Innovation Book - By mountain planet EN

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EDITION SALON 2022

INNOVATION BOOK BY


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INNOVATION BOOK BY MOUNTAIN PLANET / ÉDITION 2022

INTRO EDITION SALON 2022

INNOVATION BOOK BY

INNOVATION BOOK IS EDITED BY MOUNTAIN PLANET - ALPEXPO .........

DESIGN REALIZATION EDITIONS COSY

GERANT : Claude BORRANI SAVOIE Technolac 18, ALLÉE DU LAC ST ANDRÉ 73 382 LE BOURGET DU LAC CEDEX Tél : 00 33 (0)4 79 65 46 10 Fax : 00 33 (0)4 79 65 46 12 Site Internet : www.cosy-design.com

Writing

Cécile Ronjat - Marie-France Sarrazin Claude Trinidad

In front page

OT Courchevel /OT Grand Bornand

Illustrations Anne Bosquet

Art direction & layout

Séverine Béchet • studiosbdesign.fr

Director of development Kamel Beghidja kamel@cosy-editions.com

Commercial Director Olivia Gontharet olivia@cosy-editions.com

Communications advisors Fanny Marguet fanny@cosy-editions.com

Caroline Javelle caroline@cosy-editions.com

Administration and customer relations Laurence Rémy laurence@cosy-editions.com

Frequency: Annual

Mountains are undergoing a wonderful transition! Of course, times like these call on unprecedented amounts of agility and adaptation, but beyond the occasional and cyclical gray clouds that have been part of life since the dawn of time, what we are seeing in mountains is the dawn of a new century, filled with hope thanks to this transition. We have been thinking about this transition for a long time now, and today we are taking a new step thanks to innovation. Transition/Innovation is a wellcombined pair and the inventions, patents, and applications we are seeing that embody “usefulness” abound, as illustrated by the many examples collected for this second issue of the aptly named INNOVATION BOOK. Resorts, ski lift operators, equipment manufacturers, developers, startups, institutions, builders, observers, and anyone who is a stakeholder in the mountain industry have already initiated change and innovation. Even though that path is strewn with uncertainty, these pages are a testament to their boldness. Mountain Planet considers them all possibilities for tomorrow’s mountains. Rather than a single model of winter sports resort, it is a future that touches on every aspect that is collectively envisaged and that will lead to more diversity and success. To avoid having to choose sides between those who wish to promote all-ski and those who want it to disappear, the transition/innovation duo seems to be a much more reasonable and rational ally—one that will encourage each territory to dare write a different story than its neighbour, to embrace what makes it different by showing audacity and panache. We would like to thank all the contributors, partners, and advertisers for participating in producing this new issue. It is a collector’s item, a “must have”. See you in 2023 for the 3rd edition of the Innovation book by Mountain Planet. Enjoy your reading!

Jérôme Riff MANAGING DIRECTOR · ALPEXPO, THE GRENOBLE EVENT CENTER

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Any reproduction or representation in whole or in part by any process whatsoever of the pages published in this magazine made without the authorization of the publisher is unlawful and constitutes an infringement. Only are authorized, on the one hand, reproductions strictly reserved for the private use of the copyist and not intended for collective use, and on the other hand, short quotations justified by the scientific or informative nature of the work. in which they are incorporated. (art. L.122-4, L.122-5 and L.335-2 of the Intellectual Property Code).

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CON TEN TS INNOVATION BOOK BY MOUNTAIN PLANET

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FOCUS Digital technology serving the energy transition. Without digital there can be no transition, say the specialists.

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INTERNATIONAL Transport, governance, diversification, identity, partnerships between small and large stations, energy transition: two specialists share their feelings about foreign areas that they know well...

REFLECTION Design thinking: can it help companies imagine the mountain of tomorrow ?

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MOUNTAIN INNOVATIONS: NOW AND TOMORROW Mobility, digital tools, energy transition, future snow modelling, and even artificial intelligence and connectivity. A bird’s eye view of innovations

NATURAL RESOURCES Water, forest, mountain pastures, wind, rock, in a word, nature: a mountain heritage treasure that many players in our sector are gently taming. Proof by example...

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DEBATE Beware of greenwashing !

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end FIN See you in 2024.

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INTRODUCTION – ANALYSE Mountain planet 2022, in the air of a new era!

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NEWS - INNOVATION Hot off the press: the best of international mountain news

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/ EDITION 2022

INVESTIGATION How the C.E.A. Participates in emerging innovations for the mountain

MOUNTAIN PLANET • ONLINE

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Bikes get their own cabin With the Bike Cab for gondola lifts, up to eight bicycles can be transported simultaneously. That guarantees a high transport capacity and a high level of attractiveness for biking enthusiasts. Loading and unloading is performed simply and quickly by the riders themselves. They attach their bikes to the Bike Cab in the bottom and then board the next cabin. In the top station, passengers have ample time to retrieve their bikes – then it’s off to the downhill thrills. doppelmayr.com


I N T R O D U C T I O N / A N A LYS E

INNOVATION

FULL SPEED AHEAD!

Mountain winter sports resorts did not wait for the health crisis to take charge of their future. Of course, an evolution is needed, both economically and ecologically, and for some it is more urgent and extensive than others. But each one must draft their own model. It is a daunting exercise, but one that fosters innovation. Texts: Marie-France Sarrazin Illustrations: Anne Bosquet

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he appearance of this virus helped spread a word or concept called Resilience. It is simultaneously intriguing and annoying. It has replaced Nietzsche’s expression “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”. This semantic pandemic is undoubtedly explained by the note of optimism that it conveys: the ability to overcome an ordeal, to bounce back, to reinvent oneself. In fact, the ordeal is not new to the mountain environment, which bears the stigma of climate change more than anyone else. Winter sports resorts did not wait until 2020 to initiate the much needed ecological and economic transition. Simply, like any crisis, this one was a revelator, one embodied by the ski lift closures. “Skiing pays for skiing and much more,” so rightly explains the mayor of Le Grand-Bornand, André Perrillat-Amédé. There is no doubt about it, skiing remains the driving force in resorts. “And it cannot be substituted. No, summer will not replace winter,” says Patrick Arnaud, General Manager of Serre Chevalier Valley ski area. The Haute-Alpes resort is one of the first to have tackled summer diversification. “In five years, we have multiplied our summer turnover by four, but it only represents 3% of our annual turnover! During the 12-week summer, we generate sales equivalent to our smallest week in January. It is not profitable, but we put a lot of people to work and contribute to the attractiveness of the destination. We can only do this because winter is working well.” Summer activities are rarely profitable. “Alone, they aren’t enough to generate significant attractiveness. We have to have them, but we need to stop fantasizing about replacing skiing with other activities. There is no economic or touristic reality that justifies it,” says Laurent Reynaud, general delegate of Domaines skiables de France (DSF). BE COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR BUSINESS MODEL Wiping the slate clean is impossible and simply not desirable. In any case, clients are not ready to give up skiing: “All those who had practised other activities last winter, forced by the lift closures, have returned to downhill skiing,” notes Jean-Luc Boch, president of the National Association of Mountain Resort Mayors (ANMSM) and mayor of La Plagne. “Skiing and snowboarding are activities that require little effort compared to the sensations they provide, unlike cross-country skiing. Before, people used to ski for 8 hours a day, now it’s 3 to 4 hours, but every day. They may do other activities but these remain extra bonuses, not products for which they come to the resort,” notes Kaline Osaki, head of Cluster Montagne’s business development department. Patrick Grand’Eury, president of Cluster Montagne, pleads for balance: “We have to get out of the current dichotomy: Those who are promoting skiing at all costs against those

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Winter sports resorts did not wait until 2020 to initiate the much needed ecological and economic transition.

promoting a brutal revolution excluding skiing. It would be going down the wrong road to say that skiing is over and that we need to find some other activity. It is both wrong and too radical. There will still be snow in the next few years, although less at lower altitudes.” Not all mountains are alike, not all are impacted in the same way by global warming. What we suspected is now scientifically confirmed. To build their future, resorts have taken advantage of a formidable prospective tool, Climsnow, created by a consortium between Météo France, Inrae, and Dianeige. “The future varies greatly from one resort to the next, which is why it is important to carry out these studies. It depends on the topography, equipment, and exposure. You can end up with two resorts that are geographically close but that show varying effects of climate change,” explains Carlo Carmagnola, a consultant for Dianeige and


snow physics researcher at Météo France’s snow study center Just breathe: “Skiing will continue for a long time. Development and diversification tools will help resorts survive. “But there are already low- and medium-altitude resorts that are difficult to operate due to the low level of snow all winter. THE PAGE IS YOURS TO WRITE Choices have to be made. In 2020, one resort made headlines for its shift that some will consider radical and others courageous. Métabief. This small resort in the Jura, spreading out from 900 to 1430 meters in altitude, has anticipated the potential end of alpine skiing in its area by 2030-2035. “We have decided not to invest in artificial snow or in new ski lifts. We have opted only to maintain the lifts in operation,” says Olivier Erard, director of the Mont d’Or group. At the end of 2018, the resort decided to dedicate time and money in engineering to imagine their next model, all while maintaining ski operations as long as possible. Métabief has given itself 15 years to draft their future, which will involve decentralization. “In terms of the ski area, there is no substitute for skiing. We had to admit that the right scale was no longer the ski area but a broader area, a sense of territory.” For them, that territory is the Haut-Doubs. Olivier Erard relies on its people to engage the transformation. “Mountain professionals probably have solutions. Let’s not imagine infrastructures too quickly, let’s give ourselves time.” It is both frightening and energizing to imagine a model whose contours are unknown. “We think we’ll make it, but we aren’t sure. As the resort is still in operation, it does not encourage creativity.” Olivier Erard is aware that the resort is now under close scrutiny, with others almost lying in wait. “Of course, there is resistance

and innovations are emerging.” But he is both reassured by “the method and means rolled out” and encouraged by the support of all levels of government. “French resorts have developed a very mimetic model. Perhaps each territory should dare to build something different from its neighbor. We need to be bold. Those that embrace their difference, which inherently is courageous, will be those who survive. The field of possibilities is considerable,” says Patrick Grand’Eury. RISE LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES The revival of Puigmal in the Pyrenees Mountains is tangible proof. In 2013, the resort was forced to close due to debts and a lack of snow, leaving the site abandoned. It reopened this winter thanks to a group of seven ski-enthusiast friends who invested their savings in this project, without any public subsidies. They designed the resort of their dreams; one that has more variety, is greener, and open year-round. The alpine ski offer is present but its operation has been rationalised: Snow-making and grooming are kept to a strict minimum and no more than 1,500 skiers are allowed on the slopes per day. The ski area includes a secure freeride zone, play area with a drag lift for beginners, and other areas for non-skiing activities—sledding, hiking, snowshoeing, dog sledding, trail running, Nordic walking, mountain biking, etc. Is this model sustainable? The future will tell.

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“Those that embrace their difference, which inherently is courageous, will be those who survive. The field of possibilities is considerable” PATRICK GRAND'EURY, CEO LUMIPLAN MONTAGNE ET PRÉSIDENT CLUSTER MONTAGNE

THE DIGITAL EXPERIENCE “We need to build a more sustainable, creative, connected, and playful mountain,” says Patrick Grand’Eury. Orres Resort has definitely turned towards technology and digitalization in its operations as well as in its offer. Pierre Vollaire, hightech professional and mayor of the town understands this. The town is carrying out an experiential resort project (€12 million) to promote outdoor sports and win back young people and those who think mountain activities are inaccessible or unattractive. How is this possible? Their answer is through the creation of three clusters. The first is experiential and could be likened to an edutainment mountain theme park with simulators and augmented reality installations. The aim is to encourage the general public to safely experience the outdoor activities on offer in the resort and in the valley—skiing, cycling, rafting, kitesurfing, tobogganing, paragliding, wingsuit flying, and more—and then take them on a real-life experience. The second is the sports and innovation center which gives beginners the chance to learn new sports and others to improve their performance. The program includes dry slope skiing and cycling, lateral control skiing, connected home trainers, gym with connected physiological monitoring, cryotherapy cabin, massage table, hypoxia room, and performance analysis room. The third component makes the ski area itself an experiment. Ski and mountain bike tracks and training areas will be equipped with cameras, sensors, and stopwatches to measure performance in real time. A professional tool for top athletes and a fun tool for the general public.

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FINDING THE WINTER-SUMMER BALANCE Is summer the future of resorts? “In winter, we are a mature market, unless a new snow sport emerges. The main source of change remains summer operations,” says Jean-Luc Boch. There is a lot of room for improvement and summer/winter turnover is disproportionate. They must be balanced. Val Thorens, an international high-altitude resort is fortunate to have a long winter season. “We are not threatened in the short term; skiing will still be here for another few decades. This; however, must not stop us from preparing for the future and understanding that our future growth will probably depend on summer operations. We have been


working on this for five years. We see genuine potential for progress this season and there are products to invent,” says Jérôme Grellet, general manager of Setam, the operator of Val Thorens. Here again, the ski area is thinking in terms of territory, with the expectation of a more mobile summer clientele. A LARGE OPEN-AIR LAB Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket, as the saying goes. This is the characteristic of village resorts, which have preserved a heritage and activities beyond just skiing, giving them a certain charm that tourists in search of authenticity come to seek. Le Grand-Bornand is one of these happy few. This village counts 2,200 permanent inhabitants and 25,000 tourist beds. It is strongly influenced by agropastoralism and has 42 permanent farms employing 120 full-time equivalents—all focused on one product. Reblochon. In addition, 1500 jobs are linked to tourism. The town boasts a residual unemployment rate of 3% more than twice less than the rest of the country! The Alpine resort has kept its distinctive charm: 3% of the total area is urbanized, 27% of the area is classified as a sensitive natural zone, 40% as an agricultural zone, and there are more than 400 old chalets. “Le Grand-Bornand has taken care of its territory, developed it with respect for its resources, so as to make it an active area that creates jobs. We are constantly looking for a balance between protection and development,” analyses André Perrillat-Amédé. Of the one million annual overnight stays, 45% are in the summer season, but the driving force is still skiing. Last winter, Le Grand-Bornand had some of the highest occupancy rates—45% on average with peaks at 70%. Yet, the economy suffered. It showed us how much skiing is important for us; it is the pillar of our current financial model.

In this context, the town is also thinking about its future and has developed a unique research project with the SavoieMont-Blanc University, a ‘Large Open-Air Lab’ to imagine the mountain of tomorrow, a model that can be used in the real world. This three-year program works with nine laboratories, 35 researchers, 400 students, and two sustainable development officers, and will involve the territory’s players and inhabitants in collectively defining Grand-Bornand’s strategic orientations. “The aim is to maintain an active population, to make the village a place where people should feel good, live well, and vacation well. Tourism is a means to an end, not an end in itself.” Through this major research project, the town intends to set and respect the quantified objectives for their economic development strategy, while controlling the load born by the territory. The study will focus on three key themes from a sustainable development perspective: Local life, agriculture and biodiversity, and tourism. Not far from there, in Isère, Emmanuelle George—a researcher in mountain tourism development at Inrae (National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment)—is leading a similar approach initiated with Isère Attractivité, the Grenoble Region Urban Planning Agency (AURG), and the Labex ITTEM (Innovations and Territorial Transitions in Mountains). The project focuses on the transitions for mountain resorts and tourism territories. “We began by developing working arrangements that were co-built between research and engineering players and partnering pilot territories, Gresse-en-Vercors and the Grésivaudan town consortium,” says the researcher. The process begins with a phase designed to understand and share about how they see their territory and what challenges they see. It is supported by a participatory diagnosis involving inhabitants and economic and public players. Based on this preliminary process, the territory’s attractiveness and also vulnerabilities emerge and are “compared with what we know today about climate change and practices, for example.” The next step is to develop scenarios that will lead to a choice before proposing an action plan. It’s a program that, like the transition, needs to be thought of in the long term. “Transition is not necessarily synonymous with the end of skiing; there are several paths,” insists the specialist.

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The short-term objective is to implement these systems in the territories concerned. In the Vosges Mountains, questions are being asked. At the request of elected officials in the Vosges, Isabelle Blaise—project manager at Scet, a subsidiary of the Banque des territoires—has carried out a study on “the evolution of resorts in the Vosges in the face of climate change”. This shows the need to gradually initiate a transition where skiing no longer occupies such a central position. “In the short term, the objective is to move from a guarantee to ski to a guarantee to enjoy activities in the snow, and then to a guarantee year-round activities,” summarizes the study. The study also recommends developing specific features for each resort; features that must take on a territory-wide scale to offer complementary and mobile activities.

Lines are moving fast to avoid disastrous scenarios.” LAURENT REYNAUD, DÉLÉGUÉ GÉNÉRAL DOMAINES SKIABLES DE FRANCE

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IT’S TIME TO ADAPT, NOT FIGHT Skiing higher and higher. To guarantee the presence of snow and produce less artificial snow, a trend is emerging: High-altitude slopes. The Hautes-Alpes department alone has three in the pipeline. In Dévoluy, a plateau at an altitude of 1850 m will be served by a future aerial ropeway and developed as a new tourist attraction and initiation area, usually confined to the bottom of the resort. In OrcièresMerlette, the Rocherousse plateau (2300 m), accessible by Telemix, already hosts many activities, but is going to be reorganized as a real high-altitude ski area, with an area for beginners. In Serre Chevalier, the future Pontillas ropeway will link Villeneuve to the Méa plateau, at 2255 m, converted into a beginners’ area. Serre Chevalier has chosen to adapt rather than fight. Skiing at the top of the ski area and returning to the resort by ropeway if there isn’t sufficient snow to cover the slopes down is one of the solutions considered. The ski area has created a website to both raise awareness and survey its customers on potential environmental improvements, such as limiting grooming, reducing lift speed, closing off certain areas to protect flora and fauna, and leaving some slopes fallow to allow nature to regenerate. Innovation also requires a change in behaviors and user acceptance without which change cannot be sustainable. Programming valley lifts to relieve congestion on the roads and in the resorts is commendable; however, vacationers must be convinced to leave their cars in the garage.


Since its creation in 1966, Avoriaz has always been a pedestrian resort. You can get around on foot, on skis, or in a carriage. “It’s really a way of life and vacationers come to Avoriaz for that, to be able to take a leisurely stroll with their children,” explains Sara Burdon, Morzine-Avoriaz communications manager. Cars are relegated to the parking garages at the entrances to the city in summer and winter, including for permanent residents. Vehicles can be driven in the off-season, making it easier for construction sites! Other initiatives are also emerging to limit car use in the resort. In 2019, true to its high-tech spirit, Val Thorens volunteered to test an autonomous 100% electric shuttle— built by Navya and operated by Bertolami—linking the bottom and top of the resort; a world first. The health crisis put a stop to this trial, which did not last very long, but long enough to note one pain point. “This rounded, cool-looking shuttle was a point of curiosity for vacationers who wanted to get a closer look, but because the shuttle’s safety devices were so sensitive, stops would be triggered too often. It made normal operation impossible,” explains Jérôme Grellet, general manager of Setam, the ski area operator.

ON THE ROAD TO THE MOUNTAIN OF TOMORROW Mountain Planet shows how the mountain ecosystem is teeming with innovations to anticipate the future and reduce its carbon footprint. Resorts are embracing this new normal. “I don’t know of any resort that does nothing about these issues. This health crisis will at least have had the merit of changing our way of thinking and accelerating the implementation of measures such as the Avenir Montagnes plan, says Pascale Boyer, Secretary General of the French National Association of Elected Officials in Mountainous Regions (ANEM). DSF promises to decarbonize French ski areas by 2037 and has made 16 eco-commitments. Obviously, these efforts should not only concern resorts, but should be shared by society as a whole. IPCC forecasts, innovation, business creativity, energy savings, and general progress make Laurent Reynaud confident: “Lines are moving fast to avoid disastrous scenarios.” So what will the mountain of tomorrow look like? It will likely be a clever balance between economic zones and protected natural areas, with new forms of skiing, new sports offerings, digital technology for the experience, and customer service A mountain of possibilities. “We have so many trails to explore in cultural, industrial, natural, gastronomic, astronomical, spa, and lifestyle tourism,” suggests Pascale Boyer. “We have to build a future by not letting go of what has made our economy successful in the last 50 years, but we must reinvent ourselves in summer and winter. It will be easier to set up in territories that can capitalize on the benefits of skiing,” observes Patrick Grand Eury. Finding inspiration, by observing what is happening elsewhere and working on a strategy by involving the local population, associations, and economic forces in place. In short, tackle our future head on. “Some will take risks; they will be criticized and then they will be used as a model. Let’s give innovation the place it deserves by accepting failure and learning from it, so that we can move forward again,” urges Patrick Grand’Eury. The work is well underway.

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NEWS - INNOVATION

DID YOU KNOW?

HOT OFF THE PRESS

THE BEST OF INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN NEWS

People, brands, ski resorts, mountain territories, companies, research, figures, and more. Texts: Marie-France Sarrazin and Claude Trinidad

Today, since ski lifts are powered by electricity, 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions from ski areas—which represent only 2% of the carbon footprint of a ski vacation—are linked to the use of dieselpowered snow groomers. Passenger transportation accounts for 57% of a ski resort’s carbon footprint.

TRANSPORTS

HIGH-TECH TRAILER

NIELS ST VITEUX

Fast, silent, electric, reliable, at the crossroads of leisure and transportation—MoonBikes offers a vehicle with the manoeuvrability of a bicycle and the power of a motorbike. An eco-responsible alternative to the polluting thermal snowmobiles and a huge market-to-come.

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The start-up Kid’Venture designed Ecrins, a multisport carbon trailer for children, which can be used on trails, cycle paths, and snow. Inside, the air is filtered, and the hard shell protects against UV rays. The trailer is equipped with an electronic device to monitor the interior environment, such as the temperature, and keep an eye on your child through a video system.

KID’VENTURE

MOONBIKES, THE FIRST 100% ELECTRIC SNOWBIKES


C.CHABOD/LE GRAND-BORNAND TOURISME

L’ALPE D’HUEZ ADOPTS HYDROGEN The Savoy-based company Green Korp Konnection (GCK) had already released a prototype hydrogen vehicle for the Dakar 2021. The company is now tackling the fleet of large vehicles, including snow groomers, the primary source of pollution in ski areas—a much-awaited solution for mountain industry professionals looking for ways to decrease their carbon footprint. “The vehicle is very similar to a Dakar race car with the same engine power and fuel cell operation. We worked with the groomer manufacturer Kässbohrer early on to ensure we had something serious before offering the product. Alpe d’Huez was the first to draw,” says Eric Boudot, co-founder of GCK, in association with Guerlain Chicherit. Therefore, Alpe d’Huez, SATA Group’s ski area operator, and the resort’s urban bus operator Resalp will get five regionally subsidized snow groomers offering 8 hours of continuous autonomy and three retrofitted hydrogen buses, respectively. The first of the five converted Kässbohrer diesel groomers will be tested in the 2022-2023 season before entering operation the following winter. The first hydrogen bus prototype will be delivered in winter 2022, with the three vehicles commissioned in 2024. Each groomer will be equipped with a 320 kW electric motor with a maximum torque of 850 Newton meters. The fuel cell, capable of producing 150 kW, will be powered by 70 kg of

Major snow groomer manufacturers are also committed to hydrogen and electric power: Prinoth with their LEITWOLF h2MOTION, and the Kässborher Pisten Bully with their 600 E+ hybrid model, which has been in operation for some time.

“The drivers will find the same operation and driving style as a classic snow groomer”

hydrogen at 700 bar, coupled with a battery designed by IBS, another GCK subsidiary. “Drivers will find the same operation as a classic snow groomer, the same driving style, eight hours of autonomy in continuous operation, and identical climbing and acceleration capacities,” guarantees Eric Boudot. GCK works with companies specializing in the production and distribution of hydrogen to offer the customer a complete package. “Of course, the distribution structure is supplied with guaranteed locally produced, green hydrogen. Otherwise, it would not make sense. The main advantage is that there are many green energy sources here in the mountains,” says the company director. In a second phase, if the fleet grows, each customer can set up its production site. How much does it cost? “It’s a little more expensive than a classic snow groomer but still reasonable, especially as the Region subsidizes them.”

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NEWS - INNOVATION

The group is now working on a concept of a resort cargo hotel, a solution that would help solve the “last-mile” problem.

Just like what is being done in the city, as shown here with the future urban logistics hotel at Port Edouard-Herriot in Lyon, the electric shuttles imagined by Bertolami would serve that last mile.

DR

TRANSPORTS

BERTOLAMI WANTS TO CREATE CARGO HOTELS IN RESORTS The local coach operator Bertolami was the first to use an autonomous electric shuttle in Val Thorens in 2019. The group is now working on a concept of a resort cargo hotel, a solution that would help solve the “last-mile” problem. Placed long before the final destination, the cargo hotel would be a tollbooth, a terminus for delivery trucks. The rest of the journey would then be made by a carbon-free shuttle. “A lot of courier trucks from the valley drive through the resort. Often they are not at full capacity but are there because they have deliveries, and the majority aren’t the most recent vehicles. We are far from a utopia”, says Benjamin Beaudet, general manager of Bertolami. He points to another problem: The need for mobility has never been so great, but local authorities are seeing their allocations drop and are struggling to finance this kind of service. This cargo hotel would ultimately meet both needs: A shuttle bus could transport both goods and passengers, “creating an economic equation that benefits the community.” In the end, Benjamin Beaudet is just repeating his grandfather’s idea. Seventy years ago, he filled his buses’ cargo holds with parcels. “This principle was abandoned in France,” he says regretfully. The group is experimenting with it on its regular routes. Who would finance this last mile? It would either be borne by socio-professionals or by the logistics company. The necessary logistics, loading and unloading docks, cold chain management, and acceptance by transporters, logisticians, and socio-professionals must be determined. What does Bertolami have to say in all this? “We are in the process of creating a new market for mobility operators that doesn’t exist today, and that can be likened to the role of the telephone operator.” For the moment, the group is trying to identify those territories ready to try the adventure.

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€268 M

This is the amount French ski areas will invest in 2021 Following the premature interruption of the ski season in March 2020, the level of investment in French ski areas immediately plummeted, reaching -37% at the end of the calendar year, with €237M in 2020 compared to €379M in 2019. Because of this, the 2020-2021 winter season could have seen the same falling numbers, especially since ski lift operation was not authorized, but That wasn’t the case! With €268 million in investments for 2021, French ski lift operators illustrated their dynamism by maintaining a solid level of investment. This represents 85% of the annual average over 2011-2020. This is the main finding of the annual survey carried out by Montagne Leaders, in partnership with Atout France and Domaines skiables de France.


WWW.WISTHALER.COM - HARALD WISTHALER

DID YOU KNOW?

A CABIN THAT WORKS BOTH IN THE AIR AND ON THE GROUND The Tyrolean manufacturer Leitner has designed ConnX, a hybrid transport solution combining a ropeway and an autonomous vehicle. How does it work? The ropeway cabin is transformed into an autonomous vehicle capable of continuing on its track at the station. Passengers no longer need to change carriers to reach their destination. A solution adapted to the urban environment where certain areas remain inaccessible by ropeway.

GOODS TRANSPORT NOW OPERATED BY SKI LIFTS The valley lift market is making a solid comeback to relieve congestion in ski resorts and the roads leading to them, which sometimes fall victim to landslides. “In a resort, square meters are both scarce and expensive, and there is also a real desire to reduce carbon footprint,” says Christophe Hepp, head of pre-sales at Poma. The leader in ropeway transport is involved in one of the most eagerly awaited projects in this field, the creation of the Funiflaine (€88M). They are even a shareholder, alongside Compagnie des Alpes, Autoroutes et tunnel du Mont-Blanc, and Crédit Agricole des Savoie. By the end of 2025, this valley lift will link the Arve Valley (from Magland) to Flaine in 15 minutes, along a 5.3 km route with a 1,367 m difference in altitude. The construction of the 2S gondola lift (with a carrying rope and a hauling rope) was entrusted to Poma, and Compagnie des Alpes will manage operations. The valley lift will be equipped with 68 EVO 16-seater cabins. Open nine months out of the year, the Funiflaine is expected to welcome 500,000 passengers per year and transport luggage and goods to supply the resort’s hotels and shops. The aim is to eliminate 85,000 cars, 500 trucks, and 100 buses from the roads each year.

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In 2019, DPD, a subsidiary of the La Poste group, opened a second drone-operated parcel delivery line in France, in Isère, linking Le Fontanil-Cornillon to the village Mont-Saint-Martin in eight minutes round trip, compared to 30 minutes by car. This delivery by drone is carried out from a mobile terminal installed in a vehicle. When they arrive in Mont-SaintMartin, the parcels are deposited by the drone in a fixed reception box near the town hall, in a compartment that protects them from the weather.


NEWS - INNOVATION

VALLEY FREIGHT Lifts have carried people until now, but now they can also take goods. And it starts with the luggage. A drop-off point near the departure station will allow users to leave their bags immediately taken care of by the staff and park in the areas provided. Luggage will be labelled and placed on trolleys. Users will then collect them from the machine or drop them off at their residence. The Funiflaine will also act as a courier for parcels and provide freight and laundry services for hotels, which will send their linen to the valley for cleaning before being sent back up to the resort. The hotel can collect it at the exit of the arrival station or have it delivered. “The initial project even included the transport of household waste, but this was not considered to be very relevant as trucks from the valley would have been needed to collect it and would have had to come back down empty,” adds Christophe Hepp. All these services require some logistical arrangements: Staff, storage space in arrival and departure stations, and vehicles capable of integrating trolleys into the cabins. Goods transport would take place preferably in the morning, before the opening to the public, at the end of the operation, or during the off-peak period. Poma is working on another equipment project in the United Arab Emirates as part of the Hatta tourism development. The Dubai Summit project is being developed by the Dubai electricity and water authority, with EDF as the engineer and Groupe 6 as the architect. The project involves building a 5.4 km long aerial tramway to the highest point in Dubai, Um Al Nesoor, at an altitude of 1300 m. It will be the only point of access to a hotel nestled in the heart of the mountain, where food, of course, and drinking and wastewater management are required. Poma, well-versed in the subject, responded to the call for tenders to construct this 35-seat 3S gondola lift—with two carrying ropes and one hauling rope—which has a large freight capacity. It remains to be seen whether Poma will be awarded the contract. “We’re doing everything we can,” promises Christophe Hepp.

FuniFlaine’s goal is to eliminate 85,000 cars, 500 trucks, and 100 buses from the roads each year.

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The first electric train with solar panels, Soios Solar Sunshuttle, the first road-approved solar-powered train from Mobilité Plus, can travel at 25 km/h and climb slopes of up to 15%. It is powered by a lithium battery pack housed in the driver’s cab, making it possible to operate even in cold weather. It has an autonomy of 150 km on flat ground, and solar panels can increase this on the roof. Its locomotive pulls between one and three wagons, seating up to 75 people. It is equipped with an access ramp for people with reduced mobility. The train can be customized and carry skiers and their equipment standing. Ski racks can be installed on the doors or at the train’s rear.

DR

TRANSPORTS

An electric train with solar panels

Goods transport is another string to the bow of Valleys lifts. In Flaine, it would take place preferably in the morning, before the opening to the public, at the end of the operation, or during the off-peak period.


15%

SOLAR CARPET LIFT

That’s the uphill incline the electricallyassisted shared cargo bike by Néoz, a creator of utilitarian ecological vehicles, can handle.

DR

SuperDévoluy Resort has inaugurated the first solarpowered carpet lift, an innovation by Sunkid, integrating the eV+ solution designed by Sunwind Energy. The Sunkid carpet lift is powered by solar energy thanks to the presence of a photovoltaic gallery equipped with eV+ panels. The solar module is laminated to the gallery using a sandwich construction method, with two polycarbonate lenses, each two millimetres thick. Its arc-shaped structure allows the alignment of the cells to be adapted to the changing position of the sun throughout the year. The crystalline carrier material offers a view of the outside world during the journey and gives the operating personnel a clear picture of the carpet. “This gallery makes it possible to produce electricity and to divide indoor temperature by half in summer thanks to the shading effect,” says Xavier Duport, director of Sunwind Energy.

The company is looking for a partner resort to test this alternative solution to the car, which tourists could use in the mountains in summer, allowing them to travel from site to site with their families. This cargo bike could also find its place in a transport hub as part of last-mile delivery in resorts.

SECURITY/MANAGEMENT

“Making your site unique and remarkable”

EFFECTIVE SNOW-MAKING

Technoalpin’s ATASSpro software combines the best features of the Liberty and ATASSplus control systems in one easy-to-use package. It brings snow-making management into a new era. The snowmaking system starts automatically when the conditions are right and distributes snow over the ski area according to existing conditions to optimize costs and resources. The integration of cameras and webcams provides an overview and increases operational safety. Finally, this software supports decision-making by providing comprehensive data around weather forecasts.

Reconciling eco-responsibility, the ski offer, and promoting tourist diversification over several seasons is compatible! According to ArviPro, the key to the success of the transition will be to think in terms of each ski area, taking into account its specificity, existing facilities, clientele, inhabitants, and farmers. Convinced that there is no single solution, the Savoyard company is a driving force in defining your project, providing innovative ideas, and coordinating the selected companies.

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NEWS - INNOVATION

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Serge Ferrari, the radical innovator for almost 50 years, will be marking this anniversary in 2023.

MAINTAINING EARLY SNOW PRODUCTION Snow-making can be done early in the season to anticipate needs when temperatures are suitable. Serge Ferrari, an internationally renowned specialist in composite materials, has patented a mobile system called ESPS to conserve artificial snow to avoid premature melting of this resource. The system is a technical membrane device with a ground anchor and an insulating and waterproof cover.

Intelligent aerial tramways

Digitalization opens up new possibilities in the world of aerial ropeways. Doppelmayr’s Smart Ropeway is a package of intelligent technologies benefiting operators and making their work easier and more efficient. Information on operation, maintenance, and spare parts stock management is always available. Smart Ropeway is also a unique experience for users: Fully automated autonomous driving (AURO) is one example, in-cab infotainment is another. The new Omega V cabin, in addition to a 360° view, offers free internet access, tourist information, and the possibility of traveling with music. With the new generation of cabins, including the 3S Atria with its panoramic view, accessing the network is increasingly easier, guaranteeing efficiency and safety during operation and comfort for passengers. Cabin features such as lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, seat heating, and intercom systems are easily controlled through the individual and centralized Doppelmayr Connect system.

DR

SECURITY/MANAGEMENT

CEA-Leti, the technological research institute, has developed several innovative tools. The first is very useful for mountain rescue, for example, when searching for avalanche victims. It tracks whether smartphones are immerged in the snow by using a drone over the search area to create a triangular point in 3D. An antenna specifically designed to accurately estimate the direction of arrival of a radio signal can be used outside cellular network coverage. Carried out jointly with Squadrone, this work is supported by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region. The drone enables localization through 3D technology, CEA-Leti is behind another innovation, the ultraa tool developed with CEA-Leti and Squadrone. wideband antenna, which can be integrated into a drone, used in particular for cliff inspections. Coupled with a GEORADAR, it monitors natural gravity hazards and structures that are difficult to access. This work was carried out with the company Geolithe. CEA-Leti’s third program is a new bi-directional firing system that can be adapted to the needs of mountain professionals. The system remotely triggers and provides ultra-precise synchronization of hundreds of detonators located a few kilometres away from the blasting area.

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MARIO

THREE CEA-LETI INNOVATIONS


Using water as Snow X, a brand the refrigerant, owned by Alpinov X, the Alpinov X system specializing in the has less impact on snowmaking market, the environment. has developed a revolutionary solution that makes cost-efficient, environmentally friendly snow, even at high temperatures. “Our system is different from others. We use water as a refrigerant instead of traditional refrigerants, which are gases that generate CO2 and therefore contribute to global warming, says Thomas Vinard, CEO of Alpinov X. Our solution is environmentally friendly and offers higher energy efficiency, which reduces the energy cost of operating the m3 produced, requiring less electricity.” The process will be available this autumn has the additional feature of making snow at up to 30°C! “It doesn’t make sense because the snow wouldn’t hold, but it’s possible. We offer operation up to7°C, which makes it possible to completely secure ski area operation, guarantee opening and closing times, and control costs.”

W H AT H E S A I D

“We have decided to set an ambitious date to achieve carbon neutrality for our sector by 2037, with zero CO2 emissions.” Alexandre Maulin, President of the French Ski Areas Association

NEVEPLAST ALPINE

DR

° 7

New deal for artificial ski slopes Thanks to our passion for skiing, the continuous research and development and the tireless effort of our team, we managed to realize a product that was missing in the dry ski slopes’ sector: a solution enhancing the skills both, skiers and riders, no matter the level of ability. While the Neveplast ALPINE surface simulates skiing on a layer of hard and compact snow, Neveplast FREESKI feels more like natural snow, thanks to the revolutionary technology applied and the different pattern adopted, enabling an optimal and easy side grip. Neveplast FREESKI is ideal for everyone looking for pure fun and adrenaline. Skiing on Neveplast FREESKI is easy, exciting and fun. The target that Neveplast FREESKI addresses is wide: skiers and snowboarders, from beginners to experts. Neveplast FREESKI is also ideal for pro riders who need to train in parks with excellent slipperiness qualities and easy side grip. Among the testers who helped us in developing the new Neveplast FREESKI is Michela Moioli, Olympic SBX Champion at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics of 2018. According to her, «It feels like snowboarding on fresh snow.»

SAY GOODBYE TO LINES! This winter, 12 resorts managed by Vail Resorts allowed their customers to use the app EpicMix, a lift wait-time forecast updated every 15 minutes, to optimize their ski day.

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NEWS - INNOVATION

SECURITY/MANAGEMENT

Secure boarding Sivao, by Bluecime, is the third eye of the ski lift operator: It detects anomalies at the end of the carrier boarding process thanks to a camera box secured to the first tower. It assists the operator and customer in safe boarding, informs the operator in real-time of the number and location of people on the line, and even makes the difference between adults and children.

LA CLUSAZ IS SMART La Clusaz Resort will control its installations remotely thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies developed by the Kerlink group, the Isère company Adeunis, and the Savoyard company API-K. For example, presence sensors placed in the passenger compartments on its ski lifts will enable the Alpine resort to optimize its emergency response plans by evacuating passengers efficiently. Another sensor can identify a faulty circuit breaker on an installation and quickly restart the lift. This process has also been implemented to manage refrigeration facilities in high-altitude restaurants during the off-season.

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This is how much the K-IP box weighs. This innovation by API-K, a Savoyard company specializing in geo-security for outdoor enthusiasts, precisely geolocates people anywhere in the wild, even in dead zones. It’s ideal for mountain professionals. Ten or so ski lift companies have already equipped their staff and equipment. ESF, the French ski school, will use the technology to monitor its students on- and off-piste. Sports event organizers are also very interested in this new technology. The beacon will also be available to the general public starting this spring.

The box developed by API-K has quickly attracted the interest of mountain professionals, including ESF.

DYNAMIC PASS PRICING IN AVORIAZ

Xsalto develops intelligent ski pass sales solutions for ski resorts. These rates can be adjusted daily through discount rates calculated according to the weather, purchase date, snow conditions, and visit day. The solution has been implemented in Avoriaz.

OT AVORIAZ

SIVAO

88 GRAMS


MND

DR

SNOW AND SAFETY

The O’BellX option+, the blaster that lives up to its name!

Geographical data in augmented reality

When an avalanche is triggered remotely, the operator must ensure that the result of the fire is compliant to guarantee the safety of the protected slope, road, or infrastructure. MND Safety, a leader in remote avalanche control, has developed a stand-alone device placed in the couloir below the blaster that detects the passage of the avalanche and estimates its size. The company is expanding its range of blasters. Thanks to a combustion chamber that is twice as large, the O’BellX option+ generates twice the power of standard models, making it possible to secure larger areas with an incomparable range. MND also has a Snow division. Blizzard factory is a complete, compact (6 x 2.5 m), all-weather snowmaking solution for easy integration, operation, and maintenance. The XXL snow deposit reduces on-site interventions and grooming work thanks to an automatic sweeping system. Equipped with a heat recovery system, Blizzard factory can generate 180kW of heating.

The Skadii digital platform provides ski resort managers with a global, real-time management tool for their ski area by bringing together all the data, which can be analysed, processed, and visualized in a single, easy-to-use interface. This platform results from a long reflection, research, and consultation process and was developed by HTI Digital—a heavyweight in civil engineering and industrial technology—represented in France by the electrical engineering company, Semer.

IESA

CONTROL A RESORT FROM THE TIP OF THE FINGER

Through its vGIS solution, GeoProcess provides a precise visualization of existing or projected geographical data in augmented reality. vGIS locates works covered by snow without clearing a large area.

TRAINING 3D IESA is developing 3D simulators to train maintenance operators and cab drivers in mountain resorts by recreating an installation’s complete and realistic 3D environment. Virtual, immersive, and digitalized training. The process also provides awareness in eco-driving and emergency procedures.

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NEWS - INNOVATION

SECURITY/MANAGEMENT

CUSTOMIZED INDUSTRIAL SEWING MBACI manufactures tailor-made textile and leather products adapted to the mountain environment, from technical (Dyneema, Cordura, Hypalon) and natural materials from the circular economy. The Savoyard company supplies saddlery for chairlifts, thermal protection covers for ski pass control gates, and professional bags.

VAIL RESORTS TO GO ZERO CARBON BY 2030 DLOW CARBON-INDUCING ANTI-SLIP MATS TESTED IN LA PLAGNE

Last December, Vail Resorts—managing 37 ski resorts in 15 US states and three countries—joined nearly 400 leading U.S. businesses urging Congress’ swift enactment of robust climate and clean energy investments in the bipartisan infrastructure and Build Back Better budget reconciliation packages. Why? To reach the 50-52% emissions reductions goal President Biden pledged after re-entering the Paris Agreement. The operator has set an ambitious goal to reach a zero net operating footprint by 2030.

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JON_RESNICK

La Plagne Ski Area is testing the first low carbon-inducing anti-slip mats with the Ecovertis label, developed by IDM. Usually imported from Asia, IDM’s mats are made from used ski lift tires, thus avoiding their incineration. Companies in the AuvergneRhône-Alpes region carry out the entire process. This product is tested in the Funiplagne departure station, which has an average of 1.3 million visits each winter and is therefore particularly suitable for studying the mats’ wear and tear and technical qualities. Beyond this test, the project will lead to a change in the waste management process for all 10 Compagnie des Alpes ski areas, starting with the Société d’aménagement de La Plagne (SAP): 20 tons of used tires will thus be recovered each year, on a group-wide basis, to be used in the manufacture of Ecovertis-labelled mats.


NO COVID CLUSTERS IN SKI LIFTS Oitaf, the international organization for ropeway transport, conducted a study in 2020-2021 in resorts that had an almost regular operating season in the United States, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, and Sweden. It was found that the risk of Covid spreading in ski lifts is extremely low if safety and health protocols were followed due to the regular change of air in the carriers and the reduced travel time.

VAIL RESORTS

DIGITALIZED SAFETY Motorialab is an innovative SME created for the collection, analysis, and digitization of safety data in ski resorts. It has developed SAFE: An annual subscriptionand cloud-based software that records, geo-locates, and analyses accidents on ski slopes, intervention times, and slope openings and closings through a dedicated APP. The database enables automatic, real-time statistics and forecasting models and reports. A specific module allows geo-locates and manages safety equipment (mattresses, nets, etc.) using a QrCode and RFID. A module for invoicing can also be added. The “FLOW” tool is a software program that uses artificial intelligence and webcams to count the number of people waiting in line at the lifts. The result is shown with a green, orange, or red light visible on APPs, websites, screens, and other media. The database enables automatic, real-time statistics and forecasting models and reports.

THE MELTED GONDOLA Aspen Resort in Colorado has installed art by Chris Erikson called “The melted gondola” on one of its peaks to raise awareness for global warming. The resort is also involved in the POW (Protect Our Winters) movement, which brings together athletes, entrepreneurs, and scientists to work towards a significant change in climate policy.

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STUDIO DMKF DIDIER MICHALET & KAREN FIRDMANN

NEWS - INNOVATION

LEISURE

INTERVIEW

François Gaillard from Savoie has just taken the role of France Montagnes manager. “The mountains will be the destination of the 21st century” What is your background?

“I’m 45 and was born and raised in Savoie. I was on skis at the age of two. The Albertville Olympic Games triggered my vocation. After studying management at the EHL Hospitality Business School in Lausanne, I obtained a master’s degree in tourism marketing at the University of Savoie. For 17 years, I was the general manager of OnlyLyon, the tourist office of the Lyon metropolitan area. In the early 2000s, I also held management positions in resort tourist offices, notably in La Plagne, where I participated in the creation of Paradiski. I’m very passionate!”

What are your priorities for France Montagnes?

“My priority will continue being open-minded and bring together as many people as possible who wish to promote our mountains. ‘Alone we go faster; together we go further.’ France Montagnes must be a place where people gather and share. We are a partner. Our objective will be to contribute to durably making French mountains the worldwide leader. We will have to offer innovative and unifying projects and devise new communication tools to complement or support the many actions already rolled out by the various players.”

My priority will continue being open-minded and bring together as many people as possible who wish to promote our mountains.

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What work is in store for you?

“There is a lot of work to be done! We will have to identify new targets, attract new generations, and connect with domestic customers, and there is a lot of potential there. We will have to be creative but also curious and humble to learn from our competitiors’ best practices. We will work to extend our seasons further and promote a more inclusive mountain offer that is not satisfied with simply moving upmarket. It is, above all, a question of diversifying the offer to satisfy everyone’s expectations. And the complementarity of our mountains will help us do just that.”

What is your vision for the mountain of tomorrow? “It’s obvious. Mountains will be the destination of the 21st century. A brief analysis of the evolution of our society shows how much we will be looking for havens of peace in the future, spaces to breathe, reconnect, let off steam, recharge our batteries, and regenerate. Mountains are the only place where all these expectations can be met, all while respecting people and landscapes. The mountain ecosystem has always had a pioneering spirit. For decades, it has shown courage and enthusiasm in anticipating change and adapting to the challenges our world is facing. Aspiring to ever more sustainable tourism is one of them. I am an optimist by nature and, therefore, very confident about the future.”

SPECIAL BACKCOUNTRY POCKET ROPE TOW Zoa Engineering has invented Zoa PL1, an ingenious rope tow system so compact that it fits in a backpack. How does it work? The rope is secured to a tree, the user goes down, and then the system pulls them back up the mountain. It is a patent-pending device, perfect for backcountry enthusiasts who can have more fun with less effort.


FRANCE’S MOUNTAINS IN FIGURES • In the top 3 ski destinations in the world, after the USA and Austria • Europe’s largest ski area with 250 downhill ski resorts and 200 ski area companies • Each winter, resorts welcome 10 million tourists, with 25% from abroad and 7 million snow sports enthusiasts • €1 billion in annual revenues • 95% of sales are generated in the resort and during the winter season • 55 million skier days • 18,000 employees in some twenty different professions • Over 120,000 jobs depend on ski resorts opening • French ski areas invest an average of €350 million each year, i.e., between 25% and 30% of their total turnover

Data: DSF

WHO ARE FRENCH SKIERS? • Almost one in two French people ski and one in five ski regularly

53% are men

40% are

under 35 years old

Study: Ipsos 2021 on how skiing is perceived

MEETING One of the highlights of Mountain Planet is the conference on high-end and luxury hotels in the mountains, led by Armelle Solelhac, head of an agency providing tourism insights and strategies. The conference will feature Laurent Chelle (Friendly Hotel Collection) and Eric Darde (Beaumier Group). What are customers expecting today? What are the best practices? What are the trends for the future? Answers on Tuesday, April 26 at 3 pm.

47%

are women

54%

live in a household with more than three people

A SAFE AND EXCITING EXPERIENCE Aérofun is the world leader in ziplines. The recent development of a self-braking carriage ensures safe travel down steep slopes, regulating arrival speed while maintaining high maximum speed along the route. The company also offers a modular tower that can combine up to six activities: airbag jumping, climbing wall, slide, quick jump, start point, or finish of a zipline.

W H AT HE SAID

“Innovation is also behavioural and concerns both professionals and customers. Technology is not the only answer in keeping our planet clean.” Laurent Reynaud, general delegate of DSF

INCREASE YOUR PERFORMANCES USING AN APP In 2023, as part of the World Ski Championships in CourchevelMéribel, a new connected skiing technology will provide skiers and the public with an innovative experience by providing skiers and the general public with an innovative experience. An autonomous sensor on the ski will transmit the skier’s performance data via a smartphone app. This project, called Smart ski experience, is supported by the Cluster Montagne, has a budget of €991,892 in R&D, and is financed at over 50% by the AuvergneRhône-Alpes Region. It associates Rossignol, Lumiplan, and the CEA (Commission on atomic energy and alternative energies).

As part of the World Ski Championships in Courchevel-Méribel, a new connected skiing technology will provide skiers and the public with an innovative experience by providing skiers and the general public with an innovative experience.


NEWS - INNOVATION

The play tower in the Prabouré mountain fun park, a lookout point with a view to better slide down to the ground. The slide starts at over 30 meters and is the highest in France.

LEISURE

OVERHEAD PLAYGROUND

In 2021, SMC2 built its first play tower for the Prabouré mountain fun park. Its belvedere, made of glued laminated wood, allows users to rise above their environment to observe it and then to slide down to the ground. The slide starts at over 30 meters and is the highest in France. An aesthetically pleasing play area with an original design aligned with the resorts’ four-season policy. The tower can be fitted with transparent or vegetal façades, and it is possible to interconnect several towers to create courses: Climbing walls, play modules, ziplines, rope games, periscopes, and more. The installation can also be managed digitally with access controls and sensors that record speed and free-fall height to share the experience on social media.

FOTOSTUDIO SX HEUSER

The concept already exists in Switzerland and Patagonia. In 2019, Eric Reynaud launched the first French hotel complex consisting of nine 40 m² luxury domes in Les Orres, offering a 160° view of the surrounding nature. Two years later, the success of Alpin d’Hôme is confirmed. “People are looking for experiences,” acknowledges the Haute-Alpes entrepreneur Eric Reynaud. It’s so successful he is opening two more domes and setting up three kotas—20 m² Finnish wooden houses to gaze at the stars. Alpin d’Hôme will soon have an elliptically shaped spa to complete the experience.

SMC2

SLEEP UNDER A DOME IN LES ORRES

IT’S A CLEAN SWEEP

The Veloclean manual bicycle cleaning station can be used indoors and outdoors, without direct access to running and wastewater networks, thanks to the integrated compressor and water and detergent containers. Its dirt collection tray ensures environmentally friendly wastewater disposal and guarantees low water consumption.

Storytelling trails Explor Games creates tailor-made adventures adapted to the location and target audience. Mobile apps guide their scripted treasure hunts, and the visitors are the heroes. It’s a mix of an outdoor escape game and orienteering course where families and friends complete real-life challenges and puzzles together.

THE ART OF MAKING WAVES

SKIBRID

The white water engineering company Hydrostadium, a subsidiary of EDF, develops artificial waves in lakes, rivers, and even indoor complexes. Waveboat, a floating surfing wave, was installed for the first time in 2020, on Lake Tencin, in Isère. The first indoor wave was inaugurated at the City Surf Park in Lyon in 2021, and in Annecy in 2021, a gravity wave was installed on a weir in the Thiou River.

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CARLOS AYESTA

A SOLAR PINE NEST

Rondino reinvents the wooden shelter with its Solar Nest, made from French pin wood in sustainably managed forests. Its slats unfold into a ribbon of wood, forming a deckchair that turns over. The nest is equipped with a solar panel that autonomously powers four USB sockets for recharging mobile devices.

100% RECYCLABLE SKI Courchevel has launched its first international start-up competition, the MET 21 (Mountain Ecology Technology), rewarding the best project for the future of mountains. Of the fifty or so applications, ADN skis was the one that won over the jury. The project leader, Camille Lambert, and her three young associates imagined developing an entirely recyclable ski, even though some of the glues and resins used in the manufacture of the skis are not, or only slightly recyclable. The future of skiing!

FOLIE DOUCE

Ride with free feet

Franck Mischler, executive director of La Folie Douce, meets with their local suppliers

Skibrid allows you to ride a ski with your feet free with no bindings or boots! A handlebar controls turn and edge gripping. A fun activity that is accessible to all. Because of its ease of use and similarity with other urban mobility solutions, Skibrid is making it possible for resorts to diversify their offer. Committed to a virtuous approach, the Grenoble-based startup uses up-cycling by Reusing unsold new skis to make its products.

The La Folie Douce group has made 14 commitments to implement by 2025 to limit its environmental impact. For several years now, restaurant menus have featured local products. One of the group’s suppliers, Ferme de l’Adroit (milk and creamery), even recovers the organic waste collected on-site to feed the farm’s pigs. To fight against food waste in Les Arcs, La Folie Douce meals can be found in the Folie Shop, in the heart of the resort. Guests can take away dishes prepared in the restaurant’s kitchen and packed in glass jars. La Folie Douce’s other commitments include promoting smooth mobility with its teams, a green textile range, supporting French designers, and planting arolla trees.

The La Folie Douce group has made 14 commitments to implement by 2025 to limit its environmental impact.

SKIBRID

FOLIE DOUCE… MAIS PAS QUE !

THE SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN MEAL

The hospitality industry is following the green trend. Chez Pépé Nicolas, a restaurant in Val Thorens, has had its own vegetable garden since 2012, and in 2020 it started permaculture. It used the services of the Chambéry-based landscape architect Christophe Gonthier to create this garden, culminating at an altitude of 1,950 meters. Its herbs, edible flowers, and vegetables are a natural source of inspiration in designing the menu.


SUNWIND

NEWS - INNOVATION

RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCTION

W H AT HE SAID

“The mountain world is not responsible for climate change, but we are the ones who feel it the most.” Jean-Luc Boch, mayor of La Plagne and President of the ANMSM

A FIRST IN FRANCE After installing two wind turbines on its ski area and photovoltaic panels on its buildings and lift stations in 2018, Serre Chevalier Vallée (SCV) has just started to produce green energy from hydroelectricity. This system will eventually account for 85% of its renewable energy production. The hydroelectric engineering specialist, Hydrostadium, a subsidiary of EDF, has supported SCV in its project to create two micro-power stations based on the turbining of snow-making networks. A first in France. The smallest (180 kWh) was commissioned this winter in Saint-Chaffrey. A water intake was rebuilt in place of the existing one on the Peytavin stream—the penstocks being the snow network’s water channels—and a new turbine was installed in the Chantemerle engine room. Why? To exploit the water from Peytavin and the waterfall between the water intake and the plant. The water is then returned to the same watercourse. The largest (950 kWh) will be commissioned in winter 2023 in La Salle-les-Alpes. The principle remains the same except that the water from the Bez is transported via the snowLE TRA making pipe to the Fréjus machine room MICROCEN STATIONS DE SKI to be turbined before returning to the Bez. “The energy produced will be consumed as close as possible to the production Le turbinage e de culture des réseaux neig sites. When the resort is closed, the electricity will be fed back into the distribution network,” says Grégory Macqueron, Hydrostadium’s water turbines business manager. Priority will always be given to snow-making systems, with turbines remaining a complementary use.” ctures valoriser les infrastru Notre concept : » existantes, par « neige de culture , afin de produire l’installation de turbines garantissant la tout en de l’énergie verte, neige la production de bonne gestion de TechnoAlpin France). (partenariat avec existantes : Les infrastructures e : la retenue collinair • La prise d’eau sur un cours d’eau ou la prise d’eau e, d’altitud : la canalisation eau forcée e • La conduit gement, du système d’ennei dans ion de la turbine • L’usine : intégrat e. l’usine à neige existant

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Hydrostadium has supported SCV in creating two micro-power stations based on the turbining of snow-making networks. A first in France.

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eV+, solar panels designed for the mountains The director of Sunwind Energy, Xavier Duport, has developed eV+, semi-rigid photovoltaic panels that follow the shape of the ski lift stations installed. How does it work? It’s a combination of a semi-rigid photovoltaic panel and an insulating, fireproof, light, rigid, and formable material. The device’s consumption directly absorbs the current produced. This technology has several advantages: The panels take on a curved shape, are five times lighter than a traditional panel (which means that they do not need to be modified), and are adjustable in size and shape. Their material generates almost no snow crystallization, thus increasing production and eliminating excessive structural loads. The panel incorporates monocrystalline cells that exceed 20% efficiency, and the product can be 100% integrated by changing the colour of the structure.

In the mountains, reverberation, irradiation, atmospheric purity, and dry and cold air ensure better panel performance. In the mountains, reverberation, irradiation, atmospheric purity, and dry and cold air ensure better performance. However, technical constraints—wind, frost, snow, excess structural loads—mean that solutions are more suitable than traditional glass photovoltaic panels, which are framed and heavy. Serre Chevalier Vallée was the first trust Sunwind Energy in 2018. Since then, the company has come a long way. It markets eV+ to two markets. The first market is ski lift manufacturers Poma and Leitner, who offer optional solar panels directly integrated into the production chain. The second is ski areas that order the panels to retrofit their stations or to integrate them into the construction of their new equipment.


STA RT- U P V I L L A G E

FRENCH TECH IN THE ALPS

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That’s how many companies are in the start-up village hosted by Mountain Planet. French Tech in the Alps, one of France’s 13 French Tech capitals, showcases these 28 innovative mountain companies selected after a bid for projects. Among them are the six to eight start-ups from the second year of the Alpes Tourisme Lab, an initiative supported by French Tech in the Alps Chambéry, the Savoie Technolac incubator, the Village by CA des Savoie, and the Cluster Montagne. The Alpes Tourisme Lab is a four-month support program divided into three one-week boot camps for French start-ups. During the boot camps, companies analyse how they can meet the challenges of mountain tourism sustainably. The objective is to promote new players in mountain tourism of tomorrow. Experts came together to support the selected companies and have offered individual and group coaching sessions on their entrepreneurial approach and product marketing. The companies attend collaborative workshops, conferences, individual meetings, and speed meetings. This scheme provides project leaders with opportunities to test their project in the field and establish initial commercial partnerships.

In the photo, Anne Turpin-Hutter, director of La French Tech in the Alps Chambéry, and Laura Colombat, coordinator of La French Tech in the Alps

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DRAWINGS FOR THE CORPORATE WORLD Did you like the illustrations in this magazine? Behind this inimitable style is Anne Bosquet. Her talent is in transmitting your messages, even complex, through her art. Anne translates them into clear, educational, and accessible drawings that everyone can understand. The result is a message that reaches its target. Contact: +336 73 56 63 22 - annebosquet44@orange.fr

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NEWS - INNOVATION

M O U N TA I N A N D D I S A B I L I T Y

RESORTS WITH A PROACTIVE POLICY

For people with disabilities, organizing a trip to the mountains can be a challenge. Especially since the terrain and weather are complicating factors. Since the French Disability Act of February 11, 2005, ski resorts have had to adapt their offer and make their resorts more accessible. Numerous advances have been made to welcome persons with reduced mobility in accommodation, infrastructure, supervision, and equipment. Even if there is still a long way to go, some resorts are particularly active; some even carry a special label. Local associations contribute significantly to these policies. Examples to follow La Pierre-Saint-Martin certainly owes a lot to the association La Pierre Handis Pyrénées. They were instrumental in bringing adaptive skiing to the resort. The resort, which has been awarded both the Tourism and Disability and Sports and Disability labels, offers more and more facilities and activities for people with reduced mobility. It can count on the association’s active members, including ten who founded the French Federation for Disabled Sports, eight tandem ski pilots, 23 dual ski pilots, 21 Cimgos, and three volunteers trained in sign language. In Samoëns, the town, tourist office, and the Samoëns Handi-Glisse association have formed a steering committee and identified dedicated offers. The tourist office visited accommodations and restaurants and compiled the results in a resort accessibility brochure. The association offers adaptive sports equipment and makes it available free of charge. There are many other organizations like in in France: Handiski Club Loisirs in Grand-Bornand, Loisirs Assis Evasion in Haute-Savoie, Tatu Handi Giffre in Morillon, Antenne Handicap in La Plagne, to name but a few. The ski schools often have qualified instructors, as is the case in Combloux, Val Thorens, La Pierre-Saint-Martin, Le Grand-Bornand, Valberg, Peyragudes, La Plagne, Serre Chevalier... In many resorts, ski lifts are also accessible. Sometimes preferential rates are applied, as in Val Thorens, Samoëns, Morillon, Vars. Aux 3 Domaines is committed to making the ski area and resort accessible by installing an elevator with direct access to the lifts, parking spaces near the foot of the slopes, and adapted toilets. Adapting your offer is good, but you still need to make it known to make it as easy as possible to organize. Val Thorens has published a specific guide. Serre Chevalier has dedicated a blog to the topic where accommodation, restaurants, sports shops, available equipment, supervision, and adapted sports and cultural activities are listed. The tourist office at Grand Tourmalet Pic du Midi also has a tab on its website for persons of reduced mobility on its website.

La Pierre-Saint-Martin certainly owes a lot to the association La Pierre Handis Pyrénées. They were instrumental in bringing adaptive skiing to the resort.

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Some territories are further advanced than others.

“We are getting better” While many efforts have already been made, Sandrine Chaix, vice-president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region for social action and disabilities, is calling for even more to be done. “We are moving in the right direction,” she insists. Because, in fact, accessibility concerns everyone: Disabled people, of course, but also people with injuries, young parents with strollers, people with Alzheimer’s, and even foreigners. In addition to physical accessibility, the regional H+ Destination tourism program encourages tourist offices to consider the fluidity of the customer journey “so that people do not spend hours organizing their stay. They are guests like every other guest that visits with their family and friends. Their experience must be positive,” says the elected representative. Raising awareness and training everyone who takes part in the economic life of resorts contributes to improving this experience. Some territories are further advanced than others. Sandrine Chaix likes to cite the example of Pralognan-la-Vanoise, where the Anaé vacation resort has raised awareness for disability: Roads, hiking trails, and ski lifts have been adapted, and the entire ecosystem, including local stores, has joined the approach. Many innovations have been introduced in recent years, even though regulations sometimes slow down their implementation. Making lifts safe for children can lead to accessibility problems, for example. “We have to find a compromise between regulatory requirements, comfort, safety, and accessibility.” Sandrine Chaix urges manufacturers to look into the issue and operators to improve when they renovate their equipment. It hopes that the accessibility village at Mountain Planet “open minds”.


Without equipment manufacturer innovations, the joys of mountain adventures would not be accessible to all. Tessier, a design-and-build company that sells a wide range of seated sports equipment, is undoubtedly the best known. Some companies are following suit: The Quadrix all-terrain wheelchair, equipped with an electric motor, offers fun and freedom thanks to its mountain bike-like driving. The TrailRider from AccessRevolution allows climbing mountains with the help of sherpas. Joëlette & Co. offers a complete range of manual or electric equipment for children and adults with double wheels that are ideal for hiking, trekking, and even rough terrain. Vipamat developed Hippocampe, an all-terrain wheelchair perfect for strolling on the snow. The all-terrain choice Swincar has developed a small electric buggy that adapts to all types of terrain. It leans into corners and stays upright on slopes, keeping the wheels in contact with the ground, even on the most challenging sections. Its steering wheel controls make it easily accessible to many people. Axsol has their Freedom Trax FT2 all-terrain vehicle, a platform on which a person with reduced mobility can place their wheelchair and control it from their joystick. It’s ideal for snow, off-trail forests, and muddy terrain. This caterpillar can be rented in Grand-Bornand. For people with joint and muscle pain, the Ski-mojo exoskeleton can be hidden under the person’s pants. Its powerful adjustable spring reduces the weight on the legs by one-third. It reduces shocks, France’s 13 French Tech capitals vibration, and pressure on the knees while taking the strain off the hips and back.

INTERVIEW

Laurent Wauquiez, president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region “Making the mountains in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes the first sustainable mountains in Europe” As a stakeholder in the Mountain Planet trade show, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has launched a new Mountain Plan, continuing from its 2016 plan. Its president, Laurent Wauquiez, gives us a run-down of the plan and where he sees mountain destinations are headed.

The region dedicated €90 million to the Mountain Plan during the previous mandate. You announced a new €100 million plan that heads into new directions. How does it differ from the first?

“This new Mountain Plan brings us much closer to our clearly stated objective: Make the mountains in Auvergne-RhôneAlpes the first sustainable mountains in Europe. This includes stronger measures to renovate public facilities and reduce energy consumption, improving air quality by investing in ski lifts and developing hydrogen-powered vehicles in ski areas, and fostering the love of mountain activities in our local populations by making skiing accessible to all local primary and secondary school children. Even though this new plan is taking on new direction, it is fully in line with the first. The components relating to snow-making, accommodation, aid to small resorts, valley lifts, and access to skiing for lcoal children have been renewed and enriched.”

Does this scheme add to the Avenir Montagnes plan launched by the French government? “Concerning the Avenir Montagnes program, I am delighted that the government is finally investing in our mountain ranges. However, I am now waiting for the announcements to be translated into action. On subjects as

essential for the mountain sector as diversification, mobility, and sustainable development, funding must be equal to the challenges that are faced.”

What role will your plan play in innovation?

“Innovation is at the heart of how we in the region define sustainable development and positive ecology. I don’t believe in the degrowth advocated by the Green Party and the far left. Our objective is to make Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes the leading sustainable mountainous region in Europe—by focusing on innovation, research, and industry—while continuing to develop the economic and tourist appeal of our mountain regions. It is precisely because we are European leaders in terms of green hydrogen and renewable energy production that we can invest in modernizing public facilities, ski lifts, ski area vehicles, while, ultimately, ensuring the sustainable development of our mountains.”

What do you think tomorrow’s mountain resort should look like?

“It is first and foremost a resort with a preserved natural environment and controlled energy consumption. Secondly, it is an economically dynamic resort with a diversified and prolonged operations, both in the winter and summer seasons. Finally, it is a resort that caters to everyone, and in particular, to local visitors.”

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©CHARLES PIETRI, RÉGION AUVERGNE-RHÔNE-ALPES

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Innovation makes the mountain fun for all


NEWS - INNOVATION

CHOW DRONES ARE IMPROVING SAFETY IN THE MOUNTAINS PATROLAIR and the Vallée des Belleville ski area are pleased to announce the creation of the first specialized drone flight and operation school in the mountains. Drones locate accident or avalanche victims faster and effectively complement the existing rescue system of helicopters and ground-based resources. Their use requires the highest level of training and processes recognized by civil aviation authorities.

THE WORLD’S FIRST SKI VENDING MACHINE

Managed by the operator, SNOOClib’ shortens the customer journey and provides non-skiers with their first ski experience in less than 5 minutes. The system reaches new customers and can result in additional package purchases thanks to an automated system inspired by urban scooters. Guaranteed fun already authorized in more than 100 ski resorts.

PISTENBULLY

Innovation through customer feedback!

AND THE CHAMPION OF GREEN GROOMING IS... Designed to highlight the initiatives and concrete actions implemented by resorts to reduce the impact of grooming, the sixth edition of the Eco-damage Awards will be presented on the Kässbohrer stand on Thursday April 28 at 11am. The ceremony will take place with the three winning resorts and the members of the jury: Mountain Riders, ANMSM and ADSP.

The Premium Diamond EVO cabin has evolved thanks to the continuous work ensured by LEITNER’s R&D department and the brand’s customer expectations. LEITNER’s top-of-the-range cabin now incorporates even more configuration options in its standard version and the new LPA EVO grip can now be used on monorope installations with 64-mm diameter ropes.

INCREASE AFFLUENCE TO DECREASE CROWDING Thanks to its real-time visitor flow management solution, the start-up Affluences helps mountain industry players manage visitor flow and distribution. Measuring visitor stats, like occupation rates and wait times, and understanding who those visitors are makes providing a smooth customer experience easier.

MY EVENT, MY TV

AEngieTV is a Cloud-based end-to-end solution that allows event organizers (e.g., sport events) to provide a 3rd generation Social TV experience (live, interactive, spontaneous, and community-oriented) by transforming their audience into fans and reporters. Mustang AEngie is a start-up created in October 2020 and based in Montbonnot-St Martin (Grenoble Metropolitan Area, France). It is composed of a team of former senior Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE) executives, serial entrepreneurs, and sports events specialists. The company foresees medium-term international development and relies on R+D teams based in France and Italy, and established partnerships with major players in the market.

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ECO-RESPONSIBILITY AT THE HEART OF MOBILITY

e, ma montagn AUTREMENT plus durable.

une démarche innovante par câble, POMA engage tale. Pionnier du transport à haute valeur environnemen avec une gamme de produits toujours plus durable, ensemble une mobilité Dès aujourd’hui, imaginons et les territoires en harmonie avec notre pour connecter les hommes environnement. 21/03/2022 17:22:07

A pioneer of cable transportation, POMA is defined by a strong commitment to innovation and sustainable mobility. The French group has been shaped by the Mountains that instilled the company’s values. For over 85 years, POMA has been striving to respect, preserve and promote each location, natural environments and urban spaces alike, through its installations worldwide. For POMA, adapting has always been the obvious choice. Today, the need for further action is dictated by climate issues, and the pressing need for an urgent transition to benefit future generations. Therefore, this French industrial player has structured itself to act at company level, but also to act within its ecosystem. Driven by a collective strength, POMA has reworked each of its processes to minimise the human footprint as much as possible, starting from the design phase and continuing throughout the ropeway’s lifecycle. POMA is the global benchmark for cable transportation, and in 2022 the company’s commitment has resulted in a new range of products and services that are increasingly efficient and environmentally friendly, for a reduced environmental impact. Discover our vision of ropeway mobility at stand 123 at the Mountain Planet trade show, and let’s make a joint commitment to a low-carbon and more virtuous world.

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POMA-KV-Montagne_

Sustainable development and energy transition, have you explored all the possibilities? To succeed with an innovative project, you need to define the goals, understand the challenges, and know your target. Hiceo quanti is a fullweb statistical tool developed for your own specific needs, helps you bring your innovation to fruition, and increases efficiency in booming sectors such as sustainable development and energy transition.

ON PISTE, THE NEW MOBILE APP FROM THE ROSSIGNOL GROUP SERVING SPORTS AND RESORTS! The Rossignol Group is developing a new On Piste digital platform in 2022, serving athletes and destinations. A free and intuitive website and app to encourage the practice of sports in the great outdoors all year round while respecting local resources!

The advantages of On Piste solution?

> for resorts: more than a simple digital solution, On Piste service offers (since 2011!) complete support: identifying routes, mobilizing local actors, promoting its destinations’ partners through multiple channels. Local governments also appreciate that only certified routes are highlighted on On Piste. > for athletes: by bringing all useful information together—routes and points of interest, accommodation, rental shops, advice, and more—on a single platform, On Piste helps users find, organize, and improve on their sports excursion! Every route suggested is checked on the ground by the On Piste team to guarantee a quality experience. At ONPISTE.COM and the app, you can already find destinations with more than 40 trail-running paths, 15 Nordic walking pistes, 200 cycling routes, and 8 Ski Touring routes spread throughout France and neighboring countries (Belgium, Spain).

RELIABILITY AND SAFETY OF YOUR EQUIPMENT THANKS TO OUR INSPECTION SOLUTIONS As the world leader in testing, inspection, and certification, Bureau Veritas is a business-to-business company that helps transform the world we live in. Our mission is to reduce risk, improve performance, and help our clients innovate to meet today’s major societal challenges with confidence. With its “Ropes and Inspections” offer, Bureau Veritas has a service dedicated to ropeway inspections. Our experts are involved in all aspects of ropeway design, construction, modification, operation, and maintenance to ensure the reliability and safety of the equipment. Our innovative drone inspections guarantee safety, time-saving, and therefore cost control!

The new generation of Grundfos CR(N) pumps - For those who challenge the limits Worldwide pump producer, Grundfos, offers the new generation of CR(N) pumps that moves the limits for pumping solutions with world-class efficiency and flow sizes up to 390 m3/h. With three new high capacity models (CR(N) 185, CR(N) 215 and CR(N) 255), the new generation of pumps offer up to 40 bar pump pressure and significant energy efficiency upgrades.

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NEWS - INNOVATION

SOME ICONIC EXAMPLES… Optimizing ropeways’ needs in energy

As the world’s leading destination for winter tourism, the mountains are an economic pillar of the region. They represent 120,000 direct jobs and nearly 400,000 indirect jobs for a turnover of around €7.5 million per year.

www.imagina-international.com

IMAGESETREVES.FR

TO BECOME THE FIRST SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN IN EUROPE.

During its test in Chamrousse, the Aten Altitude “Energy Optimization” module confirmed its full potential! The result is a substantial savings of between 10 and 30% in the amount of electricity consumed in the Olympic resort’s ropeways. Based on advanced software using Artificial Intelligence combined with various sensors, the Aten Altitude module enables real-time modeling of queuing behavior and provides optimal assistance to employees operating the ropeway in “Eco-operation” mode. More generally, a whole range of peripheral electricity consumption sources is also considered and optimized, such as managing driver cab heating and predictive regulation of equipment operating temperature.

Since 2016, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region has made mountains one of its priorities. The first mountain plan helped 120 resorts and supported 350 projects, for a total amount of €90 million. The mountain plan’s second act, rolled out by the region in the French Alps, aims to make AUVERGNE- RHONE-ALPES the first sustainable mountain in Europe with a budget of €100 million. To achieve this, the Region is counting on business innovation.

.................... During the health crisis, the Region implemented an emergency plan amounting to €400 million. The plan included a specific component to support companies affected by ropeway closures.

Digital technology for Natural Gravity Hazards

Players in spatial planning are called upon to generate and process vast quantities of data and to use numerous and sophisticated digital tools which are currently not interconnected and do not help in the overall management of development operations. The digital revolution now offers the opportunity to share this information, including when it changes over time and through developments, to ensure it is continuously adapted to the changing environment and managers’ needs. The OCIRN project aims to create a digital platform for collaborative management and modeling of information and all related service offerings.

The platform will centralize all the data and tools managers need. The common base consists of a shared database linked to a graphic display motor that includes business modules used in each project phase: Risk management and design, construction, and maintenance of structures. www.linkedin.com/showcase/ocirn

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With the call for projects to finance mountain innovation, nearly 70 projects were supported, generating investments by companies reaching €55 million.

OCIRN

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IDM

IDM From rubber... to rubber

In January 2022 in La Plagne, IDM inaugurated the first installation of Ecovertis®, a range of greener products that have benefited from the strong support of the AUVERGNE-RHONE-ALPES REGION, which has massively subsidized this re-industrialization project. This first application is as simple as it is innovative: IDM collects worn rubber liners* directly within the resorts and recycles them in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region with its partner Plymouth, near Lyon. The result is the Ecoverclip® anti-slip rubber floor. The first tiles are currently installed in FuniPlagne station G1. This considerably reduces the 80 tons of used liners incinerated every year and reduces cargo transport of new rubber tiles from Asia. Many ski area operators have already signed the ECOVERTIS charter and support this project: Compagnie des Alpes, Compagnie du Mont-Blanc, Société des 3 Vallées among others. *Liners are the rubber rings in the middle of the rollers installed on every ropeway tower that guide and support the rope.

www.idm-france.com

MOUNTAIN DATA DRONE Or how to give wings to services provided by drones

The Mountain Data Drone (MDD) consortium brings together companies that, each in their field, carry out innovative R&D* projects. In concrete terms, MDD offers original concepts based on an automated drone service equipped with state-of-theart sensors to carry out actions of general interest. Automated systems coupled with new generations of connected objects will guarantee citizens rapid interventions with a controlled level of security and optimal operating costs. These systems are unique, “multi-role” systems that provide a full range of services to meet the specific needs of our regions. Customized drones are here with their solutions, and they were all developed using the consortium’s collaborative spirit so dear to the AURA Region. The companies in the consortium are: • NIHPARES: aircraft construction / Research and development office • API-K: Telecommunications operator and IOT / smart mountain manufacturer • SINTEGRA: Expert surveyors/modeling • BE YS RESEARCH France: Computer science/data science and data analysis PAGE 1/6

AN AMBITIOUS REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT POLICY To meet the challenges of competitiveness and attractiveness, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region has decided to concentrate its resources on strategic sectors. It aims to maintain its leader position in Europe. The 22 competitiveness clusters in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes are the driving force behind this goal. Through their actions, clusters contribute to the emergence of innovative, collaborative projects, the competitiveness of regional economic actors, and the Region’s influence in Europe and around the globe.

Initiatives based on cooperation The “Sport, mountain, and tourism” sectors aim to develop and reinforce the Auvergne Rhône Alpes Region’s excellence in terms of innovation in the fields of sports and well-being, mountain development and leisure activities, and also in tourist services. Within the framework of Mountain Planet, CLUSTER MONTAGNE is at the forefront of “mountain development” expertise.

api-k.com

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NEWS - INNOVATION

PISTENBULLY

RUN RED: THE NEW PISTENBULLY 400 IS GETTING STRONGER

LiDAR technology revolutionizes snow depth measurement! Remote snow depth measurement using SNOWsat’s LiDAR technology is a world first! Until now, snow depth was recorded from under the vehicle, but the new system tested in the field this winter now measures snow cover over a radius of around 30 meters in front of the snow groomer: A giant step forward in terms of snow depth management in ski areas! LiDAR is a remote measurement technique based on the analysis of the properties of a laser beam reflected back to its transmitter. Suitable for snow depth measurement and integrated into the SNOWsat system, the laser scans the terrain in front of and to the side of the vehicle at an angle of 120°, processes 200,000 points per second and can analyse, depending on the conditions, up to 2,600 square meters in real time. SNOWsat’s LiDAR makes remotely identifying the level of snow possible so that drivers can react in time accordingly and the surface scanner near the vehicle eliminates the need for multiple passes. Snow depth data in front of and to the sides of the machine is also very useful when moving snow on the slopes or creating snow stocks at the beginning and end of the season. The system collects valuable data for ski area operators, providing a concrete basis for many economic decisions, such as snow-making. Productivity, cost-savings through more efficient work, operational safety, respect for the environment: Everyone benefit from the advantages of SNOWSat LiDAR whether they are drivers, snowmakers, or piste managers. The Zugspitze ski area in Germany was one of the first to use this new technology for remote snow depth measurement this winter. Measurements were taken in varied weather conditions and visibilities, and their impact was studied in collaboration with resort professionals. This collaboration was instrumental in developing and perfecting the system and the new software operating concept. Small component but big effect: Feedback from the first users is promising. “It’s really a giant step forward,” concludes Martin Hurm, Operations Manager at Zugspitze Resort. Come see it in person at Mountain Planet and be prepared for next winter in the best conditions. For more info: www.snowsat.com

RUN RED! With completely overhauled capacities, the new PistenBully 400’s motto fits like a glove. Efficiency is what counts on the piste, and that’s what the new PistenBully 400 offers in its four versions: The most powerful engine in its class, impressive thrust capacity, simple and intuitive controls, long range autonomy, and long component life. The new PistenBully 400 completes the family: A whole generation with the same ease of use, the cleanest engine, and appealing design. Run efficient In this new version, the balance between power, weight, and size found in the previous Pistenbully 400 is maintained and new electronic assistance systems like the AutoTracer and AutoWince are added, making the ride even smoother and more efficient. The 6-belt CombiPlus track, identical to those on the PistenBully 600, advances gradability and pushing capacity. The larger tank volume, combined with lower fuel consumption, yields a greater range. Finally, the ParkPro model offers a winch version for the first time and the new and improved additional accessories offer everything you could wish for in professional snow park preparation. Run clean. The new PistenBully 400 is equipped with a clean 6-cylinder engine with 435 metric HP including a diesel particulate filter, the PistenBully 400 also meets EU Stage V / EPA Tier 4 final. Like all PistenBully vehicles, since January 2022 it is delivered HVO-ready which means it uses fuel produced from hydrogenated plant waste and animal fat waste, reducing CO2 emissions by around 90% compared to traditional diesel fuel. Run smart Control systems were standardised, just like the PistenBully 600 and 100, with an ergonomic and intuitive double-joint joystick for four simultaneous blade movements and the possibility of memorising four different operator profiles. The cab has a new smooth, round design with wider windows and improved acoustic and thermal insulation. New options are also available, such as a third seat—just like the PistenBully 600—air conditioning, and LED headlights. See the new PistenBully 400 at Mountain Planet It is available in four models: PistenBully 400, 400 W, ParkPro and ParkPro W For more info: www.pistenbully.com

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From digital signage to visitor flow management For 50 years, customer’s experience has been at the heart of our approach. Our innovations improve the customer experience during the stay.

Facilitating the last few kilometers and improving the reception on the site Our solutions facilitate information, orientation and guidance on site. They offer an effective response to the growth in road traffic and tourist numbers, in winter as well as in summer.

Visualize the global offer and make your choice, day after day according to the conditions of the moment Openings and closings, weather events, crowds... so many factors that make for a good day! Our physical and digital «panoramic» solutions help tourists on a daily basis and in real time.

Carrying information to make your stay more enjoyable, whatever the season Our withe-label apps, such as the Mountain Live community app, are designed to optimize practical information, experiences and the fun aspects of the stay. They are currently used by more than 80 ski resorts.

The best of technology for the best of stays Measuring waiting times, measuring traffic, dynamic guidance to more fluid locations... Our innovations reinforce the comfort and safety of users thanks to increasingly «intelligent» and useful media.

Contribute to soft mobility and the economy of territories Our latest innovation concerns bicycle tourists for the benefit of communities near bicycle routes.

montagne@lumiplan.com - Tél.04 79 31 32 46

www.lumiplan.com

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INTERNATIONAL

IS THE SNOW ALWAYS WHITER ON THE OTHER SIDE?

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INTERNATIONAL

Join us on a tour around the world to learn about best practices in international ski areas. Kaline Osaki, head of the Mountain Cluster’s business development department, and Swiss expert Laurent Vanat, whose annual international report on snow and mountain tourism is always a highly anticipated event are our guides.

Kaline Osaki, head of the business development division of the Mountain Cluster and Laurent Vanat, author of the annual international report on snow and mountain tourism.

Text Marie-France Sarrazin - Illustrations: Anne Bosquet

GOVERNANCE Now governance is a loaded word. It’s a topic that many ski areas all over the world will be addressing as they think about their future. “Governance in France is very specific. The French Mountain Act provides a framework for ski area management and gives the organizing authority—a town or group of towns—a central role. The challenge is to agree on a vision while each side is defending their own interests and logic. The operator is there to operate the lifts and the town has other concerns,” explains Emmanuelle George, a researcher in mountain tourism development at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment. Governance is at the heart of any new strategy implementation in France. “This is a major issue in France because it blocks many projects if all the players are not involved in the process,” says Kaline Osaki, head of Cluster Montagne’s business development unit. In France, when the ski area lifts are not operated by the town, public service delegations (DSP) often limit the scope of private ski area operators. This gives rise to resorts with fragmented governance, with three key players: the town, the lift

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operators, and the tourist office. “Resorts that work well are those where there is an agreement between these three entities,” she notes. In Les Gets, the DSP is managed by a semi-public company (Saem) in which the town is a shareholder. This opens up a field of possibilities. In addition to the ski area, Saem manages the golf course, mountain bike activities, the day care center, the swimming lake, and the Alta Lumina night course. DSPs are simply fixed-term contracts that may not be renewed. “Operators are on a hot seat, and this doesn’t encourage them to invest in the ski area. They may just not have enough time to see an ROI,” she says. In France, the public sector is predominant, since pistes are created on public land in the vast majority of cases. In the USA, private individuals can buy land to create winter sports resorts. They are therefore masters in their own house. “In Italy, a mayor is not necessarily involved in the negotiation in ski lift management. The operator is an economic player like any other, one that is independent. It’s still possible to work with the community on certain topics like planning or


« En France, les stations collaborent peu entre elles. Alors que la Suisse et l’Autriche raisonnent en logique territoriale, comme entre Mürren, Wengen ou Grindenwald. » KALINE OSAKI, INTERNATIONAL MANAGER CLUSTER MONTAGNE

Abroad, they have found a solution: “Activities are being developed at the top of the ski area, with the obligation to take the lifts to access the area,” observes the Cluster Montagne specialist. There are an abundance of examples. In Andorra, Vallnord has created a summer version of the ski area at the top of the resort with a mountain bike trail, sports tracks, and excursions. At the top of the Swiss Grindelwald area, a panoramic restaurant and a belvedere offer a breathtaking view... as does the zipline. In the Austrian Tyrol, in Hexenwasser, the ski area turns into a water park in the summer that can be accessed by ropeway. Thanks to this facility, Hexenwasser has the same number of overnight stays in summer as in winter. Trysil in Norway invested €2.7M in a bike arena to generate 20% of its annual turnover in the summer. Bachledka, in Slovakia, is banking on a treetop adventure course that is accessible by lift in summer and winter, including for disabled adventurers. This attraction is accompanied by additional services: Dog kennels, children’s games, equipment rentals, and more. In Canada, Grouse Mountain is the number one paid attraction in Vancouver. Its two ropeways are open all year round from 9am to 10pm. The package includes access to activities on the top of the mountain including hikes, shows, grizzly bear park, disc golf, and additional paid activities such as a zip line and a visit to the top of a wind turbine.

SUMMER Snow destinations in Western and mature countries are all faced with the same problem, as their main product is still skiing. It’s on everyone’s lips: Four-season tourism. Well, almost everyone. Rebalancing the ratio between winter and summer would be a good start. Today, winter operations pay for summer losses. “Skiing has been the mainstay for resorts since the 1970s. However, mountain tourism was created in the summer,” says Laurent Vanat. This shift towards a focus on skiing seems to have spared village resorts like Chamonix, “but there are few of them in France compared to Switzerland and Austria. Here, we have infrastructures that work all year round.” Resorts like Chamonix, Zermatt, and Moléson in the Jungfrau may be able to balance their operations between summer and winter. Finding a viable economic model during the summer months remains a major challenge, as non-commercial activities flourish without necessarily needing to use the ski lifts.

The intermediate station on the new ropeway linking La Joue-du-Loup to SuperDévoluy will house a tourist attraction that will reflect the identity of the area.

SEM DÉVOLUY

development says Emmanuelle George. In other countries, there are many different models where the lift operator also operates restaurants, hotels, and other activities reducing their dependence on a single activity. “In Andorra’s Grandvalira Resort, lift operators have restaurants, which contribute 30% of their turnover in the summer! In Eastern Europe, Tatry Mountain Resort Group operates resorts, water parks, hotels, ski schools, sports shops, and restaurant-bars,” says Kaline Osaki. For several years now, Compagnie des Alpes—one of the world’s largest mountain players operating 11 Alpine resorts— has been moving away from its historical business centered around ski lift operation by investing in related areas to improve the customer journey. The company has extended its scope to tourist accommodation, aiming to increase the number of occupied beds by creating package deals and has acquired the tour operator TravelFactory. It even offers indoor and outdoor activities through their new entity Evolution 2. The new CEO of Compagnie des Alpes, Dominique Thillaud, has set the goal of generating 30% of turnover from the summer season within 10 years. We are no longer talking about ski resorts. Now, it is mountain resorts. Nuance. The company is also experimenting with a turnkey year-round base camp offer at Grand Massif Resort, in Haute-Savoie, that caters to different guest types.

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Le Grand-Bornand makes every effort to promote agriculture.

In France, projects are emerging. Sem Dévoluy, which operates SuperDévoluy and La Joue-du-Loup, is planning to install a ropeway to link both resorts in 2024. It will serve an intermediate station, located at an altitude of 1850 meters, where a new four-season tourist attraction will be created for skiers and non-skiers alike, calling on the territory’s identity. Dévoluy’s specificity will be omnipresent: Alpine pastures, the Bure radio astronomy observatory, and its natural cavities called chourums. “We want to make it a place where guests can learn and have unforgettable experiences”, summarizes Laurent Thélène, director of Dévoluy ski development. A sheepfold, a small observatory, a barbecue area, an escape game, kite flying, sledging, an underground via ferrata through two caves, and a beginner’s rock climbing wall would complete the summer offer. However, Laurent Vanat raises a problem: “In the summer, and even in the winter when we don’t ski, no activity offers the same capacity as skiing.” IDENTITY “The model would be relevant if, in the future, we are able to reconcile local life with year-round tourist life,” explains Kaline Osaki. Some resorts are moving in this direction: “They are villages before they are resorts—with an architecture, a DNA, a history, and activities that move beyond tourism,” she says. Tourism has sometimes overtaken activities such as agriculture. “Switzerland and Austria have tried everything to preserve these activities as people like to visit places that have stories to tell. Chamonix, for example, boasts an incredible history that is unique in the world.” It’s not a lost cause for other resorts. Each one is free to develop its own storytelling.

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CUSTOMER JOURNEY Who hasn’t felt sorry for those skiers who, once they leave their car at the parking lot, walk a long way to the ticket office and then to the lifts in a hesitant, robotic step, loose skis on their shoulders? The logistical aspect can be daunting for many, especially beginners. “In the United States, a study shows that more than 80% of beginner skiers find their first attempt at skiing to be disappointing and don’t try it again. My most awesome experience? Skiing in Dubai, where I arrived in my everyday clothes. I didn’t have to carry any equipment around; I was provided with everything,” says Swiss expert Laurent Vanat, whose annual international report on snow and mountain tourism is always a highly anticipated event. For him, improving the customer experience means making life easier and avoiding fragmented services. Some resorts in North America and China have all the services in one place, in huge malls at the foot of the slopes. There is a parking lot, ticket office, ski school, restaurants, sports shops, and lift departure stations. “France already had very few all-in-one resorts, and the last ones were dismantled in the 1980s. Some resorts managed by Labellemontagne are perhaps closer to this model,” observes Laurent Vanat. Of course, it is easier to start from scratch, like the recent resorts created in China, Azerbaijan, and even Turkey. For the latter two countries, which are well equipped, it is now a question of attracting customers... ‘If you build it, they will come’ is not always true!

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B. DELERUE/LE GRAND BORNAND

INTERNATIONAL

Bachledka, in Slovakia, is banking on a treetop adventure course that is accessible by lift in summer and winter


“Beware of greenwashing!” LAURENT VANAT, CONSULTANT

PARTNERSHIP WITH SMALL RESORTS In France and abroad, resorts are closing. “It’s sad, because it’s the small sites that are dying, those operated by small towns, which were popular among lower income populations. These are the places that are natural breeding grounds for long-term loyal skiers,” says Kaline Osaki. Vail Resorts group has some of the largest resorts in the US. “For some time now, the American giant has been acquiring smaller resorts, often close to urban areas, in order to diversify, gain brand identity, and position its brand on the summer market. Customers of these small resorts will then move to the larger ones.” This principle has recently been adopted by Les 2 Alpes, which has signed a partnership with the small family Col de Porte resort. It’s about learning to ski in a small resort and then migrating to the big one. How does this exchange of goodwill work? Les 2 Alpes is committed to donating equipment and providing technical support, while Col de Porte promotes Les 2 Alpes. “In France, resorts don’t collaborate much with one another,” says Kaline Osaki. This is a problem in the summer, when people move around a lot. They communicate on their offers, each in their own corner. Switzerland and Austria think in territorial terms, as illustrated with Mürren, Wengen or Grindenwald.” THE ENERGY TRANSITION Countries are more or less sensitive to the energy transition. “Those who are seriously looking into it and adopting interesting initiatives are mature ski markets: France, Austria, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia. Emerging markets like Central Asia, China, Russia, and Japan are lagging behind,” says Kaline Osaki. While DSF is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2037, Pyhä and Ruka Resorts in Finland are among the first to have already achieved it. Experiments are flourishing in ski areas to reduce their energy consumption or even produce it. “Beware of greenwashing!” Laurent Vanat warns that efforts must be concentrated on groomers and, above all, on transport solutions. “In France, you have to be convinced to go to a

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Although it is inconceivable to wipe out the past, it is possible to make some improvements, albeit costly. “When rebuilding ski lifts, you can very well design a large building that houses as many services as possible,” says Vanat. Facilitate, centralize. “This is the problem with the DSP in France. It restricts operators who cannot control everything they would like to,” summarizes the Swiss expert. Governance, again.

In addition to paying the ropeway access fee, an additional fee is required to climb to the top of this wind turbine at Grouse Mountain, in Canada

resort other than by car”, says the expert sarcastically. “The Japanese, even if they don’t have this environmental concern, travel by public transport. Luggage is sent beforehand by post, transport is cheap, and the area is well served,” says Ms. Osaki. In Sweden, the operator Skistar invested in the creation of a local airport next to Sälen, the largest resort. The same is true in Switzerland, in the Aletsch Arena. To get to the car-free resort of Fiescheralp, you have to go through the Fiesch public transport hub—with train station, bus terminal, and gondola lift—co-financed by the operator. Laurent Vanat tempers this enthusiasm. “In Switzerland, 16 of the 20 largest resorts have train stations. However, not many of the resort guests come by public transport. If only people didn’t have to carry around all their equipment!” The expert points out that the marketing of a package deal, including equipment and transport, could be a solution. “In Austria, and in Verbier, Switzerland, there are locker rooms and ski lockers next to the ticket offices and ropeway departure stations. In South Korea, at a resort near Seoul, people arrive and then change clothes because they have their lockers, and then go back to the city.” Another problematic topic for Laurent Vanat is energy sinkholes—“buildings built in the 1970s that might be better to demolish and rebuild.”

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PASSES AND PRE-SALES In the United States, skiing remains elitist. Vail Resorts group was the first to set up a season pass system giving access to some thirty resorts at accessible prices, with discounts on accommodation, restaurants, ski lessons, equipment rental, and more. “There is also the Magic Pass in Switzerland. Small, independently run resorts have come together around a single pass to encourage skiing by young, local people,” says Kaline Osaki. “Val Cenis has adopted dynamic pricing to boost early purchases. Pre-sales and season passes with limited capacities, encouraging advance purchases, are becoming a major trend in France and are being confirmed in Switzerland,” says Laurent Vanat. Is this limited capacity the answer to overcrowded slopes? “A French satisfaction survey reveals that users consider that there are too many people on the slopes. Austria and Switzerland have implemented measures to limit the number of visitors and to manage flow rates. Wouldn’t it be better to return to a more reasonable model?” asks Kaline Osaki. If there is good in each resort, “none of them are perfect,” says Laurent Vanat. The ideal station does not exist, and not all models are replicable. No two mountains are alike, and that’s fine.

European research project on the mountain territory transition Emmanuelle George is working on an application to the Interreg Alpine Space program with other European alpine countries: Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Slovenia. This study concerns the transition mountain resorts and tourist territories as they share the same issues. If the project is selected, the mission should start next autumn.

“The idea is to obtain diverse situations, with more or less vulnerable resorts, and different levels of awareness. And in all cases, territories that are willing and ready to embrace the program that brings research and reality in the field together,” indicates the researcher. Once established, this network of European resorts will be able to share experiences, find transposable solutions that can be adapted to each territory and make them available to resort players and public authorities. Emmanuelle George is already carrying out similar work in the Isère department. She intends to articulate both programs so that they feed off each other.

“The idea is to obtain diverse situations“ EMMANUELLE GEORGE, RESEARCHER

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Axess TICKET LOUNGE Self-Service Valley Station Buying lift tickets at the ticket counter is so yesterday. Your guests now expect the convenience to avoid long ticket lines by purchasing online or at self-service stations onsite. Pairing the Axess TICKET FRAME 600 and Axess PICK UP BOX 600 transforms any valley station into a self-service ticket lounge, enabling a fast and easy way to purchase and fulfill ski tickets. The Axess TICKET LOUNGE is contactless, available 24 hours a day, and reduces the team needed to operate an efficient ticketing sales center. teamaxess.com

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PRINOTH

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MOUNTAIN INNOVATIONS

NOW AND TOMORROW Our agile and flexible ecosystem is a formidable breeding ground for the innovations that are essential to the mountains of tomorrow. Mobility, digital tools, energy transition, future snow modelling, and even artificial intelligence and connectivity—we are already seeing the premises of new developments and technological strides in the mountain of the future. A bird’s eye view of innovations.

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Texts: Cécide Ronjat - Illustrations: Anne Bosquet

n terms of hybrid motors, the diesel/electric mix has already been running for 10 years. However, in order to meet the challenge of the transition and to accompany ski areas towards the 2037 carbon neutrality target, manufacturers have not stopped innovating. Electric groomers for Nordic and indoor skiing, hydrogen groomers for heavy-duty alpine work: Challenges and schedule.

#Hybrid snow

groomers today, hydrogen snow groomers tomorrow, what are the real milestones to come?

To the left: Prinoth Leitwolf und Husky CleanMotion

In its 2021/2022 press kit, Domaine Skiable de France reminds us that 95% of greenhouse gas emissions from ski areas are linked to the use of diesel-powered snow groomers. However, the energy model is about to change with the latest advances in alternative motors. “Our group is not only talking about environmental protection, but is also taking concrete steps [...] by launching CO2-neutral snow groomers,” explains Anton Seeber, president of the HTI Group (Prinoth), in December 2020. At the same time, the German company Kässbohrer is announcing alternative motors ready for mass production at an affordable cost, not to mention HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) biofuel which will be delivered with all Pistenbully snow groomers from 2022. WINTER IS COMING, AND IT WILL BE ELECTRIC Electrical solutions are coming this winter. The Kässbohrer PistenBully 100 E is almost ready to jump into the ring. Fully electric, zero emissions, silent, 200 horsepower, three hours autonomy: The machine is designed for small Nordic areas and indoor ski centers. The electric batteries add some 800kg on board and aim for a full charge within 5 to 6 hours. “We are in the final stages of development with demonstration Model 0 machines starting this winter and sales to follow,” explains Didier Bic, managing director of Kässbohrer ESE. For the Husky eMotion developed by the Italian company Prinoth as part of its Clean Motion project, the schedule is falling into place: “The demonstration machine will be available in winter 2022/2023 and ready for series production in 2023/2024,” confirms Renaud Vezier, Prinoth France’s director of operations. Under the hold, there’s a 270-horsepower electric motor, 190 kWh battery power, and a working autonomy of three hours. Even though the battery adds 700kg

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MOUNTAIN INNOVATIONS

and 0.5m3 of space, “we can see a 20% increase in power and torque compared to the petrol version” continues Renaud Vezier. HYDROGEN BY 2025 As for hydrogen, the horizon is a little further away, even though prototypes are already entering the test phase. This is the case with the Leitwolf H2Motion, with fuel cell drive and electric motor. “Tests have started. The machine has a 400Kw engine, equivalent to 544 horsepower, seven tanks of 67L of high-pressure hydrogen gas, for an autonomy of four hours. A buffer battery provides the connection between the fuel cell and the electric motor. For the rest, we kept the machine’s classic hydraulic system,” explains Prinoth France’s director of operations. In terms of weight, there’s an additional 2 tonnes and an average consumption of 10kg of hydrogen per hour. At Kässbohrer, the hydrogen motor is also in the making. It is based on the operation of the retrofitted PistenBully 600 E+ hybrid model. “We have the advantage of already having the electric motor, now we have to replace the combustion engine with a fuel cell. The current drive train is carried over and the performance remains unchanged” Weighed down by three tonnes, the machine would nevertheless have an autonomy of seven to eight hours. In any case, using hydrogen is closely linked to the regular advances we are seeing in research. “The hydrogen project needs to be refined; there are several roads to go down and making the right decision is not easy” confirms Didier Bic. Then there is the essential question of supply. The hydrogen station in Chambéry—which is part of the Auvergne RhôneAlpes region’s Zero Emission Valley (ZEV) project including 20 stations—produces 40kg of hydrogen per day, while five Prinoth Leitwolf H2Motion snow groomers would consume 400kg/day. Although the network is gradually being organized in the valleys, the challenge remains sticky in the highlands. “I usually say to my customers: As soon as you have hydrogen in the resort, I’ll have the groomer” adds Didier Bic. To support ski areas interested in the equipment, Kässbohrer has developed an in situ production solution: “A model based on the packaged purchase of three snow groomers and a small production station. Of course, this is a major investment that involves the entire resort, but it would help initiate the energy transition.” explains Didier Bic, managing director of Kässbohrer ESE. Vocal assistants, personalized recommendations on video platforms: We use AI every day without knowing it. Although

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EXPERT VOICE

Is hydrogen the solution?

ANNE-SOPHIE BANSE, Transport I Digital, ADEME How is low-carbon renewable hydrogen produced?

“There are different ways of producing hydrogen as an energy carrier: electrolysis, steam reforming, pyrogasification. To be low-carbon and renewable, hydrogen must be produced by electrolysis using electricity from renewable sources, such as wind and photovoltaic, or from the grid provided it is guaranteed renewable. In summary, the environmental benefit of hydrogen depends on the method of production and not all methods are equal.”

Are there still challenges to overcome?

“Upstream renewable electricity generation is still an organisational challenge. Downstream, we also need to guarantee usage by 50% of the ecosystem. We are not interested in showcase hydrogen, where electricity is working. Secondly, in order to be considered mature, a hydrogen project must be integrated into a connected ‘production/ distribution/usage’ ecosystem, which may involve public/private governance that is not always easy. Finally, there is the problem of cost, both vehicle cost and energy cost. Without a large number of players invested in hydrogen, costs will not decrease. This is why public authorities need to commit to the idea, otherwise the sector will lag.”

Where does the sector stand today?

“In the AURA region, the first foundations for hydrogen use are being laid with the wide-scoped ZEV project. Of the 20 charging stations planned, the one in Chambéry is active, but small. There will be 5 more in 2022. There is a political will to move in this direction. But you have to find uses and have cars. So far, we don’t have enough. It’s slowing down momentum. We can assume that between 2022 and 2026, our region will have our first network. Little by little, usage will develop, and the market will produce new solutions, especially for heavy goods vehicles.”

When will hydrogen be available in the mountains?

“I think that the mountain regions will be part of the end of the first network. As soon as the production/distribution/usage chain is set up, it could go fast. The mountain ecosystem is active and innovative. In Alpe d’Huez, La Plagne, Les Ménuires, and Les Deux Alpes, discussions are already underway. The mountain must also take into account the seasonal nature of its operations, as snow groomers do not operate in the summer, in order to properly size projects. But these mountain hubs, which are geographically rather restricted, could be good soil for experimentation.”


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#Artificial intelligence

How it can be used in the mountain economy

artificial intelligence (AI) has not yet reached mountain areas, its applications would nevertheless be numerous. Mathieu Poissard, marketing director of Néovision, a Grenoble-based company specialising in AI, provides an update. What is artificial intelligence? “AI is a computer program that helps automate and solve problems with a high level of algorithmic complexity, including tasks that humans perform with their cognitive functions. Far from being science fiction, AI is part of our daily lives: Augmented reality filters on social networks, GPS and arrival time prediction, etc. In concrete terms, we are talking about data processing, visual, and voice recognition. Smart cities use it for automatic lighting or autonomous vehicles, industry for predictive maintenance, and the health sector for pre-diagnosis. But to use AI, you need data, and that’s where we need to start working in the mountains.” Can we imagine AI helping improve the tourism experience in the mountains? “Yes, this is the role of chatbots on websites for example. The chatbot should be imagined as a decision tree to answer classic questions with interaction, maintain 24/7 contact with the customer, and facilitate the search for information. If we go further, we can use speech recognition for automatic translations for foreign customers, especially as we can now capture the tone and emotion in a speech. As far as visual recognition is concerned, we already count the number of people on frequented sites and we are able to detect people who have fallen. You can even take a picture instead of asking a question. By mixing chatbot, visual, and voice recognition, we end up with virtual guides, a kind of personal assistant for the entire duration of the stay.”

So AI has a role to play in understanding our guests and satisfying their expectations? Completely. Today, customers leave a lot of information on the Internet. With the extraction and semantic analysis of these contents, we have everything we need to know about them. This makes it possible to personalise the offers and launch targeted marketing campaigns. Similarly, by combining data on the weather, dates, duration of stays, and customer preferences, we can achieve highly relevant dynamic pricing. In terms of management, of a resort or area, how does AI come into play? The analysis of guest flow history will allow us to predict future flows under similar conditions. From there, it is possible to anticipate waiting times, adapt the number of shuttles to be operated, the number of staff or optimize the resort’s energy consumption. The same applies to the ski area. With a good history of snow production, one could identify the optimal parameters for how and how much to produce this year. Then there are obvious applications in predictive maintenance of ski lifts or even safety on the slopes by detecting falls and predicting dangerous behaviour.

Bluecime, artificial intelligence and chairlift safety

The smart, computer-aided artificial vision system that detects defects in guardrail closure when boarding chairlifts, Bluecime, is evolving. Processing images using artificial intelligence is used to make sure the guardrail is closed, and also to count the number of people on a seat, and then to determine whether it is a child or an adult, and finally to analyse their behavior. The cross-referenced data ensures ever greater safety and will soon be capable of providing essential information on the operating cycle of ski lifts (energy optimization and predictive maintenance).

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MOUNTAIN INNOVATIONS

#Soft mobility/Autonomy

Where we stand and where is research taking us?

THIBAUT LOUBERE

THE VALLEY LIFT, A WELL-ROUNDED PROJECT It’s been featured in the news and projects are abounding. What’s at stake? Decarbonization of regions, better management of tourist flows, and desaturation of road traffic over the last 100 kilometers. In his Mountain Plan II, the president of the AURA region even outbids the government’s Avenir Montagne plan by allocating 20 million euros to support valley lift projects. “For me, this is what the mountain of tomorrow will look like. We want to avoid traffic jams and pollution from cars,” explains Laurent Wauquiez. For the moment, the Les Arcs 1600 electric funicular railway reaches

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Bourg-Saint-Maurice in 7 minutes. In Oisans, the Eau d’Olle Express now connects the village of Allemond to the resort in Oz-en-Oisans in 8 minutes instead of 20 by road. Other projects are underway,from Magland to Flaine, Bozel to Courchevel, Aime to La Plagne. A new ropaway connecting Grenoble and Chamrousse, connection that will replace the Bastille connection, is also on the cards. In addition to transporting passengers, valley lifts play a role in goods transport. The Funiflaine, which will be operational from winter 2025, is intended to meet the challenges of clean mountain logistics. The project integrates freight-only platforms in the bottom and top stations, to be used by service professions such as laundry. The aim is to reduce road traffic by 500 trucks per year. AUTONOMOUS SHUTTLES, ROBOTS AND CARGO BIKES In resorts, horizontal mobility is taking over from vertical mobility, particularly via autonomous electric shuttles. Bertolami, a SME operating from the Drome region in France

NEOZ SOLUTIONS

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ith 57% of greenhouse gas emissions (Source: Les Echos 06/02/2020), transport is ski resorts’ hobbyhorse. During the Etats Généraux de la transition du tourisme de montagne last September, the Secretary of State for Rural Affairs, Joël Giraud, announced €10 million in funding over two years to engineer innovative mountain transport projects.


and headed by Benjamin Beaudet, initiated the project already tested in Val Thorens. Today’s «Beti» is electric and autonomous, but tomorrow it will run on hydrogen via a fuel cell. “We took advantage of the 2020 lockdowns adapt the agility and autonomy of our shuttles. The hydrogen engine will allow us to run for 20 hours instead of 10 hours on electric power. And the company is taking a step further by designing an autonomous mobility network of delivery robots. “The idea would be to create goods warehouses at the entrance to the resorts and then to ensure intramural deliveries with electric robots capable of carrying a 400kg load,” explains Benjamin Beaudet. Using robots to help mountain areas transition is one of Jérôme Fauchet’s, CEO of TAUR, concerns. “Robotics will open up new perspectives in the mountains. There are uses to be made for the operators, store and hotel owners, medical professionals, and even emergency services.” In principle, autonomous TAUR robots would deliver heavy loads of up to 500kg—mail, petrol, and energy, foodstuffs, linen for hotels— from a goods hub outside the resort. “We can even imagine deliveries by tracked robot for difficult or snowy terrain.” Made in France, autonomous even in dead zones, and soon to be hydrogen-powered thanks to a partnership with Pragma Industries, the TAUR robot will have an autonomy of 5 to 6 hours. “It is a solution designed to meet the last mile challenge in pedestrian stations. We plan to have a first demonstration of the solution in 2023,” concludes Jérôme Fauchet. In the pack of innovative soft mobility solutions, we also note the roll-out of cargo bikes. Its usages in the mountains for intra-station or inter-site mobility are twofold: Logistics for the transport of goods and tourism transport people. For Julien Curtet of Neoz Solutions, it is above all a question of removing the cultural and political obstacles to the use of cargo bikes in mountains. “Our electric cargo bikes can carry loads of 25 to 300kg, on gradients of 15 to 20%. A hydrogen engine is being developed to give more torque. They are complementary to other soft mobility solutions.” THE LITTLE TRAIN THAT COULD The Mobilité Plus solar-powered train is approved for the road and can climb gradients of up to 15%. Its locomotive and carriages can carry up to 75 people. Powered by a lithium battery in the driver’s cabin and solar panels on the roof, it has an autonomy of 150 to 180km. Resorts like Tignes are interested in the solution. Jordan Ré, technical director,

explains: “The electric train is part of a range of solutions to decarbonise our mobility. We will conduct a test in 2023 in Les Brévières. The idea is to make village centers as pedestrian as possible by replacing cars with electric trains and by creating parking solutions outside. The experiment could eventually be extended to other areas.” Railcoop, France’s first cooperative railway company, is working on rolling out intercity lines between major cities outside of the Paris region, including some links in the Alps. Delayed by 6 months, the first Bordeaux/Lyon passenger line should nevertheless be in service by 2023. The following year, the company intends to develop a Thionville/Grenoble axis serving, among others, the Aix-les-Bains, Chambéry, and Montmélian stations. The company has also notified the Transport Regulation Authority of its interest in operating an Annecy/Marseille line via Grenoble and the Southern Alps by 2026 at the latest. “The train is an essential link in the ecological transition. We have more and more members in the Chambéry region, which illustrates a need for reorganisation in the Alps, and perhaps even to launch a local think tank,” explains Ludovic Grandjacques, in charge of Railcoop’s capacity process, adding “Service to the Alpine valleys by night trains is also a subject of interest for Railcoop.”

MOONBIKE, the 100% electric snow scooter, is gaining momentum

Launched in 2018, it took Moonbikes two years of R&D to bring its electric snow scooters to market. The technical specifications are: one ski at the front, a caterpillar at the back, lightweight at 87kgs, a propulsion system to reach 42km/h, and 1h30 of autonomy. “It has the manoeuvrability of a bicycle and the power of a small motorbike,” says Nicolas Muron, the founding president. The objective is clear: Revolutionise mobility in the mountains. The device is already operating in a dozen stations and the company has no intention of stopping there. It has just raised 4.5 million euros to reach 5,000 units by 2025 and to expand internationally.

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MOUNTAIN INNOVATIONS

#Digital tools focus on our selection

DAT’MOUNTAIN, ENERGY AND PROCESS MONITORING FOR SKI AREAS DAT’MOUNTAIN by Dative is an artificial intelligence and monitoring software dedicated to ski area operators. It allows the collection of energy and process data in real time in order to optimize ski area management. In concrete terms, it cross-references energy consumption and production data to intelligently manage resources. It relies on weather and traffic data to predict attendance, optimize operations and reduce waiting times and traffic on the slopes. UPILOT BY POMA, 3D TRAINING SIMULATOR FOR GONDOLA LIFT OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE UPilot® is a digital training platform for ropeways. It provides learners with interactive e-learning modules and assessment tools. The tool digitizes training courses by mixing your own content with that offered by UPilot® in order to personalize your training experiences. It can be accessed online and uses various technologies—video, web, PDF, quiz materials, and even a 3D gondola simulator. MY RESORT IN A POCKET, AN APP BY FRENCH TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION ORANGE “Ma station dans ma poche” is an app that digitises resort services: Activities are presented, slope maps, ski passes, webcams, practical information, access and transport options are all available, and more. Other services can be added such as tourist passes or click & collect. Adapted to the specificities of mountain territories, Ma station dans ma poche increases visibility and improves customer relations. A solution that has already been adopted by Montgenèvre Resort.

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API-K PRO, SAFETY AND GEO-POSITIONING Ensuring the safety of mountain professionals, searching for people in distress, geo-positioning machines & vehicles, securing sensitive areas, tracking groups, connecting equipment: These are all managed by the API-K Pro beacon. Its new interface is even more ergonomic and intuitive for operators. MOBILE FLOW BY SKIDATA, SMARTPHONE PASSES The 100% digital ski pass on Android and Apple smartphones. The SKIDATA «Mobile Flow» application (downloadable from Google Play and Apple Store) authorizes access through the lift turnstile automatically. No need for Wi-Fi or internet, the system can even work in plane mode through Bluetooth. For Guy Tessereau, managing director of SKIDATA France: “Our goal is always to make the customer journey easier. With the ski pass on your mobile phone, it is even easier to enjoy skiing.” EPICMIX APP, PREDICT WAIT TIMES AT SKI LIFTS Vail Resort has been offering a new version of EpicMix Time in its EpicMix application since last December. It provides a full-day forecast of lift wait times, updated every 15 minutes. The technology is based on a compilation of data: wait time history, real-time skier flow, wait time at other lifts in the area, weather, day, and season.


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MOUNTAIN INNOVATIONS

#Climate modelling and decision-making tools

I

n its latest climate report, the IPCC projected a temperature rise of +1.5°C to +4.4°C by 2100, depending on the GHG emission scenario. To objectify future snow cover and help ski areas make decisions, Météo France and Compagnie des Alpes (CDA) have developed modelling tools. Innovate to adapt. The mountain ecosystem is once again showing its agility by developing tools to project evolutions in snow cover, with perspectives that extend to the end of the century, level by level. The aim is to provide factual and scientific information to help areas make the right decisions in terms of investment and tourism strategy. Respectively called CLIMSNOW for Météo France and IMPACT for CDA, both tools share the same goal: To help ski areas make the climate transition. ALL ABOUT CLIMSNOW CLIMSNOW is a result of the combination of expertise from Dianeige, INRAE, and Météo-France, a consortium combining the performance of applied scientific research and the expertise of tourism engineering in mountain resorts. Completed in 2020, it is based on modelling chains developped since 2014 by Météo France. Since the tool was created, 97 resorts have taken advantage of the solution, from the Alps to the Pyrenees. When asked how it works, Carlo Maria Carmagnola, researcher at Météo France, CNRS, Snow Studies Center, explains: “CLIMSNOW uses meteorological snow observations and the Météo-France measurement network to develop climate projections according to three greenhouse gas emission scenarios (reduction after 2050, stabilisation or strong increase). The data are run on a

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supercomputer and then provides an estimation of the evolution of snow cover at different timescales and up to 2100.” To understand the complexity and power of the calculations, it is important to know that the modelling chain takes into account the evolution of natural snow, of course, but also the effects of grooming and snow-making operations—depending on the period, the type of snow gun, the temperature or the wind speed—the slope, and the orientation of the slopes. “Mountains are treated individually. Within each range, slope, orientation, and altitude are explicitly taken into account, with eight different orientations, several different slopes and also altitudes in bands of 300 meters,” explains Carlo Carmagnola. Ski areas receive the report in paper format and hold the keys to objectify each sector’s viability, plan structural investment choices in snow-making equipment, and initiate a transition in the tourism offer. “One of the most interesting points is that overall the three scenarios are in line with the 2050 projection. What will happen in 30 years’ time is already driven by the choices of the past. Decisions made today will have an impact in 3 decades, hence the importance of making informed choices;” continues Carlo Carmagnola. MEASURING IMPACT The name IMPACT says it all: What is the impact of climate change on the evolution of snow-making in resorts? Developed in 2020, IMPACT primarily responds to a need for objectivity. “There is a lot of talk about the future of skiing in


eige naturelle

mbre de jours avec une épaisseur de ge naturelle damée supérieure à 30 cm ant compte de la fonte) < 20 jours

Le rendu impact

10 à 20 jours > 10 jours

Neige naturelle Nombre de jours avec une épaisseur de neige naturelle damée supérieure à 30 cm (tenant compte de la fonte)

eige de culture

mbre d’heures de froid cumulées < -4°C < 100h

Une visualisation

< 20 jours

pédagogique en 3D

100 à 200h

à disposition des

10 à 20 jours

> 200h

stations

> 10 jours

Neige naturelle

Neige de culture

Nombre de jours avec une épaisseur de neige naturelle damée supérieure à 30 cm (tenant compte de la fonte)

Nombre d’heures de froid cumulées < -4°C

12

< 100h

< 20 jours

100 à 200h

10 à 20 jours

> 200h

> 10 jours

Neige culture the face of climatede change but nothing factual. IMPACT was d’heures de froid cumulées < -4°C born out Nombre of a need to scientifically objectify things to help ski area managers make decisions,” says Loïc Bonhoure, deputy < 100h managing director of Compagnie des Alpes. 100 à 200h

Already used in the 10 ski areas managed by CDA, IMPACT is > 200h based on meteorological data from Météo France—rain/snow limit, precipitation, and temperature—and then implements its own data, thresholds, and criteria in snow-making and use, slope exposure, and altitude. The modelling takes into account two realistic progression scenarios for GHG emissions, based on a temperature rise of +2 and +4°C. The analysis is customized for each mountain range, in 75m x 75m zones, and can use past snow-making data to validate the reliability of its projections. “It is modelling confronted with knowledge of the history and the operator,” continues Loïc Bonhoure. The result is a monthly 3D view of the ski area—where the green/orange/red color code projects the viability of the snow cover over four 20-year periods until the end of the century, specifying the worst years and the median years. “It’s a very visual tool that unlocks the key to understand what the area will need for future developments: Water, investments in artificial snow-making systems, ropeway infrastructures if skiing home isn’t possible.”

As a ski area manager, CDA has implemented its expertise to produce a tool that is as close as possible to the needs of operators and developers. Already relevant for modelling future snow cover and the sizing of snow-making equipment, IMPACT has recently integrated a new module for calculating the economic impact on ski area turnover. Two tools for essential awareness: “What I think is important is that everyone should take up the climate issue and that change should be objective,” concludes Loïc Bonhoure.

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BOUYGUES TELECOM

MOUNTAIN INNOVATIONS

#Network quality / 5G / Fiber the that can’t be missing

T

hanks to the implementation of the «New Mobile Deal» in January 2018, the fiber roll-out, and the arrival of 5G, regions are becoming increasingly connected, and it’s areas with the least density that are seeing the biggest changes. In the mountains, it is an essential link in the transition. Where are we at today? CONSTANTLY INCREASING 4G MOBILE COVERAGE IN THE MOUNTAINS The New Mobile Deal establishes a landmark agreement between the government, the French regulatory authority for electronic communications, post and press distribution (ARCEP) and telephone operators, breaking with previous digital development programs. Designed to ensure quality mobile coverage in areas with no or poor coverage, it requires operators to install 5,000 new 4G sites, at a rate of 600 to 800 per year. By the end of October 2020, more than 2,000 areas to be covered had been identified throughout the country by local authorities and approved by the government, including more than 600 in mountainous areas*

“In 2021, the New Mobile Deal produced 10 times more sites in fives times less time than previous programs,” SAYS DIDIER CHAMINADE, ORANGE REGIONAL DELEGATE FOR THE ALPS REGION

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Four years after its implementation, the New Mobile Deal shows substantial progress, increasing national 4G coverage from 45% in early 2018 to 76% by mid-2020. In the mountains on 30 September 2020, the proportion of the population covered varied from 92% to 97% depending on the operator, while the proportion of the territory covered varied between 68 and 79%*. One year later, at the end of November 2021, Orange announced that it would cover between 97 and 99.7% of the population with 4G in the Alps. The same proportion for Bouygues Telecom with 99% population coverage in the 70 ski resorts of the Centres and Alps region. In 2021, SFR and the Association Nationale des Elus de la Montagne (National Association of Mountain Elected Officials) signed a partnership agreement on the digital coverage of mountain territories, dead zones, fiber optics, and 5G. “As part of the New Mobile Deal in January 2018, I want to commend the work of the operators for the mobile coverage of mountain territories,” Jeanine Dubié, president of ANEM FIBER, FIXED COVERAGE GAINS ALTITUDE In its 2021 report on Connected Territories, ARCEP also notes a clear increase in the roll-out of FttH (Fiber to the home) networks in mountainous areas, of around 40% per year. One third of buildings in the mountain area were FttH compatible by the end of Q3 2020. At the end of November 2021, Bouygues Telecom officiated the opening of 1600 connectable homes in Alpes d’huez, 3000 in Les Deux Alpes, and others are in the making in Savoie and Haute-Savoie. Everywhere, operators are relying on the public initiative networks of local authorities to market their fiber offers, reduce the digital divide, and make less densely populated areas more attractive.


”Altice France is rolling out FttH with its own funds in the Alpes-de-Hautes Provences and the Hautes-Alpes, and in partnership with local authorities in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Isère, Chamonix Mont-Blanc Valley, and Corsica,” SAYS CYRILLE-FRANTZ HONEGGER, REGIONAL DELEGATE CENTRE-EST SFR/ALTICE FRANCE

5G, SPEED AND IMMEDIACY 5G promises boosted performance. “In terms of speed and immediacy, this is a factor of 10 compared to 4G,” says Julien LAIR, regional network manager for the Centre, Alps and Mediterranean regions of Bouygues Telecom. As for the timetable, ARCEP points out that operators will have to roll out 3,000 sites in 2022, 8,000 sites in 2024, and 10,500 sites in 2025 over 3.4 3.8 GHz bands, 25% of which will be in sparsely populated areas such as mountainous regions. Operated from existing 4G sites, 5G will be a priority in high-density areas and is already gaining ground with the connection of Alpes d’Huez, the 1st 5G resort, followed by Morzine, Tignes, Val d’Isère, Isola 2000, Montgenèvre, Les Arcs, and Chamonix in winter 2021,” confirms Didier Chaminade of Orange. Thanks to Bouygues Telecom, 5G is coming to La Plagne, Megève, and Morzine in winter 2021. Far from being an escalation in technology, 5G is coming to its predecessor’s rescue. The 40% annual increase in the volume of data transmitted projects 4G saturation within the next 12 to 18 months in very high density areas. “It is a silent revolution that must be absorbed to ensure continuity of service,” confirms Didier Chaminade of Orange. Although mountainous areas, because they are only densely populated during high-season, are not yet greatly concerned with this prediction, 5G is nonetheless important to accompany the transition.

the mountains is an essential link. The development of new uses and societal changes are inviting high-altitude areas to work on the quality of their networks. And the operators are there. “Digital inclusion is part of our CSR policy,” says Didier Chaminade of Orange, while Julien Lair of Bouygues Telecom adds, “developing the digital network in these regions is a strong commitment.”

“5G will enable new uses, and what we didn’t want in mountain areas was to be excluded from these uses,” STATES JEANINE DUBIÉ, PRESIDENT OF ANEM

CONNECTIVITY IS A LINK TO THE TRANSITION Virtual tours, websites, and applications to enhance the tourist experience, WiFi everywhere for area information and security, smart grids to reduce energy consumption, and even remote working, remote medicine, artificial intelligence, and the IoT (Internet of Things): Connectivity in

*ARCEP TC 2021 report 2022

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INVESTIGATION

HOW THE C.E.A. PARTICIPATES IN EMERGING INNOVATIONS FOR THE MOUNTAIN

DENIS MOREL / CEA

Texts: Cécile Ronjat

The CEA, Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, is the leading technological research center in France. Serving the French State, its economy, and citizens, it is the only French public research organisation in the world’s top 100 global innovators (Derwent 2018-19). Major inventions have come out of these laboratories, some of them linked to the mountain. On-site investigation.

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PATRICK_AVAVIAN

“Number 1 in patent filings in Europe”

“Innovation accelerator for industry” In Grenoble, the CEA devotes most of its research to the development of innovative solutions related to energy, health, information, and communication: Electric batteries, nanotechnologies, materials, biotechnology, etc. To perform these tasks, it relies on its Technological Research Directorate (DRT) and its three institutes—CEA-Leti, for micro and nanotechnologies; CEA-Liten, for new energy technologies; and CEA-List, for smart digital systems. Boosted by the culture of innovation, the DRT’s ambition is nothing less than to disseminate its technologies to industry, ensuring a bridge between the scientific and economic worlds.

ANDREA_AUBERT

IMMERSION BEYOND THE GATE Conducting an investigation at the CEA in Grenoble is already a challenge in terms of access. The site is secured: Barriers, access by badge, and escort by authorized personnel only. An official ID card is requisitioned for the duration of the visit. On the pedestrian path leading to the premises, Gaëlle Mistrulli, in charge of showroom coordination and communication projects, tells us that the CEA works in four research areas—defence and security, nuclear and renewable energies, fundamental research, and technological research for industry—via a network of nine research centres in France, including Grenoble, and seven regional platforms. In 2020, it was the top patent filer in Europe.

The task is arduous but the means are substantial. Every year, its innovations lead to the creation of six to ten start-ups, several of which have become major players such as Aledia (WireLED display technology) and Isorg (organic and printed electronics).

“Disruptive innovations to shape the world of tomorrow” Along the way, we arrive at the Y. Spot, an infrastructure dedicated to open and collaborative innovation, inaugurated in January 2020 with the ambition of hosting disruptive innovations that will shape the world of tomorrow.

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INVESTIGATION

A RESCUE DRONE: You dreamt it, they made it

Sometimes innovations are the result of personal experiences. The Rescue Drone is no exception.

MARIO

SMARTPHONE LOCATION TECHNOLOGY FOR MOUNTAIN RESCUE Sometimes innovations are the result of personal experiences. The Rescue Drone is no exception. “I am a wellseasoned ski touring enthusiast. I’ve even coached it. In the event of an accident, the speed of the emergency response is vital. I asked myself how to make locating avalanche victims faster by exploiting the third dimension, with a drone and an antenna network,” explains Norbert Daniele. When you know that the chances of survival in an avalanche rarely exceed 15 minutes, this innovation is a hopeful sign. In concrete terms, the Rescue Drone and its on-board antenna enable emergency services to detect the victim by locating the radio signal from his or her smartphone, and then to estimate the angle of arrival and the distance using complex algorithms. As the drone converges on the victim, the location becomes clearer. The antenna can even be deployed outside mobile coverage. “We imagined two scenarios: One for a collaborative smartphone, i.e. Bluetooth enabled, and one for a non-collaborative smartphone, where

we rely on GSM signals,” explains Norbert Daniele. Whether the Rescue Drone is used in winter for avalanche victims not equipped with an avalanche beacon or in summer for people in danger in exposed areas, it is a highly effective search tool. “Simulations on a 200m x 100m search area showed that a smartphone could be located within minutes. We started the programme at the end of 2021 with a drone pilot and partners. The technology will be available on the market in 2023. It is not a substitute for the work ensured by rescue services on the ground, user training, nor for the use of a shovel/probe/beacon, but it is a complement,” explains Norbert Daniele. The technology, supported by the AURA region through the EasyPOC program, is being presented at Mountain Planet 2022.

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VITALIYMATEHA

EXPERTISE AND DRONE-MONITORING OF NATURAL GRAVITY-DRIVEN HAZARDS The mastery of micro and nanotechnologies and on-board antennas provides more opportunities for drone usage in the mountains, in rugged natural terrain. Landslides, roads closed due to rock falls: Gravity-driven hazards are more important here than elsewhere. To meet this safety challenge, CEA Leti has used its skills to serve Géolithe—a geological, geophysical, and geotechnical engineering consultancy firm—and its partners. The result of their collaboration is ROCDRO, a project to monitor natural gravity-driven hazards by drone. “CEA-Leti has worked on the design of a specific ultra-wide range antenna, combined with a radar module to monitor the mountain from a drone, getting as close as possible to the walls.” Where people need heavy equipment in hard-to-reach or even dangerous places, the drone will soon be able to scan the mountain. “The idea is to mix drone, antenna, and sounding technologies to see deep into cracks, look for water, and determine rock stability. It is a kind of X-ray of the mountain.” The technology is being presented at Mountain Planet 2022.

ANDREA_AUBERT

ROCDRO: Scan the mountain

SMART SKIS: IN THE DATA CRUNCH Smart watches, scales, and even tennis rackets are already mainstream. The next step is the smart ski. With a view to the 2023 World Ski Championships in Courchevel-Méribel, the CEA and Rossignol and Lumiplan are working on developing smart skis, with sensors that relay skier performance indicators to a smartphone application. The results will then be transmitted on the screens at the bottom of the pistes to create a unique challenge accessible to the public. Supported by Cluster Montagne, the project is financed at more than 50% by the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region.

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INVESTIGATION

INNOVATION SERVING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN THE MOUNTAIN Before considering civilian uses, innovation sometimes serves military purposes first, even in the mountains. Since December 2019, the CEA’s Direction de la Recherche technologique (DRT) has signed a partnership agreement with the 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade. What’s the objective? Participate in innovative projects to improve the operational performance of troops in vertical and cold environments with high operational constraints. Within the framework of this partnership, the CEA can rely on the high-mountain military school, EMHM, as well as the Armed Forces’ mountain and extreme cold expertise center. To date, two projects are under study. The first concerns the integration of a visual HMI (Human Machine Interface) for paralpinism and aerotow skis. The second, broader topic is part of a new field of cooperation based on using “nomadic autonomy in a deployed camp”.

Full of admiration, we conclude this exciting and inspiring visit.

Initially developed for the mining industry in partnership with Davey Bickford, CEA-Leti is also unveiling at Mountain Planet 2022 a new bi-directional firing system.

FRANCK_ARDITO

THE SHOWROOM: A TECHNOLOGICAL SHOWCASE Our investigation at CEA-Grenoble ends with a visit to the showroom and its hundred or so demonstrators and models designed to give concrete examples of CEA Tech’s work in the fields of health, transport, information technology, energy, and materials. Before our eyes: A prototypical solar road, a BCI-(Brain Computer Interface) enabled exoskeleton,

a pocket-sized analysis lab barely larger than a smartphone, a smart tennis racket, augmented reality glasses, magnetometry, and other advances in cyber security and artificial intelligence.

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@


DEEP DIVE

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY SERVING THE ENERGY TRANSITION Without digital there can be no transition, say the specialists. Proof by example: Today, the digital revolution and sustainable development go hand in hand in the transformation of territories. Optimization of energy efficiency and self-consumption of renewable energy, smart buildings, energy modulation of infrastructures: Digital technology collects data, analyses it, and provides the keys for needs-centric management. This is known as the smart grid. The Resorts Example. Texts: Cécile Ronjat - Illustrations: Anne Bosquet

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SMART GRID, DEFINED The smart grid is an intelligent electricity distribution network that automatically adapts production to demand by promoting the flow of information between energy suppliers and consumers. In concrete terms, the network relies on a network of sensors and data flows to calculate consumption. What’s the objective? Consume less and better by using the territory’s potential and its infrastructures: Photovoltaic, wind, biomass and hydroelectric production, storage of surplus energy, and the connection of buildings to the network. Behind these smart grids are energy management software solutions, digital building management solutions, and consumption forecasting and control tools. The result is lower energy bills and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. At the Grenoble Learning Grid, 800 sensors collect consumption data, which is then processed in real time in an “energy cockpit” from which control orders are sent. Solar panels on the roofs of the buildings, cogeneration unit, storage batteries: The microgrid takes into account the full potential of the 30,000m² site. After two years of experimentation, the ITM Grenoble campus technical and educational project has reduced its consumption by 30% compared to the preliminary project (2016). LES ORRES, PILOT RESORT FOR THE MOUNTAINS OF TOMORROW At Les Orres, a pilot resort for the Flexgrid program and the European Smart Altitude program, “implementing an energy management system has reduced consumption by 20%, the energy bill by 25%, and greenhouse gas emissions by 100 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year,” explains its mayor Pierre Vollaire. To improve its energy efficiency, Les Orres relies on the self-production of local renewable energy from photovoltaic, hydroelectricity (production of 23GwH out of the 26 required), and a biomass plant. The resort also relies on storage capacities exploiting the potential of water reservoirs, cooling units, compressed air units, and hot water tanks. It controls everything through a digital energy management system for production, storage, and use for ropeways, snow-making equipment, mountain huts, administrative and cultural buildings, ice rink, tourist office, and tourist residences.

DRAW ME CHAMROUSSE 2030 Chamrousse Resort has also laid the foundations of its multi-energy Smart Grid: A virtuous energy mix associated with intelligent and scalable global control. In terms of production, the station will rely on wood via the massive use of biomass (87% of heat needed), hydrogen (in situ production of 40kg/day), and photovoltaics for a production of 900MWh/year. The multi-energy smart grid will thus make it possible to measure, monitor, and control all flows in real time and in anticipation, thanks to a digital predictive control ecosystem. The end result is a reduction in GHGs of more than 72,000 tonnes of CO2 over the entire duration of the service provider contract (25 years) and a reduction in energy costs of around 28%. SMART BUILDINGS, 30 TO 50% LESS ON THE ENERGY BILL To the question of the definition of the smart building, Emmanuel François, president of the Smart Building Alliance, answers: “It is first and foremost a building that is connected to the outside world, that is connected to an internet network and equipped with a digital infrastructure through which multiple services can be deployed. The building communicates data and interacts in real time in order to optimize its use of energy and space, for example.” Automatic heating, lighting, and air conditioning control: Optimized control of a smart building could reduce its consumption in KWh by 30% and up to 50% with very fine control (Le Monde, April 2021) ISOLA 2000 Isola 2000 is another example of how to implement a smart local energy pilot (within the framework of the 2019-2025 Climate Plan of the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis). To achieve its objectives of reducing its energy bill and consumption by 20%, the resort intends to mobilize its potential for storing and consuming renewable energy: Micro-hydro power station, turbines at the water treatment plant and on drinking water, photovoltaic energy, energy recovery from the funicular. Energy production will be controlled by a digital energy management system and Smart Grids. The aim is to optimize energy management of ropeways, snow-making equipment, buildings, residences, leisure complexes, and charging points for electric vehicles.

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FOCUS

the number

5G consumes 10 times less than 4G and fibre 7 times less than an ADSL line (Source: Orange).

W H AT SHE SAID

ERIK-ODIIN

“We are convinced, as elected mountain representatives, that the ecological transition cannot be achieved without the digital transition and vice versa.”

MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO (ITALY) Madonna di Campiglio is the Italian pilot resort for the Smart Altitude program, along with its counterpart Les Orres, and is aiming for zero carbon emissions by 2026, the year of the Winter Olympics. To improve its energy efficiency by integrating more renewable energy and optimizing water consumption, the resort has implemented an energy management system that controls its electrical network, lifts, groomers, snow production, and buildings. Bruno Felicetti, Deputy Director of Funivie Madonna di Campiglio SpA, explains: “Experimenting with the Smart Altitude IEMS (Integrated Management System) at Madonna di Campiglio puts us at the forefront of energy management in our ski area. We want to rethink the traditional model by using new management and organizational solutions, and by adopting increasingly efficient technologies with a view to integrating renewable energy and electric mobility. The aim is to achieve zero CO2 emissions by 2026.”

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Jeanine Dubié President of the ANEM (National Association of Elected Officials in Mountainous Regions)

DIGITAL TWINS: A WAY FORWARD FOR RESORTS? A digital twin is a digital replica of an object, process, or system that can be used to simulate a new use and measure its impact before moving on to design. A study published jointly by Dassault Systèmes and Accenture shows that more than 7.5Gt of CO2 emissions could be avoided over the next decade and more than €1.3t of economic value created, thanks to digital twins. Simulating the design of low-energy buildings, a smart grid, or a network of electric vehicles in a resort: Digital twins have what it takes to be at the heart of the energy transition. What if these disruptive technologies were a way forward for mountains?


Photo©Fred Malguy

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Le partenaire de vos solutions photovoltaïques en montagne


OUT-OF-THE-BOX

DESIGN THINKING CAN IT HELP COMPANIES IMAGINE THE MOUNTAIN OF TOMORROW

When imagining the mountain of tomorrow, it is impossible to ignore the user’s angle. Cobuilt, innovative, and shared: The mountain of tomorrow will take these needs into account when developing future spaces. Tourist flows, parking lots and spaces, building renovations, ski lifts, architecture, etc. all fall into this strategy called design thinking or innovation through use. Texts: Cécile Ronjat - Illustrations: Anne Bosquet

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OUT-OF-THE-BOX

DESIGN THINKING OR HUMAN-CENTERED INNOVATION Before starting to thinking about how design thinking can be used in the mountains, let’s define it first. Design thinking is “an approach that aims to generate innovation by letting the user guide the process,” explains Guillaume Imbert, PhD in innovation and co-founder of the design and innovation agency KIDS in Cran-Gevrier. The method gained popularity in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s before making inroads in the 1980s and then becoming more widely used by companies and more recently by communities. “It’s a common-sense method borrowed from designers, which we generalise to areas as varied as product development, services, digital tools, and business models,” continues Guillaume Imbert. In concrete terms, innovation is cobuilt by involving the user from the outset of the process, instead of using marketing and communication to convince them that the solutions created without them are the right ones for them. Logical, and yet. Innovating through use therefore offers the opportunity to rethink certain models by creating a confrontation early on. In the design thinking approach, the user is involved from the project discovery phase, where they are consulted to express issues. After a period of internal interpretation and ideation, we return to the field to experiment and then test the selected solutions through modeling or prototyping. “The idea is to confront a wide variety of points of view by consulting all types of users in contact with the innovation, whether they are tourists or residents, ski areas, town halls, tourist offices, farmers, etc. By going very quickly into the field, design thinking allows us to ‘make mistakes’ early on, in order to to quickly draw up the innovation that will concentrate all expectations,” adds Guillaume Imbert.

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DESIGN THINKING IN 5 KEY POINTS 1. 2. 3. 4.

Human-centric Multidisciplinarity & collaborative Modeling, prototyping, and testing Flexibility of the process: taking a step back to better move forward 5. Providing user experiences and ensuring user empathy DESIGN THINKING, A TOOL TO IMAGINE THE MOUNTAIN OF TOMORROW Design thinking, a tool to imagine the mountain of tomorrow Still not very widespread in the mountains, user-centric innovation is generating curiosity and some are even starting the process. What tourists expect, how condo owners optimize rentals, how mobility can be reimagined through parking, how to build energy-efficient buildings, and how to reconcile landscape development and preservation—are all subjects where design thinking can play a role in imagining the mountain of tomorrow. “Design thinking clearly has a role to play in ensuring a smooth transition in high-altitude areas. This transition will necessarily involve cobuilding and innovation that takes new user needs into account to rapidly test solutions that meet the challenges of our climate. Even if some of the technologies are not yet mature, there are already inexpensive building blocks that can be put in place to initiate change. In any case, we have nothing to lose in rethinking our models by relying on the skills of players who are already well-versed in confronting the reality on the ground,” concludes Guillaume Imbert of KIDS agency.


DESIGN THINKING AT POLE EXCELLENCE BOIS RENOVACIME: A sustainable, local, and durable approach to renovating mountain residences Renovacime is an innovative collaborative project— conducted between 2017 and 2021 by the Pôle d’Excellence Bois (BEP) and two joint ventures with architects, designers, economists, builders—supported by the FCBA (Forêt Cellulose Bois-construction Ameublement). The Objective: Take up the challenge of a global, structured, innovative, and competitive rehabilitation of mountain real estate, in order to: • • • •

Prevent empty beds Rethink shared spaces Adapt living spaces to new uses Address the relationship between outside and inside, taking into account new uses and energy performance

The design thinking method: Create a collective dynamic around PEB and the joint venture companies to carry out studies on uses, meet users, develop innovative concepts, and then produce demonstrative prototypes of the sector’s expertise in rehabilitating tourist accommodations in the mountains. What are the results? Prototyping of a 3D virtual visit of a renovated residence: Using an augmented reality headset, elected officials and co-owners can see redesigned spaces (shared spaces and apartments) and view the solutions proposed to adapt residential accommodation to the new 4-season tourism in the resort.

“Innovation through use has allowed us to bring together very different points of view right from the start. By using personae types, we were able to identify a wide range of user problems and imagine differentiating solutions, such as integrating shared laundry rooms on each floor of the residence. At the Pôle Excellence Bois, we are convinced of the benefits of design thinking. We are also developing other projects based on innovation through use. For companies, it is essential to understand users” says Emeline Mauduit, project manager at Pôle Excellence Bois.

“For companies, it is essential to understand users,” SAYS EMELINE MAUDUIT, PROJECT MANAGER AT PÔLE EXCELLENCE BOIS.

Prospects: Based on the 3D visit, the project is promoted to property owners and raises awareness in the community about innovative and sustainable solutions to rehabilitate tourist properties using local wood.

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NATURAL RESOURCES

TAMING NATURE’S WEALTH Winter sports resorts have built their economic model on natural mountain resources. A fragile resource that must be both safeguarded and used virtuously. Texts: Cécile Ronjat - Illustrations: Anne Bosquet

SOBRIETY COMES FIRST One ski area was built on sobriety. Arêches-Beaufort was the first French resort to sign the national charter in favor of sustainable development in mountain resorts, in 2007. This Savoyard village resort has truly taken advantage of its environment to grow. Its geographical location, in the foothills of Mont Blanc, guarantees exceptional snowfall which, thanks to its north-facing slopes and high altitude, is easy to maintain. Indeed, snow guns only cover 15% of

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I

n the mountains, climate change is not a concept. This is a reality that people in the mountains experience, feel, and see. They have a front row seat. The phenomenon is not perceived as tangible elsewhere than in the oceans, coasts, and mountains. “Like any other economic player, ski areas have a responsibility to limit their environmental and social impact and to preserve natural resources and biodiversity. They have an even more important role to play as they will be where people will come to learn in the future,” says Camille Rey-Gorrez, director of the Mountain Riders association, which created the Flocon Vert label. They also have a vested interest in looking after what is ultimately their work tool. Everyone needs to do their part by taking virtuous steps. Ski areas, and more broadly the communities around them, have been working for some time to reduce their carbon footprint, often through innovation. “Technologies have made it possible to optimize costs and save resources. There has been a very positive evolution, but we are not asking ourselves enough about how to reduce consumption, which requires a review of practices,” says Ms Rey-Gorrez. Like Ademe, Mountain Riders advocates energy sobriety before thinking about renewable energy production. The cleanest energy is the one we don’t use... For the energy that you still have to use, it is better to use 100% renewable energy, which is certainly more expensive. This is an initiative adopted by 48 French ski lift companies.

La forêt est un trésor, son bois une ressource locale.

the area, on the lower parts. This artificial snow is produced solely from the Roselend dam, the network being supplied by gravity pressure, which requires less energy. Sobriety also means making choices, such as closing the ski lifts in off-peak periods, and areas free from grooming. “These actions allow us to change the scale in terms of impact,” says Camille Rey-Gorez. For Laurent Reynaud, general delegate of Domaines skiables de France (DSF), “innovation is essential, as is behavior, both by professionals and our customers. Technology is not the sole answer in keeping our planet clean. Serre Chevalier has made extensive use of technology and is now embarking on another project based on a more rational operation. Clients also need to understand and embrace changes for them to be sustainable. The ski area has chosen to raise awareness and survey the public by launching a


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F. ARNOULD

Bipod panels, designed by Sunwind Energy, cover the roof of the Prorel station in Serre Chevalier

dedicated website, Tous engagés Serre Chevalier. Fallow slopes to give nature time to regenerate, skiing at the top of the area and going back down to the valley by ropeway in the absence of snow, closing access to certain areas to protect the fauna and flora, limiting the grooming of certain slopes to consume less diesel... These are some of the avenues for reflection. It’s Time to Adapt, Not Fight. AND THEN COMES PRODUCTION The Hautes-Alpes resort is particularly renowned for its unique initiative which capitalizes on its natural resources: 2,500 hours of sunshine a year, a dense network of watersheds and high passes well exposed to the wind.

Serre Chevalier has been working since 2018 to produce 30% of its consumption by 2023 with three sources of renewable energy. 76

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In addition to reducing its energy consumption, Serre Chevalier has been working since 2018 to produce 30% of its consumption by 2023 with three sources of renewable energy: Wind, photovoltaic, and hydroelectric. About wind turbines, this technology has proven to be inconclusive and the ski area has turned to two traditional wind turbines that can withstand very strong winds and produce 40,000 kWh per year. “Production is good but the installation is expensive and the visual impact is undeniable,” acknowledges Patrick Arnaud, general manager of Serre Chevalier Valley Ski Area (SCV), who will, even if he doesn’t regret it, will not pursue it further. The photovoltaic system has more than lived up to its promise, to the extent that the operator has equipped surfaces that were not in the original plan. Dry air, altitude, exposure, low temperatures, and the albedo effect—or the diffuse reflection of sun rays on the snow—are particularly favorable to this technology and will account for 10% of total renewable energy production. SCV has retrofitted railway stations, used building roofs with either traditional or innovative panels, such as semi-rigid and bipod equipment from Sunwind Energy. Finally, hydroelectricity will eventually constitute the largest source of renewable energy production in the area (85%), through pumped-energy storage for snowmaking networks. SCV asked the Haute-Savoie engineering company Hydrostadium, a subsidiary of EDF, help in implementing this project, which is a first in France. The first 180 kWh installation was commissioned in Saint-Chaffey this winter and the second (950 kWh) will be commissioned in La Salleles-Alpes in winter 2023. Hydroelectricity is not new. What is new is using the snowmaking network to produce clean, renewable energy. In Italy, the La Thuile Ski Area is the first in the world to do it, back in 2016. How does it work? The system uses the naturally flowing water through its snowmaking network to drive the two turbines that produce electricity, which is then fed into the Italian electricity network, CVA-Aoste Valley water company. The French company MND, through its subsidiary Sufag, was tasked with upgrading the software used to manage the snowmaking network. The program has paid for itself in just three years and produces on average 20% more energy than it consumes. Photovoltaics and mountains go very well together. Romande Energie—the Swiss energy production, distribution, and marketing company—has made the same


SAVING WATER RESOURCES “Innovations have spread and are being used more widely. I am struck by the speed with which grooming machines, representing half of the entire fleet, have been equipped with GPS to measure snow height and optimize snowmaking production,” says Laurent Reynaud. As a result, Courchevel has reduced its snowmaking output by 15%, its fuel consumption by 8%, and its grooming hours by 5%. In the same vein, Prosnow and more recently Tipsnow software packages allow resort operators to manage their snow production in real time. Some ski areas have chosen to share their water resources. In Morzine-Avoriaz, Manigod, and Les Karellis, water supply to the mountain pastures for farmers is provided by the snowmaking network. In case of an emergency in La Rosière, the town can use the water from the snowmaking factory after treatment. In Avoriaz, the drinking water reservoir uses part of the water from the ski area reservoir. MULTI-PURPOSE WOOD The forest is a treasure, and its wood a local resource that is increasingly being used by the construction industry. In Corbier, Ossabois has built the first hotel residence designed in 100% modular wood, L’Etoile des Sybelles. An eight-story building with 99 apartments and suites. The off-site manufacturing and use of renewable materials resulted in 30% savings in CO2 emissions compared to conventional construction. The modules built in the Ossabois factory in the AuvergneRhône-Alpes region resulted in a 30-40% reduction in waste. Give Back What Nature Gives Us. In Morzine-Avoriaz, each cut of wood made in the ski area is accounted for and compensated for in the Chablais region, in collaboration with the National Forestry Bureau. Tignes has a project in partnership with the

THIBAUT DURAND

observation as Serre Chevalier Resort. It has just inaugurated the world’s first floating solar park in an alpine environment, located at an altitude of 1810 metres on Lake Toules in Bourg-Saint-Pierre (Valais). The 2240-m² installation occupies only 2% of the surface of the lake and produces 800,000 kWh per year, equivalent to the consumption of 220 homes. This process produces up to 50% more energy compared to a solar park on the plain—thanks to the cold, altitude, and albedo effect—increased tenfold by the presence of bifacial panels. In view of this success, Romande Energie wishes to replace this temporary installation with an even larger fixed structure on the same lake, which would cover the equivalent of the annual consumption of 6,100 homes.

Serre Chevalier has installed two wind turbines at the top of its ski area

NFB and with MND’s help, a new 4.5 hectare multifunctional high-altitude forest will be created next to its ski area. It is a multifunctional area that will serve to slow down snowslides, provide a refuge area for the black grouse, store carbon, and participate in the resort’s landscape. The soil is also a source of wealth. The Pyrégraine program was the first to use seeds collected from mountain flora in Pyrenean resorts to revegetate land after development operations. A similar initiative was launched in the Alps, called Sem’ les Alpes. At Morzine-Avoriaz, all reworked slopes are revegetated with grass seeds that are adapted to the environment. These seeds are even custom-developed in La Clusaz, where Reblochon is made and seeds for grass are planted specifically for grazing cows. SOWING BEST PRACTICES This awareness also extends to ski areas all over the world. Pyhä, a carbon-neutral resort in Finland, offsets the carbon emissions from their slope maintenance equipment by funding clean energy projects based on wind and hydro power. The NSAA awarded the American giant Vail Resorts a prize for its comprehensive sustainability commitment called “Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint” which commits to zero net emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfill by 2030, and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat. The group is not only making efforts but is urging its entire ecosystem to do the same. It raises awareness among its customers about reducing and offsetting their carbon footprint and works with its suppliers and vendors to reduce their environmental impact. This collective call for commitment is what Mountain Riders is looking for through the Flocon Vert approach. “I am taking action on sustainable development, I want to take it a step further, and I am taking all the players along with me,” summarises Camille Rey-Gorrez. The environment is everyone’s business.

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DEBATE

TRANSITION DEBATE BEWARE OF

GREENWASHING

Greenwashing is using baseless claims to enhance one’s image. It is in the interest of the ecological transformation in mountains that this be avoided in order to be efficient and not be open to attack. This is a plea for a truthful and cross-disciplinary transition. Texts: Cécile Ronjat - Illustrations: Anne Bosquet

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WHAT IS GREENWASHING? Already in 2013, faced with growing reports, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) published an anti-greenwashing guide, subtitled “A short guide to self-evaluate your communication messages”. This shows that the trend towards greenwashing, or giving companies, services, or products a falsely ecological image is not new.

economy, even though they are both virtuous actors and unconscious protagonists. “I am not in favor of such a black-and-white view. It is much more nuanced. We are all full of paradox.” Michaël Ruysschaert, General Manager of the Savoie Mont-Blanc Agency, also shares this view. “It’s an almost schizophrenic subject, because we talk about sustainable tourism while we have the two largest ski areas in the world”. Proof that the subject is inherently complex.

In the mountains, a natural area by definition, greenwashing is not your friend. Climate change and the urgent need to move forward collectively require a truthful transition. “I’m not worried,” admits Camille Rey Gorrez, director of the Mountain Riders association, which created the Flocon Vert label. “What greenwashing there is, is mostly involuntary and caused by a lack of awareness of the issues. But there is such a need for transparency that it will disappear anyway.”

ACCULTURATING THE ECOSYSTEM Taking on the challenges inherent to the transition while avoiding the pitfalls of greenwashing, will require acculturation on the part of mountain players. “This is where our support comes into play,” explains Nathalie Saint-Marcel. “The ecological impact studies of projects and control methodologies are a recent development where constant progress must be made.”

ALMOST ‘SCHIZOPHRENIC’ ISSUES “However, even if there has been some greenwashing, or even ignorance, we now know how mountain sports contribute to opening up previously closed areas,” says Nathalie Saint-Marcel, deputy director of Cluster Montagne. Even worse would be to pit ecology against

SAFEGUARDS AGAINST GREENWASHING: SAY, DO, MEASURE Transitioning to truth requires transparency, both in word and deed. “Transparency is already saying that the transition will be difficult and painful, that there will be mishaps, and the challenge will be to mitigate them.” says Camille Rey

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DEBATE

“The ecological impact studies of projects and control methodologies are a recent development where constant progress must be made.” Gorrez. Clearly communicating on one’s environmental strategy, developing management tools, measuring results, relying on the implacability of scientific discourse—these are all arguments to be used against greenwashing. This is where the 16 eco-commitments established by Domaines Skiables de France fit in. “We have taken quantifiable figures to avoid accusations of greenwashing,” explains Alexandre Maulin, chairman of Domaines Skiables de France (DSF), which is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2037.

NATHALIE SAINT-MARCEL, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE MOUNTAIN CLUSTER

with attributions and scopes for decision-making,” adds Camille Rey Gorrez. Undoubtedly, the mountain ecosystem has the talent within its ranks to play collectively and build a sustainable future. “This is our vision,” says Nathalie SaintMarcel, referring to the Cluster’s manifesto for a vibrant, innovative, caring, welcoming, and low-carbon mountain. AWARENESS Finally, isn’t being aware that not everything can be 100% green the last argument against greenwashing? “All human activity has an impact,” says Nathalie Saint-Marcel. When talking about hydrogen, the question of its renewable production, transport, and storage comes to the table, as it also does for photovoltaics, life cycle, and recycling of panels. Mountain Riders director warns: “These technologies are just replacement for others. They are of course interesting, but they must be integrated into a well thought-out and regional strategy if we want to avoid repeating past mistakes. The real poor relation of the mountain transition is human resources.”

ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE If there is one statement that brings everyone together in the great debate on transition, it is that action must be shared. There is everything to be gained by relying on collective intelligence and its diversity of viewpoints to sustainably reformat models without giving in to greenwashing. Behind this lies the notion of governance. “Changing the business model requires courage, especially in decision-making. We are touching on the issue of governance,” explains Armelle Solelhac, founder of the agency Switch Consulting. It’s a debate within the debate, but governance is nevertheless an essential subject. “Co-building means distributing roles,

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INTERSECTING INSIGHTS JÉRÔME CAVIGLIA, DIRECTOR OF ATEMIA

“It is important to warn about greenwashing when talking about transition. On the one hand, the population has reached a high level of awareness on environmental issues, and on the other hand, there is an urgency to act. These two factors force people to speak out, but they also risk opening the door to and over-evaluation of their message for fear of being judged guilty. It is therefore in our interest to act before communicating: Move forward on measurable structural actions, be transparent and factual, and continue to innovate and co-build. The transition will inevitably go through a chaotic phase in which it will be necessary to bring calm to the debate and learn to work together. Cooperation is one of the safeguards against greenwashing. Transiting is also about changing perspectives and learning to do better with less. I believe more in valuing progress through well-being, health, etc. than in economic indicators, simply because infinite growth in a finite world is no longer possible. However, there is genuine optimism in imagining the ecosystem of tomorrow and bring people and companies together to activate levers. By making the subject of transition a means of action rather than a marketing tool, we will never fall into the greenwashing trap.”

NATHALIE SAINT-MARCEL, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF CLUSTER MONTAGNE

“The transition into truth is already admitting one’s own contradictions and going beyond the stage of injunctions. All human activity has an impact, and we won’t be able to do business on a dead planet. The challenge is to be part of a process of continuous improvement in order to design a more sober, innovative, caring, low-carbon, and economically nourishing future. Doing better with less, talking to each other, listening to each other, accepting the pitfalls, mixing solutions because there is no magic ingredient: That’s what it’s all about. We have 10 years to try to slow down climate change, and then 20 years to try to do better.”

CAMILLE REY GORREZ, DIRECTOR OF THE MOUNTAIN RIDERS ASSOCIATION

“If you take responsibility by acknowledging what works and what doesn’t and measure your results, then greenwashing can’t exist. It starts here: Say it out loud, stop claiming and start acting by building together. Transition is a matter of shared governance where we agree to make room for one another. We have no choice but to act collectively, anticipating mishaps with a positive outlook because there will be some. I believe that we must accept to talk about sobriety and degrowth, and to leave behind the logic of opportunity. In view of the climate emergency, the next decade will be decisive.”

ARMELLE SOLELHAC, FOUNDER OF SWITCH CONSULTING

“I am quite hopeful about the transition that is taking place, although I know that it will be difficult and progressive. Changing the business model requires courage. We are touching on the issue of governance. There is a growing maturity on these issues due to a new generation of elected officials who have a different relationship with politics, democracy, CSR, and sustainable development. The economy is no longer the only judge. The ability to reinvest in the territory and to showcase its heritage and expertise are also strong indicators. In order to make a sustainable transition, each mountainous region will have to find their own personality: Whether they base it on services offered, tourism of outdoor spaces, offering hyper-specialized or hybrid experiences, offering hybrid accommodation, or even helping guests reconnect with what they have always loved about mountains.”

Climate change and the urgent need to move forward collectively require a truthful transition.

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END CLAP EDITION SALON 2022

INNOVATION BOOK

IN 2023, FIND THE INNOVATION BOOK BY MOUNTAIN PLANET IN DIGITAL A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL THE INTERVIEWEES WHO ENLIGHTENED OUR ARTICLES • Laurent Reynaud, délégué général de Domaines skiables de France (DSF). • Kaline Osaki, responsable du pôle business développement du Cluster Montagne. • Patrick Grand’Eury, président du Cluster Montagne • Carlo Carmagnola, chercheur en physique de la neige au Centre d’études de la neige de Météo France et consultant pour Dianeige • Olivier Erard, directeur du syndicat mixte du Mont d’Or • Jérôme Grellet, directeur général de la Setam • Isabelle Blaise, directrice de mission à la Scet, filiale de la Banque des territoires • Sara Burdon, responsable communication de Morzine-Avoriaz • Pascale Boyer, secrétaire générale de l’Association nationale des élus de la montagne (Anem) • Emmanuelle George, chercheure en aménagement touristique de montagne à l’Inrae (Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement). • Laurent Vanat, auteur du rapport international annuel sur le tourisme de neige et de montagne. • Didier Bic, directeur général de Kässbohrer ESE • Renaud Vezier directeur des opérations Prinoth France • Anne-Sophie Banse, transport I Numérique, ADEME • Mathieu Poissard, directeur marketing Neovision • Laurent Wauquiez, président de la Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes • Benjamin Beaudet, directeur général de Bertolami • Jérôme Fauchet, CEO de TAUR • Nicolas Muron, président fondateur MOONBIKE • Guy Tessereau, directeur général de SKIDATA France • Carlo Maria Carmagnola, chercheur Météo France, CNRS, Centre d’Études de la Neige • Loïc Bonhoure, directeur général adjoint de la Compagnie des Alpes.

• Didier Chaminade, délégué régional Orange pour la région Alpes • Jeanine Dubié, présidente de l’ANEM • Cyrille-Frantz Honegger, délégué Régional Centre-est SFR/ Altice France • Jeanine Dubié, présidente de l’ANEM • Pierre Vollaire, maire aux Orres • Emmanuel François, président de la Smart Building Alliance • Bruno Felicetti, directeur adjoint de Funivie Madonna di Campiglio SpA • Jeanine Dubié, présidente de l’Association Nationale des Elus de la Montagne • Guillaume Imbert, docteur en innovation et co-fondateur de l’agence de design et d’innovation KIDS à Cran-Gevrier • Emeline Mauduit, chef de projets du Pôle Excellence Bois. • Camille Rey-Gorrez, directrice de l’association Mountain Riders, à l’origine du label Flocon Vert • Michaël Ruysschaert, directeur général de l’Agence Savoie Mont-Blanc • Nathalie Saint-Marcel, directrice adjointe du CLUSTER MONTAGNE • Jérôme Caviglia, directeur d’Atémia • Armelle Solelhac, fondatrice de l’agence Switch Consulting • David Cuccolo, directeur Bluecime • Christophe DUBAIS, directeur MOBILITE PLUS • François kalaydjian, director, Economics & Technology Intelligence Hydrogen Coordinator IFP Energies Nouvelles • Julien Curtet, responsable commercial NEOZ SOLUTIONS • Jordan RE, directeur technique Tignes • Laurent Gaillard, co-gérant Cabinet Aktis • Farah Ghanmi, coordinatrice Learning Grid Learning Grid IMT Grenoble • Gaëlle Mistrulli, coordination Showroom & projets de Communication CEA Grenoble • Florence Martin, direcrice de la Communication et relations publiques CEA Grenoble

BY

• Johann Lejosne, industrial partnership manager CEA Grenoble • Norbert Daniele, responsable des partenariats département système du CEA-Leti CEA Grenoble • Julien Lair, directeur Régional Réseau Centre, Alpes et Méditerranée Bouygues Télécom • Ludovic Grandjacques, chargé du processus capacitaire RAILCOOP • Olivia Wolanin, chargée de communication et des relations presse RAILCOOP • Jérôme Berthier , CEO & Founder Deeplink S.A • André Perrillat-Amédé, maire du Grand-Bornand • Patrick Arnaud, directeur général de Serre Chevalier Vallée domaine skiable • Jean-Luc Boch, président de l’Association nationale des maires des stations de montagne (ANMSM) et maire de La Plagne • Christophe Hepp, responsable de l’activité avant-vente chez Poma • Xavier Duport, dirigeant de Sunwind Energy • Thomas Vinard, PDG d’Alpinov X • Eric Reynaud, dirigeant d’Alpin d’Hôme • Grégory Macqueron, responsable d’activité turbinage des réseau d’eau chez Hydrostadium • Anne Turpin-Hutter, directrice de la French Tech in the Alps Chambéry • Laura Colombat, coordinatrice de la French Tech in the Alps • Benjamin Beaudet, directeur général BERTOLAMI • Julien Lair, directeur régional réseau centre, alpes et méditerranée Bouygues Télécom • Nathalie Saint Marcel, directrice adjointe Cluster Montagne

A BIG THANK YOU ALSO TO ADVERTISERS WITHOUT WHICH THE INNOVATION BOOK COULDN’T HAPPEN. Cluster Montagne, Région Auvergne Rhône Alpes, Sunwind, Lumiplan, Poma, Doppelmayr and Axess.

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AFMONT – ANMSM – CCI DE GRENOBLE – CCI DE SAVOIE – CLUSTER MONTAGNE – CONSEIL REGIONAL AUVERGNE-RHONE-ALPES – DOPPELMAYR KASSBOHRER – LEITNER – MND – MONTAGNE LEADERS – POMA – TECHNOALPIN

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my mountains, SO MUCH MORE sustainable.

As a pioneer in cable transportation, POMA is embarking on an innovative approach with a range of high environmental value products. Starting today, let’s work together to conceive increasingly sustainable 84 M O U N TA I Npeople P L A N E T and places 2022 mobility, to connect in complete harmony with our environment.