Ludovic Ravanel is a French glacier expert, a scientist, and a mountain guide at the Chamonix Guides Company. His love for glaciers and the passion for nature lies in his DNA, as he grew up in the Chamonix valley and is succeeding several generations of mountain guides, including his father. Today, Ludo’s work as a guide and scientist at EDYTEM (Laboratory of Environments, Dynamics and Mountain Territories) is fully dedicated to understanding the high mountain areas, especially in the context of climate change. For i-vest, we followed Ludo up a steep mountain trail and spoke with him about the consequences of climate change, and how impact investing can still make a difference (yes, there is hope).
Ludo, you are a glaciologist and a geomorphologist. How did you get into this profession?
I always loved the mountains and from a young age on it was clear to me that I wanted to work in this field. To do so, I studied in Chambéry at the Université Savoie-Mont-Blanc in France, first in a master’s program that was related to the evolution of rock walls at high elevation in the Alps. After my graduation I stayed at the university for three more years to complete my PhD. The topic of my thesis was dedicated to the evolution of the rocks and the ice due to global warming.
My first jobs were in Lausanne, and in Zurich. But I grew a bit tired of always being away from my family after a while. I have strong roots in Chamonix, coming from a very old family lineage. So I came back and worked as the director of the Chamonix risk prevention and mountain rescue service for two years. But I really missed doing science. So I took the exam to enter the French CNRS, which is the Center for Research in France – and I succeeded. That’s how I became a researcher and a guide. Today, I live in Chamonix, and work in Chambéry.