Environment at the UTMB Mont-Blanc
As an experienced event organizer, the UTMB has developed numerous actions to protect the natural environment and to raise awareness amongst all the key players. This is a collective action which requires cohesion between the organisation, regional groups, runners and supporters, partners and volunteers (Ambassadors for the Environment).
OUR PLAYGROUND: TRAILS, PROTECTED AREAS AND ECOSYSTEMS
Magical, Fragile, To be preserved
The Mont-Blanc massif is a fragile natural setting requiring our utmost attention. To contribute to its protection, and we count on the commitment of everyone. We have a duty to do everything we can to minimize our impact.
Nature reserves, Natura 2000 sites, free district, the 5 UTMB Mont-Blanc events cross areas identified for their rarity and the fragility of the species that live there.
We are incredibly lucky to be able to run in these sublime areas. We have a responsibility to participate in the preservation of these incredibly rich eco-systems.
The map below lists the nature reserves crossed by the UTMB Mont-Blanc races. As you can see, each race crosses one or more protected areas in France, Italy or Switzerland.
Please take the time to look at which area your race will pass through.
Protected areas :
Contamines-Montjoie Nature Reserve
Natura 2000 site of the glacial surroundings of the Mont-Blanc
Val Ferret/Combe de l'Â
Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve
Sixt-Passy Nature Reserve
Vallon de Bérard Nature Reserve
In these ecosystems are listed:
Flora (linked to the extraordinary layering): wild orchids, spices, bilberry, alpine clover, rhododendrons
Fauna: Deer, wild boar, hare. In altitude presence of ibex, bearded vulture, marmot, the tichodrome, the ptarmigan (snow partridge), the chocard or, the majestic, the golden eagle. Reappearance of the grey Alpine wolf in the canton of Val Ferret (25 to 30 predators have been counted since)"
How to behave in the mountains ?
Both in and out of these zones, you must not leave any trace of your passage. Think also of the fauna and flora that surrounds you: respect their tranquility.
What you need to know - During the race and race tracking
We provide teams of volunteers "on the ground" to inform the public about respecting the rules in natural environments. These volunteers are also involved in the cleaning of the route before and after the event to measure the quantity of waste generated by the races.
Be warned, they are also equipped to penalize you in the case you do not respect the environment.
Actions of the Environmental Ambassador Team
- 1 100 km and 40 000m ascent in 6 days. The ambassadors of the environment covered the entire routes twice.
- 450 km covered by the referents of the environment in getting to know all the routes over 16 days.
98 alpine farmers contacted and met on the ground during the reconnaissance trips
So as to better understand the natural environment in which you find yourselves, we have created some specific signs. Also, you will see signs informing you of the presence of herds/flocks of animals or naturally fragile zones.
When approaching these zones, pay particular attention to your behavior so as not to frighten the animals: don’t wave your arms or poles, don’t shout and make sure to slow down.
Hiking sticks are forbidden in certain fragile sectors to avoid degradation of the site.
Certain routes cross through fenced pastures, please be sure to close any gates/barriers behind you.
You are requested to stay on the main paths so as to protect the nature around you, avoid aggravating the erosion or disturbing the protected flora and fauna.
When crossing alpine pastures, don’t forget that you are a guest!
Please respect the following rules:
- Stay on the marked trails.
- If there is a herd on the trail, go around and give it space.
- Close fences after passing through.
- Don't rinse your shoes in the troughs where animals drink.
- Don't pet the herd or the dogs.
- No littering.
- Respect the shepherd’s privacy, stay away from their mountain chalets.
TRANSPORTATION & MOBILITY
Every year, the UTMB Mont-Blanc puts in place a shuttle service that provides a more sustainable solution for runners, crews and spectators.
15,000 people use our shuttle service every year 150 shuttles travel around the Mont-Blanc regionfor every edition of the UTMB® Mont-Blanc 7 exceptional shuttle lines set up for the event
- For runners : Shuttles to the start of your races!
- For crewing support : UTMB Bus shuttles to follow your runners all week long!
- For spectators : UTMB Bus shuttles to get you to the different strategic points of the races!
Waste Management and Refreshments
We give priority to services and products which are derived from the Espace Mont-Blanc, to avoid unnecessary transportation and to involve local players.
The refreshment posts provide regional products, and certain of them are organically produced. In a country where spring water is abundant, we prioritize this resource which economizes on the use of 8000 plastic bottles and their transportation. To reduce consumption of plastic, both by runners and UTMB Mont-Blanc volunteers, and therefore limit your carbon footprint and your waste production, the organization will not distribute any more disposable crockery (cutlery, beakers, bowls) at the life bases and the refreshment posts (this is the same for the volunteers). This action called " Bring Your Own Utensils " (BYOU)
Transporting your waste
Small trash bags are distributed at race-bib distribution, they are for containing used toilet paper and other soiled trash like open gel containers, or plastic that has contained food.
Prioritize the use of rechargeable batteries and if that is not possible, do not abandon used batteries! Special containers to properly dispose of batteries are located at the Aid Stations.
Each UTMB Mont-Blanc volunteer has been made aware of sorting waste, and everything is done to recycle any waste.
The UTMB Mont-Blanc uses the services of specialists in this domain from the local region:
An association which manages waste, and the sorting of it, in Chamonix.
An association specialized in collecting and sorting, recuperates the plastic beakers which we collect from the first refreshment posts of each race (the flow of runners is too great and very concentrated) so that they can be recycled in to protheses or small electrical goods.
The results of our efforts
- 100m3 of waste collected and sorted in Chamonix
- 100 000 disposable beakers less
- 25% of rubbish: soiled paper
- 55% non-organic food waste
- Cleaning the integrality of the Mont-Blanc Tour before and after every race.
- Over 1500L of bio-waste recycled
Renovation of the footpath between Plan Jovet and Plan des Dames, in the Contamines Montjoie (74) nature reserve
Renovation of the La Sausse (73) wet zone
Renovation of the Trient les Jeurs footpath (CH) Creation of a footpath on the top of lac Verney Creation of a footpath to go to the Col des Pyramides Calcaires (in collaboration with Val d'Aoste)
Renovation of the second part of the footpath going to zhr Col du Bonhomme, between le Plan des Dames et le Col, in the Contamines Monzjoie nature reserve (in collaboration with ASTER and les Contamines Montjoie)
Rehabilitation of the Tricot path Widening of the path up to the Sapin pass for the CCC
Rehabilitation of the Bertone trail (IT)
Gateway of the Durnand de la Jure
CHARTER AND ETHICAL COMMITMENTS
- Charte G.E.S.I V1 & Charte G.E.S.I V2
- Sports for Nature Handbook (UN)
- Mont-Blanc ethical contract
The ethical contract was signed between the conference Transfrontalière Mont-Blanc and the association of Trailers du Mont-Blanc.
- Charte développement durable et manifestations sportives, Direction Départementale de la Cohésion Sociale 74
Le region of Haute-Savoie has recognised the work done by the UTMB organisation in various sustinable aspects.
- Charte du Plan Climat Energie Territorial de la Communauté de Communes de la Vallée de Chamonix-Mont-Blanc
UTMB is working with the valley of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, to put in place a Plan Climat Energie Territorial (PCET).
TRAINING AND AWARENESS
An agreement has been signed between the UTMB Mont-Blanc, Asters (Conservatoire des espaces naturels de Haute-Savoie) and the University of Savoie Mont-Blanc.
2 environmental referents are welcomed and carry out a study of the impact of the event as well as a study of the waste thrown away; this is to minimize the impact of the races on nature year after year.
These referents are the link between the organization of the race and the various actors of the environment (institutional services, Asters, municipalities, breeders...).
They take care of all environmental issues, before, during and after the event, on all the routes and more particularly when crossing protected natural areas.
The team of "Environmental Ambassadors", ensures to minimize the impacts on sensitive and fragile environments, is mostly formed by students of the University of Savoie Mont-Blanc.
Also courses, conferences are regularly set up throughout the year.
Numerous events are held all around the Mont-Blanc Massif during the week of the UTMB Mont-Blanc.
- Ecovillage of Vallorcine
- Animations and awareness of the mini-UTMB.
- Conference on the Alpagistes and the relationship with the ecosystems
- Awareness raising during the bib distribution
The UTMB Mont-Blanc is since 2003 committed to the protection of the environment.
Ecosystems animate the creation of the races and our duty is to protect them.
Humanity is facing today one of the greatest collective challenges.
Our duty as an outdoor event organizer is to mobilize our resources and involve all our stakeholders in the fight against global warming.
Beyond climate change, we also think, since the beginning, to a more sustainable anchoring for Trail Running in social and human terms.
As a creator of international outdoor events, we have the opportunity to be able to initiate a paradigm shift at our scale.
MINIMIZING OUR CARBON IMPACT.
In 2019, the UTMB Mont-Blanc is carrying out its carbon footprint.
To do this, the UTMB Mont-Blanc has been crewed by The Shift, UTOPIE and the WWF
Not surprisingly, the transport sector represents the largest share of our carbon emissions. Similar results for all international events. However, we have a duty to change the trends.
To do this, the UTMB Mont-Blanc is committed to continuing the trend that has been launched since its creation by 2025,
To come to the event
- To put forward collective mobility offers
- To pursue the idea of building rail offers
- To encourage and influence its populations to limit their carbon footprints when traveling
To get around during the event
- To propose soft and collective mobility around the massif
- To reduce the use of cars during the event by 75%.