We aim to get people off the beaten tracks & often into terrain with no marked paths & help them experience the more authentic & little known parts of the areas in which we operate. We like to combine this with healthy local cuisine & daily practices such as yoga & meditation to enrich & help maximize the benefits our holidays have to offer.
We work closely with local accommodation, facilities, restaurants & activities to ensure a genuine, educational & memorable experience. Nearly all the people employed by Wild Alps live & work in the area.
Our accommodation is provided By Green Park Village, La Salle & Maison Le Champ, Derby. Both are owned & run by women who have lived & worked in the area for over 20 years. We also work with the wonderful Lo Grand Baöu, just about the remotest Hotel in the area, lovingly converted from a ruined high mountain farm. It takes over 30mins on rugged tracks to reach them from the nearest road, but oh so worth it. Their 0km local produce policy & their culinary expertise in keeping alive the traditional dishes of the area, some unique to their kitchen is quite special. They also provide a high standard of accommodation for a lucky few, & use natural products to minimize the impact of their biodegradable waste system.
Our rafting is supplied by a local guide from Morgex & our Yoga teachers from Surya- Alpine Yoga Philosophy, based in Prè St Didier.
We are proud to be part of the Green Park Village Eco project. Here The management commits to do the following on a daily basis:
– sort out waste and locate waste collection bins in various areas of the village
– waste the minimum possible amount of paper and where possible reduce printing
– activate efficient energy systems throughout the village ( lighting and heating)
– build and renovate using technological and sustainable materials
– cut down water consumption
– create “Environment Friendly Weeks” with special offers for our guests
We also support genuinely self sufficient local projects such as Lo Grand Baöu (Lograndbaou.it). Here Denise Marcoz ( from a historical Valdostana family) has recreated probably the most remote & authentic hotel/restaurant in the area. She restored the farm using the same materials & techniques that built it over a hundred years ago. She employs many traditional land & water management techniques, as well as using renewable energy sources such as solar power.
Wild Alps operates the policy of “Leave only footprints, take only memories” & likes to get clients involved with local communities wherever possible, to learn from a more traditional & harmonious approach to the mountain environment. To this end we have worked with Chamonix Hiking Club to raise funds for a sustainable Tibetan Medicinal Herb cultivation project run by Samata Ayuvedic Retreat Center, Goa India. We hope to eventually offer treks to see the actual project in action, which is essentially preserving ancient Tibetan Medicinal Philosophy, fast disappearing with the dramatic cultural changes now occurring in Tibet.
Our trips take people to the remoter & less frequented high alpine refuges & seek out the more genuine family run restaurants that we can find. Every effort is made to enable our clients to engage with local culture & to understand the history & traditions that have shaped those cultures.
For example every high alpine “stalla”* or alpage* has it’s own summer festival, with traditional food, music & games often played with every day working items such as ropes & weights. We include visits to these wherever possible for our clients to witness 1st hand how summers have been passed for hundreds of years in these regions. Often it is possible for our clients to join in & try their hands at some of the activities. Believe me, they are never quite as easy as they seem!
We make detours to eat & sleep in the more authentic accommodation hosted by locals who really understand the area. In this way we keep our fingers on the local pulse, not to mention the movements of the rarer wildlife such as wolves & bears!
*Stallas & Alpages are essentially high alpine summer villages where cows are pastured & milked & traditionally cheeses & other produce made. Every summer each herd is driven on a 4 month journey from high valley to high valley, stalla to stalla. This maximizes nutrition, keeps the herd healthy with daily exercise & so boosts milk production.