Monday, June 20, 2016

Cleaning up the Mountain

Subtitle: Volunteering

Marcus and Agata are recently back from a trip to the Ski resort of Chamonix.   Now there is a resident Glaciar so skiing or snow sports are still possible even in June.

But no, we were simply Cleaning up the Mountain.

Every year the Canadian Sports company Arc'teryx  puts on a paid Sporting event where snowsports tuition can be experienced at modest prices,  and of course using Arc'teryx equipment.

It is an opportunity for the Company,  and for those interested in teaching and receiving tuition in climbing etc.

Our Bit
For our part, Marcus, Agata, Kathy and Dominic did the day 0 event.   Yes,  we decided to give our time and effort and drive all the way to Chamonix for a full day [unpaid] volunteering.

We met in Chamonix at Arc'teryx hq.  Later they would have some product displays, but when we arrived we just got a black bin liner, some latex gloves, and a T shirt that doubled as a lift pass.

A Steep Slope
We went upto the mid station to clean and Marcus, Agata and Kathy were told to walk around with at least 20 other people, with our bin liners to clean.

Marcus found that by the edge of the Bar was a steep almost vertical slope, covered in rubbish like plastic cups, beer cans.   Obviously nobody else was stupid enough to decend that rather wet and dodgy mountain side to clean ...

Ideal I thought, so long as I don't slip down the mountainside and kill myself, this will be really productive.

I tried to use the rule, always have one hand firmly holding something solid, the second hand holding an increasingly heavy bin liner or rubbish, before edging around.  No jumping from place to place like you would do in the movies.

So a while later Kathy and Dominic and Agata arrived to help me climb out which was a bit tricky since my rubbish bag was now too heavy.

 Agata, Dominic and Kathy

 Yes, we picked up a huge pile of rubbish

 A nice break for lunch

We admired the topically altered signs

A Mountain Descent

Stupidly in retrospect, Marcus and Agata thought it would be a brilliant idea to trail run down from the mid station to Chamonix town.

Though only about a 6Km descent we were under some time pressure, because the second part of the cleanup was in some selective town areas, and we did not want to be too late to arrive [everybody else took the cable car]

After about 3Km of descent, and a few near slides and falls we both admitted to be tired

After about 5Km, we both agreed our legs were shaking

Shaking is not good because it means that the next day, typically your Quads  (ie the large muscles on the top of your legs above your knees) would be in agony and need about 2 days+ recovery

Sure enough, 12 hours later our legs are in /agony/ recovery and we have a 40Km hike/ race/ run to attend to.  ooops.

About Volunteering
and Charitable Work

Marcus' thought are:

+ Do it because you have the time
+ If it makes you feel good
+ Only if you can afford it  (since you won't be paid)

- Not because you make yourself busy to avoid caring for yourself
- Not because you want to look Good
- Not if its a substitute for something the Government should be providing.  Two obvious examples:  Education, HealthCare

So it was the end of another busy day.  We really enjoyed the cleaning and the company. We arrived back to Lausanne.  It was tanking down with rain, just like it has been all summer so far.

Arc'teryx clean up mountain day