French mountaineers publish manifesto


The French Mountaineering and Climbing Federation and other key mountaineering and climbing stakeholders in France have published a manifesto to promote a common vision for the future of mountain practices:

This manifesto (Assises de l’Alpinisme. Read English version here) is the result of the work initiated in 2010 by the Mountaineering and Mountain Practices Observatory (l’Observatoire des Pratiques de la Montagne et de l’Alpinisme, OPMA) and based on the crucial following question: nowadays and in the future, what room is there for mountain activities in our society?

The word “mountaineering” alone cannot encompass these activities, which are undertaken by free choice in undeveloped or barely developed mountainous massifs worldwide. They require specific equipment and techniques and imply the sharing of positive values such as freedom, commitment, responsibility, autonomy, mountain team spirit and solidarity.

Today, these practices are weakened by the increasing process of land planning and development in mountain regions; they are also limited by growing environmental and security-conscious preoccupations and become marginalized since they have to face the important diversification of sports and leisure activities which particularly attract young people. How can we preserve room for alpinist and mountain practices? How can we have them recognized as displaying major interest for society once again?