Skins on your shoulders, ready, set, go! But with due sense of responsibility and a lot of attention! Ortovox, a leading brand dedicated to the world of mountaineering since 1980, wanted to share five tips for our responsible ski mountaineering outings, in full respect of the environment. All the more reason in this year characterized by travel bans and the need for distancing.
Responsible ski mountaineering: how to have fun while preserving nature
Here are the 5 rules for responsibly practicing ski mountaineering, respecting nature and others.
1. Protect nature
It is our job to protect and preserve what we love. Our greatest passions, freeride, ski mountaineering, adventure in the heart of nature, are closely linked to the conservation of the alpine environment. Reflect on your “consumption” of nature with the same awareness with which you approach everyday life.
2. Plan this abnormal winter season thoughtfully
In a historical period characterized by travel restrictions and social distancing and to contribute to the protection of nature, we invite you to pay more attention to the environment around you. And to do it responsibly and thoughtfully: many mountain areas are regularly overrun by mass tourism. The solution is to follow the reverse path, to choose alternative destinations and, if necessary, to give up on a specific destination.
3. Reduce your footprint
Ski mountaineers like us inevitably leave traces in nature, but we can reduce their extent and shape their appearance. Keeping our footprint as small as possible should be every ski mountaineer’s goal. As? Leaving no waste in the mountains, respecting protected areas, avoiding feeding areas for animals and younger wooded areas.
4. Respect your community and social distancing
Ski touring is a community experience. Practicing mountain sports with friends is more eco-sustainable because individual journeys are reduced, it is safer in the event of an emergency and makes the experience more varied and exciting. In doing so, however, always respect the regulations in force regarding social distancing. However, we remind you that being part of a community also means supporting the local population with a stop at the refuge as soon as you reach your destination or in a restaurant in the valley once you’ve finished your outing (when it will be possible to do so in your region).
5. Move safely
Be prepared for any eventuality! All winter sports enthusiasts should always be up-to-date on avalanche and snow matters and be able to use emergency equipment with regular exercise. The practical courses are certainly the most effective and also the most recommended method, however, with the multimedia platform Safety Academy Lab Snow di Ortovoxyou can also refresh your knowledge from home in digital format.
When practicing ski mountaineering and freeriding, those who venture into unsafe terrain must be able to estimate the avalanche risk. Careful planning, appropriate behavior for the environment in which you find yourself and having refined your ability to recognize potentially dangerous stretches are essential aspects for proceeding safely on alpine terrain. To disseminate this knowledge, since 2008 Ortovox, in collaboration with mountain schools, has been offering training courses on safety and the use of avalanche search equipment. These courses, designed for both beginners and experts, complement the contents of the Safety Academy, i.e. the Ortovox platform which represents the most complete training offer for alpine safety in the world. In summer as in winter, in digital format, but also on paper.