BalmExperience is a project in cooperation with MountainWilderness, born as a consequence of the famous resolution approved by Balme Town Hall Board on November 30, 2016, concerning “heliski”.  This project gives us the opportunity to organize and promote events coherent with the above resolution and aimed to en environmental tourism on Balme mountains and, generally, in the Lanzo Valleys.

The resolution main paragraph reads “… We believe inappropriate, and therefore express our disapproval of any kind of motor access and use of our territory for recreational purposes and tourists transportation when it calls for the use of motorbikes, off-road vehicles, quads on trails and itineraries in summer, snowmobile and helicopters on runs in winter”.

Many months have passed since the Board resolution, nevertheless many people have not yet understood that Balme Administration has made a CHOICE in its own territory management. After 35 years of work in mountain huts at different altitudes, our opinion is that mountains are for everybody provided they are respected.  This does not absolutely mean that they must be accessible to everybody and by any means. We believe that people with common sense know exactly up to where they might reach: each one of us has its own limits physical, mental, etc.  Everything is a matter of choice and reputation. THESE TWO KINDS OF TOURISM, SUSTAINABLE AND MOTORIZED, ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT COMPATIBLE WITH ONE ANOTHER, EVEN THOUGH SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE A COMPROMISE MIGHT BE A SOLUTION.

We believe that, with this resolution, we have undertaken a project aiming to valorize Balme own naturalistic patrimony, of its traditions and history in a responsible and sustainable way. These already are widely appreciated and requested factors by foreigners frequenting Balme all year long but particularly during the summer GTA (Grande Traversata delle Alpi) trekking. The real problem is that THIS TOURISM IS, AND ALWAYS WILL BE, A NICHE TOURISM BECAUSE SUSTAINABLE TOURISM CANNOT BE A MASS TOURISM. Once accepted this reality, it is necessary to offer our customers quality services at appropriate prices and not at low cost rates. The Lanzo Valleys will never be competitors of the Adriatic Riviera or of the Red Sea… but they shall validate prices requested for services and experiences offered. In the last twenty years, a lot has changed in Balme but we feel confident that much more may change so as to offer an original and more structured offer to tomorrow tourists. It would be wonderful should the whole of the Lanzo Valleys territory make definite choices, whichever they may be, to obtain a specific position on the tourist market.

BalmExperience is the chance to promote Balme, its territory and activities, as far as sustainability is concerned, for the year 2017, declared by U.N. International Year of Sustainable Tourism. Furthermore, it is also the 150th year from the first Uja di Ciamarella mountaineering climb (10 years before, Ing. Tonini had climbed it for real estate registry reasons). Balme also is the Alpine Guides village and cradle of Turin mountaineering at its origins. For all these reasons we are organizing a year rich in events with the important Regione Piemonte support and participation of Collegio Regionale Guide Alpine Piemonte and of AIGAE, Associazione Italiana Guide Ambientali Escursionistiche.

We already have had the 2 presentation conferences on the territory and are at last organizing events promoting fieldwork activities. These events will end in December when, closing the year, we shall be inspired by them in order to organized and start the next winter season. We shall, then, have with us a prestigious testimonial, Patrick Gabarrou, one of the strongest French mountaineer and alpine guides of the ‘80s and ‘90s. He completed 300 first ascents mainly on the Mount Blanc massif, among which the Divine Providence on the Grand Pilier d’Angle and the Supercouloir on Mount Bland du Tacul. As for Gian Carlo Grassi, we can say that his investigation spirit has contributed to the ice climbing evolution, reaching limits beyond his time and investigating new courses.

BalmExperience is an open agenda in which all 2017 Balme events and activities will be inserted: keep an eye to the calendar for coming developments!!

“No Heliski”, the first event, is scheduled for April 19th at Pian della Mussa,
simultaneously with the same event at Marmolata in the Dolomites. To follow, the week of “Silent Traces”.