The Fédération Française des Clubs Alpins et de Montagne (FFCAM)
Serving the mountain environment for nearly 140 Years
Pursuing the original goals of the Club Alpin Français (founded in 1874), the Fédération Française des Clubs Alpins et de Montagne (FFCAM) has assumed the mission of making the independent, responsible practice of mountain activities accessible to a broader public. In this spirit the FFCAM promotes mountaineer training and safety, environmental planning and protection, and the encouragement and dissemination of a ‘mountain culture’. Faithful to its history and to the duties that go with its special role in the Alpine scene, the Federation seeks to unite individuals and associations who enjoy mountain activities, to intervene on their behalf with French and international authorities, and to pursue its efforts to make the mountains a welcoming realm of freedom and adventure with a real future, thanks to the preservation of the features that lend it special value.
A major player in mountain activities, environmental planning and sustainable development
The FFCAM boasts 84,000 members, 310 affiliated associations, and 5,000 volunteer workers. Through its local clubs, the FFCAM offers an entire gamut of activities ranging from easy hikes to mountaineering expeditions via sport climbing, ski touring, canyoning, caving, para-gliding and mountain biking. All these activities are monitored by qualified volunteers in a welcoming atmosphere. In order to enjoy the mountains fully, a certain self-reliance must be learned, along with responsible behaviour toward other users and the natural environment. That is why the FFCAM has always laid emphasis on training. Training programmes specially aimed at young people are offered by member clubs, by its Montagnes de la Terre outfit, and by the FFCAM’s own national youth commission.
The FFCAM manages, maintains and constantly improves 127 huts and chalets in the high and mid mountains throughout France. These buildings provide an unrivalled platform for discovering nature and all mountain activities. They also constitute a unique way of bringing life and development in sustainable fashion to valley populations and economies. Furthermore, they represent significant architectural, technological and cultural stakes as part of a vast plan to renovate existing structures or build new ones. Finally, in a French first, since 2005 the Federation has run a national training centre at Pelvoux (in the Hautes Alpes) as well as a network of seven regional centres, designed to host training sessions, programmes, and gatherings that feature a range of introductory, intermediate, and advanced techniques.
Committed to protecting the environment
The FFCAM works tirelessly to maintain a lively yet protected mountain environment. Concern for the environment, in particular for the preservation and enhancement of the mountains, is at the heart of the FFCAM’s efforts. In 1994 it adopted a ‘Mountain Charter’ and works hand in hand with the Commission Nationale de Protection de la Montagne, founded in 1976.
Further information: http://www.clubalpin.com