BALLY FIGHTS AGAINST MOUNTAINS’ WASTE
Text by: Annarosa Laureti
Hot topic (and trend) of this summer was removing plastic from our seas and beaches. Several and several celebrities and influencers – maybe moved by the Greta Thunberg’s effect? – have tried to sensitize public opinion showing on their IG accounts pictures portraying them recycling trash.
Unfortunately the crucial matter of waste and pollution doesn’t stop at most popular tourist places, like crowded seashores, tropical bays or mountain walks, but concerns also all those sites invaded by a niche kind of tourism. We may think that extreme environments such as desert lands or high plateaus are untouched by this issue, but it’s not true. Pollution and garbage cancer extends little by little to every single earth’s organ (we mustn’t forget, after last month media tempest, that Amazonia rain forest lung is still burning).
However, important programs to heal our planet are increasingly taking hold. Also the (once) uncontaminated Everest peak can now proudly claim its anti-trash repertoire. Last May 21st in fact thanks to “Peak Outlook” initiative – promoted by the Swiss luxury brand Bally to safeguard world’s most extreme mountain environments and their surrounding communities – among a ton of waste was picked up between the Everest basecamp (5380m) and the very top of the world (8848m). Led by Dawa Steven Sherpa, the Eco Everest Expedition gathered more than the half of the entire trash amount from the so-called Death Zone (above 8000m), where oxygen level is a quarter of that required by human survival.
“When I first started climbing in 2007, I was shocked and saddened by the amount of waste abandoned in this magnificent landscape” Dawa Steven Sherpa claimed “The following year I made it my goal to pioneer a clean-up mission, which to date has recovered over 19.5 tonnes of trash”.
Actually there’s no better word than that used by the climber: “shocked”. Yes because it’s seems totally unreal that even a place commonly and exclusively steped on by “mountain lovers” could be ruined like this.
First of all, this is a matter of education, one of the latest value been lost. Himalaya in fact is more than a simply breathtaking landscape, and its real beauty – as Jamling Tenzing Norgay, climber and Nepalese writer, remembers us – lies on the cultures of the entire region. “These mountains are sacred to sherpas. We don’t climb mountains for funt or sport but because this is our life” he continued.
Bally – whose story has been weaved together to that of Everest since 1947, when the brand equipped the Swiss expedition with its famous rubber sole special boots, then worn by Tenzing Norgay when he conquered the peak with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953 – knows it well and tries to take care of these environments giving a little yet strong help to their communities.
However the main challenge remains that of catching public attention and making first indignation a concrete act. Sure that “no mountain is high enough” Bally doesn’t give up and takes up the gauntlet launching a capsule collection to celebrate “Peak Outlook” project but above all to finance future eco expeditions.
For all who wants to contribute to the cause, the first T-shirts – entirely made in organic cotton GOTS certified and reporting the slogan “No Mountain High Enough” – are now available on Bally flagship stores and at Bally