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Or how to explore the mountains around us while paying attention to the environment?
Let's get back to the basics: try to adopt the right reflexes for the natural environment in which we go hiking.
Here, we’ll see how to hike with the lowest possible impact on the fauna, flora and delightful landscapes we want to explore.
The following advice is sometimes out of the ordinary, but it aims to get us to rethink what we do, to enjoy a really meaningful experience: imagination and adapting our route, including the choice of our equipment and how we get to the mountains...
It's a whole issue we need to (re)think about!
A long weekend in a massif served by the train?
A trip with the whole family and the car fully loaded?
Or find a car-sharing scheme to go on an adventure?
There are so many adventurous and fun ways to travel with limited environmental impact!
Did you know?
Global warming is twice as strong in mountainous regions, where temperatures are rising twice as much as in the plains.
Let’s leave no trace.
This philosophy is so easy to follow when hiking that we sometimes forget it. Here’s a little reminder of the simple actions to take in the mountains!
Taking our waste back down with us is the first rule, during a picnic, a night in a tent, or even when we’re in a refuge, it’s always greatly appreciated.
The shelters that are very busy in the summer don’t have the means to get rid of their waste, and anything that isn’t brought back down on human backs will be disposed of using a helicopter, which brings its share of nuisance to the local fauna.
And for smokers, make sure you always have a small pocket ashtray with you for your butts :).
What about any waste left by other less considerate hikers?
This is the perfect opportunity to do the right thing by picking them up too.
Other more ephemeral “traces” can also disturb the natural environment that we pass through: let's try to stay on the paths to avoid crushing rare insects or flowers on the edge of the paths.
It’s also important not to cut the corners in the path so as not to increase soil erosion during severe mountain storms.
It’s often very tempting to take the most direct route, especially on the descent, but this favours the flow of water, which can then damage the paths and make them impassable.
Let's be respectful of birdsong by leaving our portable speakers at home, which means we’ll have more chance of seeing a beautiful chamois a hundred metres away among the scree above our heads before it dashes off into hiding.
The landscape is wonderful? Let's try to capture it for posterity with a camera rather than wanting to launch a drone that will disturb all the animals in the area and annoy other hikers.
The mountain landscapes are so beautiful and complex that it’s nice to take the time for silent breaks to be able to appreciate all the details and shades of colour.
Feel free to share your best hikes with us on social networks using #quechua or #hikeuppickup.
Tag your friends or family to encourage them to follow your initiative on their next hikes, or go with them to show them the way!