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From the Adriatic Sea to the Mediterranean. From Triest to Monaco. 2000 km, 8 coutries, 110'000 altitude difference in 4 months.
The Alps are Europe’s largest natural area, considered the cradle of mountaineering, a shelter for a unique flora and fauna and a habitat for about 14 million people with different languages, cultures and traditions. The Via Alpina was initiated in 1999 by the GTA (Grande Traversée des Alpes) in Grenoble and brought to life in 2000 through a group of public and private organizations. The goal of the project was to link the eight Alpine countries of Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, France and Monaco and to improve the natural and cultural heritage of the Alpine region in a sustainable way. The Via Alpina, finished in 2002, runs from Triest to Monaco, from the Adriatic Sea to the Mediterranean, and crosses a total of 5,000 km with hiking trails marked by 342 day-stops across the spectacular mountainous landscape.
The American magazine “Backpacker” cited the Via Alpina as “The World’s Best Hike” in 2010. Since then, the Via Alpina has more than earned its place among the world’s best hiking trails.
The French mountain climber Matthieu Chambaud has dreamed of crossing the length of the Alps alone and primarily independently. Griesser AG has decided to help him realize this dream by becoming the main sponsor of the project. Above all, we were persuaded by the environmentally friendly and sustainable approach to the project as well as the possibility to vicariously experience this adventure.
The issue of sustainability and environmental protection plays a large role at Griesser AG, particularly in terms of its products. Our sun protection systems not only avoid overheating and glare, but also save energy. When automatically and properly controlled, energy consumption can be lowered up to 10%. In summer, blinds and rolling shutters can block out heat radiation and save energy on air conditioning. In winter, intelligent solar shading can direct the sun’s energy into the room and lower heating costs. Griesser AG has been a partner of myclimate since February 2008 and has been making its contribution to climate protection. It has compensated over 20,000 tons of CO2 emissions in the past eight years. As a family company, we continue to set new standards for buildings in terms of resources and energy.
The goal of the “Via Alpina l’envers du chemin“ tour is to make a documentary film about the parallel worlds of the long-distance hiker in addition to showing the physical stresses that must be overcome. A series of interviews will be conducted to find answers to the following questions:
· Why did you decide to undertake such an adventure?
· How does your relationship to time, material things and people change during your tour?
· What were your happiest, and what were your most difficult moments?
Griesser AG will be meeting Matthieu Chambaud at six different locations in the Alps to interview him about his experiences and the specific characteristics of the regions he hikes. These interviews will be published along with fascinating photos and videos at www.griesser.ch/new. We will also be updating the hiker’s current position daily and linking it with photos. You can experience it day by day.
Matthieu Chambaud was born in Lyon, France in 1983. He first discovered his passion for mountain travel while studying at the University of Wismar and during his first years employed as an architectural lighting designer. It all began with a six-month tour along the Andes. When he returned to Europe, Matthieu Chambaud crossed the Pyrenees. This second experience changed his life and persuaded him to devote himself to sharing his passion for mountain hiking with as many people as possible. Today he leads snowshoe treks and hikes in the mountains for private clients, gives environmental awareness classes in schools and sometimes works on architectural projects.
Matthieu Chambaud on Via Alpina: