60 Millions to put the Mountain in a Box

This is what the town of Tignes wants to invest for a crazy project!

“The town of Tignes project is completely in ligne with the new trends of high flying leisure consumption in the mountains. As planned, it brings a high level of customer services right up there in the mountains, while erasing all the harsh but authentic aspects that this environment brings (cold, hard slope, difficulty, etc.). but il allows to live a faked nature experience in the comfort of a cocoon supported by a set of integrated services. “


Some of these points were made on November 25, 2016 before the commission for “New Touristic Units (UTN) of the Massif des Alpes” by the town of Tignes. This project includes a “Ski-Line Complex inclding an indoor ski slope, for skiing year-round (as already done around the world in some city such as Dubai) and a Surf pool at the foot of the ski slope,  “adding to the unusual character of the program”, as underlined in the proposal. The project is completed by a restaurant-bar “with a panoramic view of the mountains, the surfing wave and the ski slope”.

When the Mountain gets rid of itself
Mountain Wilderness denounces the philosophy behind such an “off-ground” recreation center in the heart of the mountains “Indeed, This project is the ultimate stage of absurdity, the summit of the absolute anti-mountain: denying the mountain on its own territory!

16 Votes against 2

Yet the UTN committee members widely voted in favor of this project.

Apart from the environmental associations, no one was against it. Only one elected representative supported our questions concerning the future of our mountains and this was not enough to start a debate on the fundamental issues, the perceived image of the mountains bu the public and the activities that are taken place there. “This is where the money drives us,” said one of the commission members, but “off the record” the day before the meeting!

This very large majority of the votes poses some serious questions about the vision carried by the mountain representatives for the future of its territories. To counter the consequences of the climate change (the Tignes glacier has lost 30% of its ski area in summer and is likely to lose as much in the next 10 years), it appears that ensuring a 365 days per year of skiing time justifies all artifices and is the only option.

Aspirations lie elsewhere

It also questions the so much talked about of the gap existing between the”elites” and the real world: almost all the reactions to the articles published so far on this subject show a strong push-back. This position is also shared by the vast majority of actors who live day to day from/in the mountain that we interviewed.
Such a strong rejection already happened at the beginning of 2016 caused by the extension project of the Chamrousse ski, near by Grenoble which mobilzed more than 600 people, gathered at 2400 m to form a living heart in the threatened valley.

Do not Let put the mountain in a box

In Chamrousse, the mobilization did pay. Everywhere, it is time that the “mountain people” and the civil society stand up so that the true riches and values of our mountains are really protected and shared, so that humanity can still marvel …! “

Source: Mountain Wilderness France Press release