Ice climbing holiday in the French Alps

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01273 823 700

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2017: 14 Jan

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Ice climbing holiday in the French Alps


As ice is just a temporary formation that changes with the weather so it can’t really be damaged by climbing it even if you have the impression of massacring it with your ice axes! The next day after a bit of melt and re-freeze there will be no signs of your activity!

For ice climbing venues that are in Alpine winter wilderness or the Ecrins National Park our guides will explain the habitat of this harsh and fragile environment. You will get to know the difference between a wild boar print and a chamois and suss out if they were running, being chased or just chilling out in the snow!

The Ecrins National Park is a protected area for wildlife and there have been several projects to reintroduce animals such as the ibex and safeguard other species from the erosion of development elsewhere. Ice climbing in these areas gives a good appreciation and respect for the work and it’s importance globally.

We have a range of accommodation on offer and all the hotels, bed and breakfasts and self catering that we use is vetted by us. We favour family run local establishments over large commercial chains and are always on the look out for ecologically friendly buildings and environmentally conscious proprietors! We have a number of eco-gites on our books and a lot of our suppliers use solar power for hot water due to the climate here.

The auberge used for the ice climbing trip uses an ecologically friendly heating system and use local produce in the restaurant. Our office policy is to be as paperless as possible, to use recycled paper where necessary and re-use envelopes and jiffy bags where possible.


The local economy of the Alps in winter is predominantly supported by the ski industry, which other than providing an income for local people is not the most responsible holiday activity for the environment! However it is often the only way local people can earn a living.

The mountains in winter are truly at their most magnificent and there are so many other ways to explore and discover them without having to strap a pair of skis to your feet. Ice climbing is a great activity that can be done outside of the big resorts, to encourage non-skiing winter holidays and provide an alternate means of making a living for the local people.

For example, we have one ski instructor and high mountain guide who has reduced his contract with the ski school in order to have more time to lead ice climbing and snowshoeing trips for us which we are very pleased about! We always use local guides and instructors and rather than bringing over foreign guides.

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