Featured, Mountain Protection

‘Be a respectful mountain visitor’ and ‘spread the word’ were the two themes promoted during the sixth and seventh UIAA Respect the Mountains (RtM) events of the 2017 season.

Following the project’s first venture outside of Europe with a trip to Canada in June, events in the Italian and French mountains were held towards the end of the European summer season. The 2017 Series, dually conceived to comprise mountain clean-up days and educational programmes designed to encourage mountain users to adopt sustainable practices, has now witnessed nearly 700 volunteers cover over 5,000 kilometres of trails to clear nearly two tonnes of waste.

Now in its second year under the UIAA umbrella, the Respect the Mountains series is partnered by KEEN.

Third event in Italy

For the third Italian event of the 2017 season, Respect the Mountains landed in the Marche region, specifically in the Monti Sibillini National Park on 27 August. The day was a significant one as it marked a year since an earthquake hit the region. Fiastra, the closest village to the starting point, had been the epicentre.

After registration on the breathtaking panoramic viewpoint over the Fiastra lake, 72 participants led by the local section of the CAI, the Italian Alpine Club, challenged the very hot weather and very little shade along a 7km path called the “Lame Rosse”. The destination of the clean-up action was a red-looking canyon. The theme promoted during the day was ‘Being Respectful’ one of the UIAA’s 7-ways to Respect the Mountains, focusing on educating ourselves about local mountain conditions, and in this case all the participants had to be thoroughly prepared and have enough water to carry and hats to shelter from the 41° heat. After lunch, the group moved to the nearby village of Visso in order to visit the ruins of the earthquake, a local farm and a sanctuary.

Photos from Monti Sibillini National Park

A return to Tignes

Video courtesy of Tignes Développement

The Savoy region of the French Alps, is well known location for RtM. After the success of a meet in 2016, the ski resort area of Tignes was again the scene of a collaboration between the UIAA and the local tourism office. The event was originally planned for 31 August but it had to be delayed 24 hours due to bad weather conditions. Even the rain on the morning of the new date did not discourage all the tourists who happily cleaned-up the area in front of the lake and on the Palafour ski-run.

Photos from Tignes

Reports courtesy of Gloria Scarano, UIAA Mountain Protection Coordinator


Number of events: 7
Total number of participants: 684
Cumulative distance covered: 5,156km
Number of garbage bags collected: 227
Total amount of waste collected: 1,974 kg