Let's respect this great playground
The Mont-Blanc Massif is actually a fragile natural environment to which we must pay great attention. To contribute to the protection of it, we are counting on the engagement of each person. We have the duty of doing all that we can to limit our impact to the minimum.
As the organiser, the UTMB® has developed numerous actions to protect the natural environment and to raise awareness amongst all the players. This is a collective action which involves the organisation, regional groups, runners and supporters, partners and volunteers( Ambassadors for the Environment).
We, ourselves, have formed a Commission for the Environment which guides the projects and we set ourselves ambitious environmental objectives. We are always looking for ways of progressing in this domain and incite everybody to adopt an ecologically responsible attitude.
Le pays du Mont-Blanc
The UTMB® is a formidable play-ground at the heart of the Mont-Blanc country.
Magical, so one must not forget that this play-ground is also fragile, it has natural areas which simply must be protected to ensure that the UTMB® continues.
It is therefore impossible not to take in to account the natural heritage when we evoke the territorial anchorage of the UTMB®. Nature reserves, Natura 2000 sites, District franc, the 5 UTMB® events traverse some zones which have been identified for the rarity and the fragility of the species which exist within them. An incredible chance to be able to go through these sublime areas. A chance which also gives you the responsibility of participating in the protection of these extraordinarily rich zones. The attached map lists all the reserves crossed by the UTMB® races. As you will see, each race crosses one, or several, protected zones whether they are in France, Italy or Switzerland. Take the time to identify which areas your race passes through.
To illustrate the richness and diversity of the protected zones crossed by the UTMB® races, we have also noted a few examples of the flora and fauna which characterise these reserves.
Les Contamines Montjoie nature reserve
The highest nature reserve in France which is particularly appreciated by birds. 87 species, of which 58 nesting, have been recorded among which the golden eagle.
Natura 2000 site of Mont-Blanc glacial environments
The highest European colony of ibex. Presence, also, of a colony of albino marmots. A site of great geological interest for its glacial relics.
Franc district Val Ferret/Combe de l'A Reappearance after 20 years of the alpine grey wolf in the Val Ferret district. 25 – 30 predators have since been recorded.
Vallon de Bérard nature reserve
The fauna is typical of high mountain zones, with emblematic species like the ibex, chamois, black grouse, golden eagle or wall-creeper (a climbing mountain bird)
Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve
Very diverse flora linked to the extraordinary terracing in the reserve (spruce, blueberry, alpine clover, rhododendrons)
The ornithological interest is not negligible with, above 2000 meters, the presence of the golden eagle, ptarmigan or even the alpine chough.
Sixt-Passy nature reserve
For that which involves flora, 28 species of wild orchid have been recorded (very rare).
Great diversity of fauna dependant upon the altitude : roe deer wild boar, hares. At altitude the presence of ibis, bearded vultures, marmots and golden eagles.
The obligations in Nature Reserves
Do not take dogs so that the fauna is not disturbed.
NB : At the heart of the Les Contamines Montjoie nature reserve they are allowed only if they are kept on their leads.
Stay on the paths, to limit the amount of tramping about, and avoid making a noise which disturbs wildlife and others using the paths.
Do not pick flowers, or plants, so that they remain there for everybody to admire.
Prohibition to use a drone in a nature reserve / public space.
Take away all rubbish so that the site remains clean.
No camping and no fires so as to leave no signs of your passage.
A perpetual agreement
So to follow the actions already taken to protect the natural environment, an agreement was signed between the UTMB®, Asters (Academy of the natural spaces of the Haute-Savoie) and the University of Savoie.
2 environmental referents have been welcomed and are making a study on the impact of the races as well as study the rubbish which is dropped: this from year to year, to minimise the impact of the races on the natural environment. These referents are the link between the race organisation and the different bodies concerned with environment (institutional services, Asters, communes and farmers…). They look after the domains relating to the environment, before, during and after the event, throughout the route and especially where the route passes through areas where natural species are protected.
The event’s « Ambassadors of the Environment » team, who watch to minimise the impact on sensitive and fragile areas, is mainly formed of students from the University of Savoie Mont-Blanc.
We are fighting against ground erosion
Do not use short-cuts in particular on paths which are most susceptible to soil erosion when it rains. This year special signs will be placed in the sectors judged to be the most at risk, so please play the game and follow the paths!