Our organization’s history
Founded in 1948, La Chamoniarde has never stopped evolving to adapt to both changes in mountain practices and to the organisation of rescue structures.
LA CHAMONIARDE, A MOUNTAIN RESCUE SOCIETY
At the beginning of the 20th century, and due to the lack of public rescue plan*, the mayor of Chamonix used to delegate mountain rescue operations to the President of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix. In 1948, due to a significant upsurge in the number of rescues, the military alpine training division (EMHM) and the national ski and mountaineering center (ENSA) are called to join mountain guides to help during mountain rescue operations.
On the initiative of the Chamonix community, the "Société Chamoniarde de Secours en Montagne (SCSM) is created to manage and supervise mountain rescues in the Chamonix valley.
Ever since, rescue management has evolved on a regional and national scale, and La Chamoniarde has known to adjust to the evolution of mountain sports and practice. It is today a valued partner in the organization of mountain rescue on a district and national scale.
*After the terrible 1956 mountain accident on Mont Blanc (Henry and Vincendon), public authorities became involved in mountain rescuing. The 1958 Loi Montagne assigns legal responsibility to the Police Commissioner, in the field of mountain rescuing. For the first time ever, a division of the public service was assigned to mountain rescues. The mountain Rescue department of the French Gendarmerie, PGHM - originally named GSHM then PSHM – is now the head supervisor and manager for mountain rescue operations..
MOUNTAIN AWARENESS THROUGH OFFICE DE HAUTE MONTAGNE
In 1972, Gérard Devoussoux, founder of the OHM and member of the Chamonix Guides Company, innovates with a new “mountain awareness” information service to help preventing the numerous accidents occurring in mountain sports.
In 2000, the Chamonix townhall join the French weather forecast department, Météo France , to create Météosite , a new weather information centre dedicated to weather conditions in the mountains.
LA CHAMONIARDE, PREVENTION AND RESCUE
In 2001 SCSM, OHM and Météosite merge into one single organization, “La Chamoniarde, Mountain Rescue Awareness Society”.
In 2006, La Chamoniarde joins the district mountain rescue society ADSSM 74, and contributes actively in the development of mountain rescue operations, thus collaborating with the other eight district mountain rescue societies.
In 2010, the Chamoniarde affiliated mountain weather centre Météosite evolves into Pôle Montagne Risk (PMR), and enhances the provided services with information on natural alpine hazards.