“In the Summer 2011, from mid-June to the end of August, teams from the 1100 clubs of the French Mountain and Climbing Federation (FFME) will cross the Alps, following the international Via Alpina trail, and practising mountain hiking but also climbing, canyoning and mountaineering.
The guiding thread will be the social aspect of the crossing: encounters and common excursions with local mountaineers and participation of specific publics kept away from the mountains due to a disability or social reasons. This project’s objectives are:
SPORTS: To carry out in relay the six hiking stages defined for each of the eleven massifs crossed, that is in total 66 days of hiking in the mountains, which build up the guiding thread of our project, crossing eight European countries: Slovenia, Austria, Italy, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France and Monaco. The participating teams will be invited and encouraged to practice the other summer activities of FFME, i.e. mountaineering, climbing and canyoning.
SOCIAL ASPECTS: To involve specific target groups for whom access to the mountains is normally difficult, in bringing in a strong logistical support and the supervision by our certificated volunteers. To favour encounters between the FFME clubs and their European counterparts. To emphasize solidarity in the mountains.
ENVIRONNEMENTAL ASPECTS: To give priority to « green » actions and to those participating clubs which aim at minimising their environmental impact (transportation means, type of their practice...).
We have obtained the label “Sustainable development, sports get involved” from the national Sports and Olympic Committee CNOSF.”
Between 11 June and 27 August 2011, more than 250 members of FFME, coming from some twenty clubs all over France, took turns in ten massifs from Slovenia to France: Julian Alps, Dolomites, Zillertal, Wetterstein, Rätikon, Lepontin Alps, Vanoise, Ecrins, Queyras and Maritime Alps. Together they achieved 192 days of climbing, 137 mountaineering tours, 50 canyoning trips and 8 on via ferrata... and in total 550 hiking days! In the Triglav, the Dolomites, in Liechtenstein and in Ticino they were welcomed by local mountaineers who advised them and at times climbed with them. The adventure ended with a festive week-end in St Martin Vésubie from 26 to 28 August with climbing, canyoning, via ferrata and of course hiking as well as the commented showing of the videos made during the summer.