POSTED: Monday August 2nd 2010

Annecy 2018 World First: a group of young Palestinians and Israelis scale Mont Blanc!


Mont Blanc / Aiguille du midi / Photo credit : JP. Noisiller - Annecy 2018
Mont Blanc / Aiguille du midi / Photo credit : JP. Noisiller - Annecy 2018

Mont Blanc, the universal symbol of peace, solidarity and personal challenge, will be climbed by a group of young Palestinians and Israelis between the 2nd and the 5th August. The expedition, organised by the "Coexistences" association, is led by Swiss mountaineer Jean Troillet -famous for his recordbreaking ascent of Everest- and is supported by the cities of Chamonix, Courmayeur and Haifa. With Mont Blanc as its emblem, Annecy 2018 is extremely proud of this initiative, which is also supported by Chamonix Mont-Blanc, one of the 2 selected sites in the French bid for the 2018 Winter Games.

Eight young Israelis and Palestinians from the University of Haifa have been training in Galilee for the last few months, under the supervision of two mountaineers: Israel's Doron Erel and Olfat Haider from Palestine. After a week's acclimatisation and preparation in the Swiss Val Ferret, the group will cross the Aosta Valley at Courmayeur and head towards the Refuge des Cosmiques via the Glacier du GĂ©ant. The group will follow the "Voie des Trois Monts" route up Mont Blanc between the 2nd and the 5th August - subject to weather conditions - and will finish their expedition in Chamonix.

As well as the effort, communication and mutual respect needed for such an exploit, this emblematic ascent has a strong symbolic value for these young Palestinians and Israelis, as mountaineering demands a true sense of solidarity. Working towards a common goal - the ascent of the highest peak in the Alps, which sits across the borders of three countries - this kind of expedition demonstrates that fraternity between two nations in conflict is possible, if that comradeship is founded upon mutual trust.

Annecy 2018, French bid for the organisation of the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, fully supports this initiative to encourage the uniting of nations through sport, alongside the town of Chamonix, home of the 1st Winter Olympics in 1924 and internationally renowned resort for mountaineering and winter sports.

"We are extremely proud of this historic initiative on the "Rooftop of Europe"...The Olympic Games carry a message of peace, solidarity and sharing between nations, thanks to sport and its values. We are proud that our area, candidate to host the 2018 Winter Olympics, as well as having a breathtaking natural landscape which has seduced great explorers, writers, and mountaineers over the centuries, has today become the stage, in symbolic terms, for the uniting of two nations in conflict. The values that our Olympic bid represent—excellence, fraternity, authenticity, sharing and hospitality - echo this unique initiative," pointed out Edgar Grospiron, moguls Olympic Champion (1992) and CEO of Annecy 2018.

"The whole of the Annecy 2018 team support you and wish you success in this sporting endeavour, and hope you enjoy this incredible adventure!"

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Keywords · Annecy 2018 · Olympic Bidding · Edgar Grospiron · Mont BLanc · Israel

Name: Alexandra Carraz
Organization: Annecy 2018
Phone: + 33 (0)6 22 86 73 12
URL: -

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