The Patrouille des Glaciers Charter postulates the values and behaviour exptected from anyone involved in the PDG, whether armed forces personnel, civilians, volunteers or competitors. The charter sets out the basic orientation for the organisation and execution of the event. The PDG is made up of the competition, the organization structure and the persons involved. Anyone participating, whether armed forces personnel, civilians, volunteers or competitors, are expected to respect the values and guidelines of the Charter and act accordingly.
The PDG is a sports mountaineering competition managed and organised by the Swiss Armed Forces. It is primarily targeted towards military teams, but is also open to civilian teams who want to take on this unique challenge.
The PDG is a continuation of an idea originating during World War II. The aim of the first PDG held in 1943 was to test the training levels, operational capabilities and resilience of the mountain forces. Following this tradition, the PDG attracts both sports enthusiasts and experienced mountaineers who want to prove their extraordinary determination on the course between Zermatt, Arolla and Verbier. As part of a team, which at times is roped up for safety reasons on the glaciers, the athletes live the spirit of the special solidarity that characterizes mountain dwellers and alpinists.
The PDG is an element of the Swiss Armed Forces and organised as a military command unit. As such it is independent from other institutions and organisations. The PDG command is aware that it acts as a unique showcase for the Swiss Armed Forces' performance and capabilities. It demands impeccable conduct from all officers and soldiers serving under its command.
The PDG encourages to improve physical and mental fitness without being obsessed about rankings or results. This entails fairness and respect for the alpine environment and absolute avoidance of any prohibited or unfair behaviour. The PDG uses all its skills and resources to ensure a maximum of safety for the participating teams and contributors.
The PDG command is aware of the support and popularity it enjoys in its home territory. It therefore encourages specific privileged personal contacts with authorities and the local population.
The race courses run through ecologically sensitive alpine areas. The PDG strives to keep any environmental harm to a minimum and to remove any traces and repair any damage. To prove its respect for the environment, the PDG consistently refuses to put up any kind of advertising on those parts of the courses that run through unspoiled mountain areas.
The PDG promotes its popularity and national and international presence by a variety of means of communication and marketing, and while seeking high-quality partners, it avoids any intrusive sales methods. In choosing its partners, the PDG opts only for those who act in accordance with the Charter and show respect for the history, tradition, regulations and spirit of the Patrouille des Glaciers.