This charter is the fundamental document governing the organization and running of the Patrouille des Glaciers. It is the reference for all activities undertaken in support of the race, both in its preparation and during its running.
All persons engaged or involved in the organization and running of the Patrouille des Glaciers, be they serving military personnel, those performing voluntary service, civilians or volunteer helpers, adhere unreservedly to these guidelines and are guided by them in their general conduct and in their specific activities.
The Patrouille des Glaciers is a major military sporting event open to both elite and popular civilian competitors.
The Patrouille des Glaciers is the memorial perpetuating the race initiated during the 1939-1945 mobilization period, the aim of which was to test the training, instruction and endurance of military personnel in the high mountains. This spirit is aimed at both ordinary sportsmen and women and experienced athletes wishing to test their mettle in the mountains in a spirit of teamwork and solidarity, on an Alpine route between ZERMATT, AROLLA and VERBIER.
The Patrouille des Glaciers is an incomparable showcase for the Swiss Army. It is independent of any other group or organization. Its structure is hierarchically ordered and all the directives and regulations governing the training and behavior of soldiers are fully applicable during the days of service performed in support of the race.
The Patrouille des Glaciers aims to promote sporting effort and the physical and mental surpassing of oneself, without any connotation of results. It condemns outright any attempt to cheat or any behavior that runs counter to the spirit of sport and respect for the mountains. It makes it a priority to ensure maximum safety for participants, using all the means at its disposal, particularly thanks to the know-how and interpersonal skills built up over successive editions. All in the spirit of La Cordée, which promotes values such as team spirit, mutual aid and respect.
The Patrouille des Glaciers aims to foster respectful and harmonious collaboration between its organization and the regions concerned. It therefore maintains and develops warm, harmonious, enthusiastic and constructive contacts with the authorities and population of these regions. More specifically, it does not fail to involve the local populations in its festive activities, particularly during the departures and arrivals.
The Patrouille des Glaciers operates in an exceptional environment: the Valais Alps. It takes particular care to protect this exceptional natural environment for future generations. Since 2012, the Patrouille des Glaciers has had a plan to reduce its impact on the environment and preserve it. A CO2 balance sheet is drawn up at the end of each race in line with the principle of the continuous improvement process. This will help to identify the measures to be taken to further reduce the impact on the environment.
The air transport required for logistics and the safety of participants, military personnel and spectators is kept to a minimum. All according to the principle of “as less as necessary”. The same applies to military road transport, which is centralized, optimized and carried out using vehicles that meet the latest emissions standards. The command of the Patrouille des Glaciers encourages participants and spectators to use public transport at their departure and arrival points to help reduce the impact of climate change on our environment.
The Patrouille des Glaciers brings considerable economic benefits to the canton of Valais and the Alpine regions, as well as raising the profile of an entire region, both nationally and internationally. Over and above the sporting dimension of the event, the Patrouille des Glaciers highlights Swiss know-how and that of the regions, without forgetting their origins and values, to perpetuate the spirit of the Patrouille des Glaciers.