THE STORY OF KICK THE VIK ECO FREERIDE TOUR 

Born as a local freeride club, Kick the Vik has established itself in the last 10 years as a strong, ecological brand in the sustainable Freeride market. Five enthusiastic freeriders founded the skireal5 club in Laax, in the canton of Graubünden, in 2004. They run the Eco freeride Kick the Vik contest, in order to foster individual responsibility and safety awareness when taking part in Freeriding and tours, and to offer physical preparation for winter Freeriding for locals. Since the first contest at the Oberalp pass in 2008 the organisation team has pursued a sustainable and ecological strategy – without using helicopters, avalanche bombing, snowcats or snowmobiles. In addition participants have climbed the contest slopes under their own steam for the last 8 years, transporting all their material and equipment on foot. The EFT crossed the Swiss border to the Val Senales in South Tyrol in the 2013/2014 season. In 2014/2015 it was travelling further, into the Pyrenees and to Austria. 

 

 

ECO GUIDING PRINCIPLES
The Eco Freeride Tour is the flagship of `KICK THE VIK` and represents environmentally compatible mountain sports.
Foundation The Kick the Vik guidelines evolved from the foundations of the ecosport.ch systems, on which the EFT eco guidelines are based. The guidelines can be viewed on the kickthevik.com and ecofreeridetour.com websites.   
History When the event was first run by the Kick the Vik club in 2008, there were no written ecological guidelines. The event crew merely acted responsibly and sustainably as a matter of course. Over the years the ecological concept manifested itself. The EFT eco guidelines were formed in 2104 to ensure actions are carried out in an environmentally conscious and sustainable manner.
Promotion through communication Existing problems are addressed on the website and social media channels by means of independent own and existing third party reports. Exemplary, sustainable and environmentally friendly projects and products are covered in this communication and consequently profit from the free coverage over all EFT channels. Developments and activities in Freeride sport are followed, analysed as to environmental compatibility, and opened up for discussion. The EFT takes a pioneering role in sustainable Freeriding and does not shy away from confrontation.
Financing and sponsorship Classical sponsorship (logos and product placement) is the main pillar of EFT. The choice of sponsors is also determined according to the eco-guidelines, and implemented as optimally as possible. In addition, no unhealthy foods or intoxicants are promoted. An exception is made for alcoholic drinks at a mountain hut party hosted to promote the social aspect of an event. Individual Tour Stops are partially financed by the venues. They provide support with mountain guides, accommodation and food for the event crew, as well as with individually agreed arrangements.
Volunteers The EFT is dependent on volunteers. Helping hands can apply to info@alpean.ch
Formulation of goals In-house the EFT strives for optimal implementation of the eco guidelines. Externally the EFT teaches a sense of responsibility for nature and the environment as well as for safety and imparts knowledge in these areas.

 

EFT ECO GUIDELINES
Energy and infrastructure Choice of ecological accommodation
Reduction of energy consumption
Travel and transport Promote the use of public transport
Promote car poolingReduce transport distancesReduce CO2 footprint
No motorised transport organised for an event**
Advertising banners, photography and film equipment to be transported by the event crew/participants
No use of helicopter flights* for transport of materials, people, film and photography productions, exploration and inspection
Production and suppliers Favour durable products
Demonstrate/implement possibilities of repairs
Use ecological raw materials
Reduce petroleum-based products
Favour local products
Reduce waste

Upcycle and recylce
Nature and environment Refrain from avalanche blasting
Initiate and participate in ecological projects
Refrain from use of snowcats and snowmobiles to prepare terrain
Protect wildlife habitatsProtect young forests
Promote education on the environment
Additions
* except for: rescue operations in the case of accidents
** if a mountain railway/cableway runs independently of an event, this mode of transport can be used