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Covering 25% of the world's land surface and supplying freshwater for 12% of the human population, fragile mountain environments around the world are in need of critical attention and care as they face the adverse effects of global warming and excessive tourism.
Bally's long-standing tie to the mountains begins with its Alpine origins and pioneering legacy. From sponsoring the Swiss Winter Olympics team and early 20th century Swiss expeditions, to creating the iconic Reindeer boots worn by Tenzing Norgay during the first-ever ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 with Sir Edmund Hillary, Bally has always had a deep reverence for the environment and outdoors.
Everest, the Himalayas & Beyond
The Himalayan glaciers have been melting at an accelerated rate, accounting for the world's third largest deposit of ice and snow after Antarctica and the Arctic. Over the last forty years, billions of tons of ice have been lost, threatening a vital source for 800 millions of people downstream who rely on it for everyday irrigation, hydropower and drinking.
In 2019, Bally returned to Everest, introducing its Bally Peak Outlook initiative, which included a crucial cleanup from base camp to the peak, as part of a broader Sustainability program. (Discover more on Bally's approach to corporate social responsibility.) Led by environmental activist and mountaineer Dawa Steven Sherpa and his team of expert climbers, two tons of waste were successfully removed from "The Roof of the World," with over half collected from the "Death Zone," restoring the pristine landscape of the sacred mountain.
In early 2020, Bally formalized its long-term commitment to mountain preservation, establishing the Bally Peak Outlook Foundation, whose mission is to safeguard the world's fragile mountain environments. In Fall 2020, a Bally Peak Outlook capsule of 37 eco-friendly shoes, accessories and ready-to-wear was launched, with 100% of proceeds benefiting future preservation projects. Environmental activist and renowned photographer Michel Comte shot the limited-edition collection in Switzerland's Rhône Glacier, calling much-needed attention to the glaciers of the Alps.
Developing expeditions with “sister mountains,” the Bally Peak Outlook Foundation conducts mountain preservation programs around the world. In 2021, expeditions include a high-altitude climb to remove waste from the inaccessible areas of Mt. Fuji with the Fujisan Club, and an expedition to support local rangers build routes to link surrounding areas to Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania to promote sustainable tourism.
By the end of 2021, Bally will have cleaned up the base camp of Everest for an additional two times, as well as those of seven other 8,000-meter mountains in the Himalayas, including Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri I, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu, under Dawa's stewardship.
We are proud to support the important work of climber and author Jamling Tenzing Norgay and his family-run Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Foundation which engages local communities of the Khumjung Valley and the Himalayan region in cleanups and educational programs.
Bally also sponsors the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, also known as the UIAA and its annual Mountain Protection Award which leads global projects that improve the lives and conditions of mountain people and their communities.
Further Reading & Resources
International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA)
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
World Nature Forum (WNF)
Sustainable Development Goals: Mountains. United Nations
International Mountain Day, 11 December. United Nations
Tidying up the top of the world – National Geographic