Petzl employees involved in our communities

The Petzl Foundation invited the company’s employees to submit a project related to mountains or the vertical world.Each selected project met one or more of the following criteria: the project took place in the mountains, in a vertical environment, or one with dark or difficult access. The projects also had to fulfill a mission of public interest and be managed by a non-profit organization. Some of these employees were also involved themselves as volunteers


JANUARY 2018 • Updated in June 2020


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Projects 2019

In 2019, there were many projects submitted and five were chosen by a selection committee, made up of Petzl employees who had carried out a project the previous year.

Encouraging women to take the lead

Projet Encourager les femmes à grimper en tête

The FFCAM Club “Lead the Climb” runs courses for female mountaineers who wish to join national teams or become mountain guides. Supervised by female guides (financed by the Petzl Foundation in 2019), they take part in mountain outings which are on the required list for the French mountain guide’s probationary level training. In 2019, two five-day courses enabled six female mountaineers to acquire the technical skills needed to take the lead in the high mountains.

Project sponsor: Maud Vanpoulle, PhD student in accidentology, Petzl Foundation.

Climbing in the wild: an adventure for special young people

The Medical Institute (IME) La Clé de Sol in Eybens, near Grenoble, France, is a daycare and residential center for children who have intellectual disabilities and cannot attend ordinary schools. They aim to give these young people the skills they need for life in the community.

Throughout the year, 20 young people aged 12 to 16 participate in climbing and other mountain activities. Sport is an important factor in their development. These IME outings are often their only opportunity to enjoy sport outdoors, due to their disability and their family or financial circumstances.

In September 2019, two days of climbing in the Vercors mountain range near Grenoble were organized. The youngsters discovered the wonderful feeling of verticality, by touching the rock surface of a real mountain. The Petzl Foundation contributed to this by funding a climbing guide.

Project sponsor: Stéphanie Ferry, Customization Industrial Methods Project Manager.

Projet Grimper en milieu naturel : une aventure !

In Thailand camps in an all-terrain wheelchair

À Donf’ organizes outdoor activities for disabled people in off-road wheelchairs, accompanied by able-bodied volunteers. This nonprofit organization also develops mobility solutions to improve the quality of life for the disabled.

In 2019, several members of A Donf’ went to Thailand to meet disabled people in Burmese refugee camps and bring them suitable equipment.

A movie about this humanitarian adventure is being made now, supported by the Petzl Foundation.

Project sponsor: Benjamin Noyrit, Rotherens Factory Manager.

Headlamps for the shepherds of the Pamirs

The Pampuk Lumière du Pamir brings light to the mountain populations of Tajikistan, in particular to Pamir’s shepherds, who often work at night. Each year, members of this nonprofit organization produce and distribute standalone kits consisting of a headlamp (gifted by the Petzl Foundation), a solar panel and rechargeable batteries.

In 2019, a mission was also carried out to distribute these kits to primary schools and dispensaries in Madagascar.

Project sponsor: Mathieu Perrussel-Morin, Product Risk Department.

Making the old Loury hydroelectric plant safe for visitors

Projet À la découverte du patrimoine industriel

The Loury troglodyte hydroelectric power plant, set deep in the gorges of the Ruisseau de Laval in the French Alps, was inaugurated in 1907 and produced electricity until its closure in 2015. Today, the plant is a powerful symbol of the industrial past from this mountain valley located at the foot of the Belledonne massif near Grenoble.

The Laval Heritage Organization wants to save this historical site, whose immense stained-glass windows make it unique in the region. The plant’s location is also unusual and difficult-to-access.

The association also wishes to organize educational tours for schoolchildren and groups of adults, where they would learn about the history of hydroelectric power stations and see the original machines and tools in situ.

It was necessary to improve safety of access to the site so that these tours could take place. The Petzl Foundation contributed to this with an endowment of safety equipment.

Project sponsor: Serge Paganon,Program Manager.

Saving wild animals in distress

Projet Sauver les animaux sauvages en détresse

The Tichodrome, which is the only rescue center for wild animals in the Northern Alps, provides injured birds and mammals with essential care. Each year, many wild animals are brought to the Tichodrome by nature reserve rangers and others who find them in the mountains.

The injuries are often caused by man-made infrastructure, such as ski lift cables and electrified lines, but also poisoning, hunting, and collision with vehicles. 1,806 animals were brought to the center in 2017, including several iconic cliff raptors: Golden eagles, Bearded vultures, Peregrine falcons, and European eagle owls.

In 2019, the Tichodrome built a new aviary to host more mountain species, including these large birds of prey. Positioned at the top of the food chain, they cannot be accommodated with other species inside the same aviaries. The Petzl Foundation contributed to the creation of a new recovery aviary, which allows the center’s volunteers to monitor the progress of their patients, before releasing them back into the wild.

Project sponsor: Pascale Henninot, Translation Coordinator.

Projects 2018

In 2018, there were six projects submitted and five were chosen by a selection committee, made up of Petzl employees who had carried out a project the previous year.

Vertical activities for all

Projet Sorties « Bols d’air » en montagne

The team of Secours Catholique – Caritas France from Montmélian, organizes mountain outings for families during the holidays. In July 2018, the families enjoyed a fun day out at Saint-Christophe-La-Grotte. A group of teenagers also discovered the underground environment and learned basic caving techniques.

Plus, a weekend was organized for ten young adults. They climbed and walked on a glacier, a new experience for most of them!

Vianney Ollier, Petzl employee, volunteer and project organizer
"We live at the foot of the mountains and despite that, many of us have never been up them. Thanks to the support of the Petzl Foundation, we were able to organize two exceptional outings for young people and families. Without this support, they would not have had the opportunity to try out these activities. They loved the experience! This escape into the mountains gave them a real breath of fresh air and happy memories to help them through the harsh reality of their daily lives."

Support for climbing instructors in Siby, Mali

Projet soutien aux moniteurs d’escalade de Siby, au Mali

Before the recent political crisis in northern Mali, part of the population benefited from the revenues of tourism, including from rock climbing in the village of Siby, near the Capital of Mali, Bamako.

To revive the climbing business, the young instructors of the Anka Yèlè Cooperative asked the association Calao to enhance their skills. The Petzl Foundation donated up-to-date climbing equipment.

Helping cancer survivors

Projet des séjours réparateurs en montagne

The association à Chacun son Everest helps children suffering from cancer and leukemia, as well as women in remission from breast cancer, on the road to recovery.

The association organizes short stays, generally one week long, in the mountains around Chamonix. These cancer survivors regain their strength and self-confidence by taking part in a variety of physical activities, such as hiking and climbing. The Petzl Foundation supports the association by donating equipment for their indoor climbing gym and their adventure park in Chamonix.

Hiking with Solidarités Femmes

Projet Randonnées en montagne avec Solidarités Femmes

Solidarité Femmes is a day-care center that serves female victims of domestic violence. The center provides psychological support and helps with practical matters, such as finding suitable accommodation.

In September 2018, the association went one step further by offering a group of women the chance to take part in a mountain hike. The aim of this was to help them rebuild their self-esteem. Four hikes were set up. All who took part felt that the hikes were a really positive experience. The Petzl Foundation provided the funds necessary for a professional mountain guide.

Together in Lapland

The French association Ensemble (Together) gives disabled people the opportunity to enjoy sports activities with their able-bodied friends, thanks to specially adapted chairs.

In March 2019, the association set off on a trip to Swedish Lapland with two physically disabled adventurers and their friends. Their 225 km route was traveled in ski chairs and on nordic skis.

Projet Ensemble en Laponie

Projects 2017

Treks in Nepal

Project Treks in Nepal

Following the devastating April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the non-profit Solidarité Kalché has assisted the residents of Kalché with rebuilding their village and developing their local economy. To encourage trekkers to stop in Kalche, several treks are being developed with local trekking agencies. A topographic map will be published through financial support from the Foundation.

Jérôme Berton, Petzl employee and volunteer in Nepal:
“In 2016, the Solidarité Kalché association financed the reconstruction of the school, which was the main need of the inhabitants. In 2017, we exchanged ideas with the villagers on the different possibilities of trekking itineraries to develop. In November I returned to Nepal to test the routes and define the best campsites, thanks to a skills sponsorship from the Petzl Foundation.”

Teaching tool, “Smart conservation in the mountains”

Project Teaching tool, Smart conservation in the mountains

The French non-profit Mountain Riders plans to develop a teaching tool, in the form of a game (“Conso-malin en montagne”), for students and mountain professionals (outdoor brands, sports federations, and tourism entities). The goal of this project is to build awareness for sustainability in the mountains.

Trail running race with handicapped children

Project Trail running race with handicapped children

The non-profit Générosi’Trail brings kids with a handicap to outdoor sports events using a joëlette (a single-wheel all-terrain wheelchair) to allow them to enjoy the thrills of racing. Financial support from the Foundation will serve to purchase a second joëlette to be able to bring two kids to the same race.

Building a climbing wall in Arequipa, Peru

Project Building a climbing wall in Arequipa, Peru

The French non-profit Escalo-Thérapie, based in Arequipa, Peru, uses climbing as a tool in psychomotor therapy for people with a handicap, especially children. To avoid any social or financial discrimination when welcoming kids and their families, financial support from the Foundation will go toward funding the construction of a fun, properly-adapted climbing wall.

Taking children with long-term llnesses for a day of climbing

The non-profit Rêves grants wishes to kids and teens suffering from long-term illnesses to provide them with the strength to fight their illness and to help them have confidence in the future.In October 2017, the Isère (France) delegation organized a day of recreation to introduce rock climbing to a group of kids.

Project Taking children with long-term llnesses for a day of climbing

Taking kids out of the city, learning to hike

Project Taking kids out of the city, learning to hike

Le Rocher is a non-profit that leads educational, social, athletic, and cultural excursions for people who live in rough city neighborhoods. In 2017, several multi-day hiking trips in the Northern French Alps (Trièves) were organized for kids and families who live in the projects. The non-profit contacted the Foundation for camping and hiking gear.

Update in June 2020


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