French Alps walking and mountaineering holiday
Description of French Alps walking and mountaineering holiday
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOur list of activities only include those which have a minimum impact on the environment, such as walking, rafting, etc. We respect and support local conservation / erosion projects by following guidelines issued by the Ecrins National Park and ensuring our clients are made aware of any specific guidelines that may affect them. E.g. carrying rubbish down from refuges / high mountain walks.
All accommodation suppliers are vetted according to their professionalism and their approach to responsible tourism (using local produce, respect for the environment and promoting the culture of the region). Several of the gites have strong environmental criteria with regard to recycling and reducing their environmental impact. We are about to make a deal with Gite de France to use their eco certified gite suppliers. We dont promote motorised sports.
All our guides are fully trained in environmental sustainability as a part of their diplomas and they educate our clients about the mountain habitat during the activities. We dont print brochures and keep paper use to a minimum in the office preferring electronic distribution as our main means of communication with clients. We provide detailed information on how to behave within the park such as carrying out all litter, no free camping and adhering to the rules of the park.
PeopleThe mountain refuges on this trip are all club alpine francais (CAF) refuges so they maintain the buildings but it is the guardians that will make your trip!
They live in the refuges for the summer and make their living out of the food and drinks they sell to tourists. It is a hard life and is done out of a passion for the mountains rather than a desire to make any money. It is getting harder and harder for the guardians to make ends meet and to justify their summers in the mountains, especially in the refuges a little off the beaten track.
We have chosen our summits to take in some of the lesser known refuges to help maintain them and support the guardians who make their living there.
We also use local guides and pay them the proper rate rather than importing part time guides from abroad who have alternative means of income and do guiding for fun and not much money. These types of guides are able to reduce their rates significantly making it difficult for full time guides who have dedicated their lives to the mountains to be competitive.