Armelle Courtois and Martin Thomas, are both high level athletes, in kitespeed for Armelle, and in slalom canoeing for Martin. But their common points go far beyond sport and lie in our ability to dream, imagine and create. So from their love for extreme sports, the mountains, and nature, a project was born : Riding to Explore.
THE SPORT CHALLENGE
Most mountain lakes have never been kited. We will challenge extreme wind conditions hostile to this sport and explore potential remote spots that require real commitment to approach them. These challenges give this project its full dimension and uniqueness!
Glacial lakes are the highest open-air lakes in the high mountains. Encased, half frozen, sometimes even dotted with icebergs, they are swept by very irregular winds. Kiting is a very physical challenge under such tough conditions. We plan our challenge in three stages in order to prepare our equipment and logistics for such a demanding environment.
An environmental project
As lovers of the natural environment, we are committed to raising a cry of warning about the burden that is currently eating away at the mountains; intimately linked to the general devastation occuring on our planet. Under the influence of global warming, glacial lakes are emerging. These lakes are evolving over the years depending on the speed of melting and retreat of glaciers. Behind the disappearance of the glaciers and acceleration of their melting, billions of people are directly threatened as well as many ecosystems.
The first expedition to the Alps will be real training in the alpine environment and will allow us to adapt our equipment for the next steps. Threat: The natural water tower of Europe is doomed to disappear in the coming years.
The second expedition will take place in the Andes. Transporting our equipment and kiting over 4000m will be our first test of adaptation to very high altitude. Threat: Mountain tsunamis caused by ice fall in glacial lakes directly threaten populations.
The last step and completion of the project with a world first: kitesurfing in the Himalayas, at the foot of the highest peaks and most important glaciers of the world. Threat: Devastating floods then long lasting draughts will be the consequences of rapid melting Himalayan glaciers.
Video teaser of the project
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If you are interrested by joining the adventure, please contact them via the Facebook page of RIDING to EXPLORE