The desire to be in the outdoors, in nature, is linked to ideas of conscious travel. Ethical travel. Environmental awareness. And our positive and negative impact on our world around us. But how do we create a balance with the desire to be outside, to use our natural environment, to explore it, to tread on it (sometimes heavily and sometimes with a light footprint) and the desire to be wary of how we tread on it?
Recent travels have taken me to Chamonix, France. This year, Chamonix celebrates 150 years since the Golden Age of mountaineering, a period where French, British and others were exploring the alps in a new way, setting the bar in a lot of instances, pretty high, for alpinists even today. La conquête des Alpes, the conquest of the alps. While inspiring, it also raises questions on who the alps are here for. Are they merely another part of land for us to ‘take over’? What is nature for (wo)man and what is nature for Mother Nature? These are questions which remain and will continue to be posed, sometimes ignored, and other times addressed.
For the moment, a small tribute to the beauty and (even now) wildness of the nature of the Chamonix Mont Blanc valley. And how it represents many things. Bliss, solitude, friendship, exploration, alpinism and mountain adventure. But also the (often complex) relationship between wo(man) and nature.
Helpful hint: Click on the image to view in slideshow.