-up operation, which took place last Friday, has been run since 2008, organised by the town of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, the French Alpine Club, Lafuma and other mountain-based organisations.

It calls on large numbers of volunteers who, to date, have picked up 18 tons of rubbish left by 500,000 visitors, as well as waste from abandoned bivouacs, cables and ski lifts that reappears decades later as the glacier ice melts.

Michèle Solari, Vice Consul at the British Consulate in Marseille, said: “The British Consulate in Marseille works closely with Crystal Ski Holidays and other partners, as well as the French authorities, to ensure that our many British visitors to the Alps remain safe through our #skisafe campaign. It is also a perfect way of raising awareness of the importance of protecting the environment.”

Nial McLean, General Manager for Crystal Ski Holidays France, Switzerland and Andorra, said: “We work hard to provide high quality holidays that cause minimal environmental impact, respect the culture and people of the destinations and offer real economic benefit to local communities. For us, sustainable tourism is not just an idea, it’s fundamental.”

The clean up at Chamonix is one of many doens that tale place at ski areas around the world each summer and autumn, with volunteers collectively cleaning hudreds of tons of rubbish from the planet’s ski slopes every year. The Dutch based Respect The Mountain group is particularly active in this area, organising numerous mountain clean ups at resorts right across Europe with an ever-expanding programme each summr. Many other ski areas organise their own mountain clean ups locally.

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Everyone working together makes the difference.