EPIC – Exploring (& Education about) Peaks, Inspiring Conservation

Respect the Mountains organises the Envirotrek Clean Up Series each year, in different mountain locations to bring together volunteers (tourists and locals) to clean up a mountain area. Often these areas are centred around resorts after the snow has disappeared or mountain recreation areas. At the same time, Respect the Mountains engages with participants in these events to educate and inform and draw attention to the ‘7 ways’ of respecting the mountains.
 
Raising awareness of leave no trace and sharing mini bins with mountain users
Raising awareness of leave no trace and sharing mini bins with mountain users

The Project

Funding from The North Face Explore Fund, via EOCA, will enable Respect the Mountains to develop and implement a new winter programme, designed to engage young people between the ages of 12 and 16, in mountain awareness and experiences. An EPIC day will be designed in Le Grand Massif, France, to:
  • Educate the youth in respecting mountains.
  • Engage the participants in hands on conservation work.
  • Enable the youngsters to experience a winter mountain activity.
  • Inspire them though discussions with Respect the Mountain and The North Face Athletes and Ambassadors.
 
Snow safety
Snow safety

The Update

The one day event was held on 21 February 2014 in Samoens, in France.  23 enthusiastic teenagers attended a mountain education workshop based on '7 Ways to Respect the Mountains'.  They then visited high-use picnic areas around the resort to remove litter and approach mountain users to encourage them to respect the mountains and 'leave no trace'.  After a hearty mountain lunch, they attended one of 2 workshops, to learn about safe free ride skiing or to receive basic avalanche training.  Heavy snow meant that unfortunately not much litter could be collected.  The raising awareness of respecting the mountains and leaving no trace both with the enthusiastic and well-motivated teenagers and the people they spoke to was well received.
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We are hugely grateful for the support of the European Outdoor Conservation Association, without whose support we could never have realised such an ambitious project.
Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage