Use the list at the right to navigate to presentations, slides, and posters by categories for all conferences combined. ==>

3 days / 3 themes – 35 speakers – 280 participants

The fourth Sustainable Summits conference, held in 2018, introduced several new themes. For three days, managers of high mountain sites, mountaineers, researchers and representatives from charity organizations and innovative companies from around the world came together in Chamonix. They shared their experiences and proposed solutions for the future of our high mountains according to three themes:

  • To help this conference to become a fundamental international meeting place to discuss the future of our high mountain regions
  • To boost awareness of the vulnerability of the high mountains, a common good for humanity
  • To define firm commitments to protect these exceptional areas

Most of these talks were in French; a few were in English. The links take you to YouTube videos in those languages. Most of the videos start at fixed points in a multi-hour timeline. You can scroll forward or backward to see into the future or the past.

Tuesday 12 June

What role do high altitude areas play in today’s societies?
The high mountain regions are among the last remaining areas on the planet where we can confront alterity, experience otherness. Such areas fascinate and transform us, opening new horizons. How useful are the mountains socially speaking? How can we ensure respect of the local populations? How to find the middle ground between strict regulations and free access for everyone for the management of these high mountain regions, etc.

Opening of the Fourth Sustainable Summits Conference
Éric Fournier, Roger Robinson & Ellen Lapham

The imaginary, the sacred and the cultural
Te Ngaehe Wanikau & Allan Munn – Respecting Sacred Mountains, the importance of the cultural values of mountains in the Maori culture
Bernard Debarbieux – The high mountains: new political concepts
Q&A: Questions & answers

Social values in the high mountains
Hugues Chardonnet – Sharing the high mountains with the poorest populations

Young researchers in the limelight
Posters session :
Young researchers in the limelight At the 2018 Sustainable Summits Conference, 15 research projects were presented highlighting the primary themes of this year’s event. 11 of these projects have been created by an outstanding group of “young researchers” and summarized in a poster format. The public had the opportunity to vote for the three best projects of young researchers.

The laureates were :

  1. Mélanie Marcuzzi / Reflab, mountain huts as research observatories
  2. Jacques Mourey / Mountaineers exposed to rockfalls in the Grand Couloir du Goûter (normal route of mont Blanc).
  3. Enora Bruley / Le Pays de la Meije, will future rhyme with nature ?

How practices have evolved
Philippe Bourdeau – The dynamics and future of high mountain activities in the Alps
Dani Bach – How has mountain social media altered our relationship with the high mountains?
Q&A: Questions & answers

Lionel Habasque – The view of a tour operator specializing in adventure travel
Blaise Agresti – How has marketing and advertising by outdoor brands transformed the way in which activities are practised and represented?
Q&A: Questions & answers

The high mountains, a shared heritage
Julien Charon – The Ecrins National Park’s mountaineering agreement, a shared ethical approach to managing mountain facilities
Majda Odar – the environmental impact of visitors to Slovenia highest mountain
Jacques Félix Faure – Refuges: joyful frugality and simplicity to generate social interaction
Q&A: Questions & answers

Wednesday 13 June

Climate change: the high mountains on the front line
Rockfalls, shrinking glaciers, melting permafrost, changes in high altitude biodiversity: the high mountains are at the forefront of climate change. What can be done in the field to cope with the consequences of climate change? How will climate change affect mountaineering and skiing activities? How can we limit the carbon footprint of our leisure activities?

Climate change in high mountains: field experiences and practical solutions
Ludovic Ravanel – Climate change and the stability of high-altitude rock faces.
Luc Moreau – The secrets of the Mer de Glace, the glacier and its alteration from the Montenvers
Q&A: Questions & answers
Irène Alvarez & Brad Carlson – Changes in the natural habitats of high mountain areas: from research to citizen involvement
Claude Jacot – Managing access to the high mountains in a context of receding glaciers: the examples of the Mer de Glace and its refuges
Marta Gavalgno – Climatic extreme events in the Aosta Valley
Q&A: Questions & answers

Climate change and glacial retreat
Wolfgang Cramer – Climate and land use change in mountain regions: attributing observed changes and assessing risks for the future
Bernard Francou – The acceleration of ice melt in the world’s mountains
logo YouTube Questions & answers
Sébastien Lavergne – The stakes of climate change in high-altitude alpine environments and ecological dynamics
John All – Climate Change and local mountain people: tourism and traditional livelihoods
Q&A: Questions & answers

Natural hazards and accidentology
Philippe Descamps – Reduce the risks on Mont Blanc
Pascal Stoebener – Monitoring dangerous glaciers in Valais – concrete examples.
Questions & answers

Thursday 14 June

Human activities in the high mountains: impacts and solutions
The growing number of visitors to the legendary summits represents a threat to their environment and actually ruins the experience sought by these same visitors. How to manage waste and toilets at high altitude? To what extent should the mountain regions be equipped? How to reduce accidents on the legendary summits? How to behave responsibly to minimize our impact?

The company, a key player in innovation for the future of high mountains
Paul Petzl

Human waste pack-out systems in high mountain regions
How to manage Human waste in high mountains and expedition? Examples in North America and Nepal
Roger Robinson
Louis Ortego
John Cocks
Dawa Steven Sherpa
Q&A: Questions & answers
Björn Alfthan & Matthias Jurek – No time to waste for the mountains!
Anne Roches – The treatment of old tips around the cabins of the Swiss Alpine Club
Francine Brondex – Obsolete facilities: a collective human adventure and a unifying solution to military and tourist waste in the high mountains
Q&A: Questions & answers

How to develop a high mountain policy based on field experience?
Carolina Adler – The mountaineering community as change agents
Ellen Lapham – Is success assured?
Irena Mrak – Human impacts at the highest elevations: the case of the Baltoro Glacier

Rising visitor numbers: impacts and solutions
Mathieu Dechavanne – Access into the Mont-Blanc massif from the point of view of a ski lift company
Dave Bamford – Managing the impacts of rapid tourism growth in New Zealand’s Alpine National Parks
Dawa Steven Sherpa – Strategies to minimise our environmental impacts in the Everest region
Q&A: Questions & answers

Closure of the conference
Eric de Kermel & Fred Marat
Nicolas Hulot
Dawa Steven Sherpa & Lisa Choegal