Volunteers are busy walking the slopes of ski areas around the world cleaning up the ski slopes in the quiet season between the end of winter and start of the main summer season.
A number of charity and environmental groups, as well as businesses operating at ski resorts and just volunteers from resorts and mountain communities have been hitting the slopes armed with buckets and bin bags to clean up trash left behind after the snow melts.
The Respect The Mountains environmental charity, now part of the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA), has been one of the big organisers of mountain clean-ups and in 2016 took to the slopes of mountains from sun-baked Tenerife, and famous resorts of the French Alps to mountains in Russia. In total over 600 volunteers, many families, united to walk over 3,300 kilometres in clearing five tonnes of waste from European slopes.
Respect The Mountains’ 2017 mountain clean up programme is already underway with more than 50 people, including many teachers, children and families, taking part in the first clean up at Piatra Mare (1844m) in Romania, removing more than 100 garbage bags totalling 300 kilos of waste.
The organisation will be organising more clean ups across Europe through spring and summer.
Different organisations are organising clean ups of resorts in France including ski teachers from the Ecoles du Ski Francais who, with other volunteers, are cleaning slopes in the Alps and Pyrenees in May and June.
A reported two tonnes of litter was picked up during a single collection at La Clusaz ski resort on May 8th.
The next clean-ups will take place at Ste Foy and Les Aillons (May 20-21); Serre Chevalier Briançon (June 1), Alpe D’Huez and Chamrousse (June 8); Châtel, June 10 and Peyresourde, June 24
Volunteers are welcome to join in the events and should contact the local Ecole du Ski Francais (ESF) for more details.
In Switzerland the Summit Foundation organises a number of spring mountain clean ups in partnership with resorts, including at Verbier, as pictured below last year.