Recent research has shown that the glaciers in French Alps have lost a quarter of their area in the last 40 years and the rate at which they are retreating is accelerating year on year due to climate change. This is happening to all glacial areas in the world and poses concerns for the sustainability of how we live our lives today.
To help highlight the concerns of climate change, Lewis Pugh, record breaking swimmer, decided to do a symbolic swim in Lake Imja. Lake Imja is the fastest growing glacial lake in Nepal and sits at an altitude of 5,300 meters above sea level, under the summit of Mt Everest. Lewis has done many record breaking swims in his life, even in the North Pole, but his swim in Lake Imja proved more challenging than any of the others. Lewis tried to adopt his usual swimming technique of hurling himself into the lake and swimming as fast as he could but it became evident quite quickly that this wasn’t going to work and he nearly lost his life.
If you have 10 minutes to spare we would really recommend watching this video where Lewis Pugh speaks about his challenge and findings from his time at Lake Imja.
Lewis realised after his first attempt of swimming the length of Lake Imga that a radical, tactical change would have to happen and everything he had done in the past would need to change in order for him to succeed. Lewis links this to the reality of climate change and how we can not continue to live as we have done in the past and just because something has worked for many years, it doesn’t mean its a sustainable way for it to work in the future.
One company relatively new to the ski industry that realises the need for change and producing more sustainable products is ‘Poleplant‘.
Poleplant are a French based company that design and make skiing and hiking poles from bamboo which is the fastest growing renewable source on the plant. Bamboo absorbs a great amount of carbon dioxide and produces more oxygen than any other plant and in in turn helps to fight the greenhouse gases that are melting the worlds glaciers.
Poleplant’s ski poles are not only environmentally friendly, they also look amazing and are around 2 x stronger than the traditional aluminium ski pole that the majority of us use today. The natural flex of bamboo means that these ski poles will perform much better under high speed impacts as well as under constant load.
If we all started to think a little more environmentally friendly, like Poleplant there is no reason why we can’t slow down the effects of global warming and ensure that future generations can live in a safer, securer and more sustainable world.