Mountain Safety and Rescue


La Chamoniarde regularly organises safety talks for the general public. It also takes part in public events to promote its actions and safety in the mountains.


Climate change and mountaineering: evolutions and possible adaptations

It 's a fact : we can't practice alpinism like in the 70s or 80s. The heat waves dry up the mountain in summer which  is usually snowy or frozen, degrade permafrost. When  autumns are dry glaciers and ice cover can't be regenerate.  Conditions and itineraries are changing : the mountaineers have to adapt themself with a different approach of the mountain.


Every winter and in partnership with Peak Performance in Chamonix, a mountain guide and member of La Chamoniarde makes a one-hour off-piste safety presentation both in French and English.

This action aims at informing and reminding visitors how essential off-piste basic safety rules are and how important it is to get informed before heading out. Avalanche and weather reports, avalanche victim and/or witness behaviour and emergency actions and gestures are explained in details. The presentation is free and open to everyone.  

Cross-border mountain rescue organisations

January 17, 2017: video presentation of the cross-border mountain rescue organisations and the way they coordinate their actions. 

It was an opportunity to watch live situations and introduce the rescue team from the French, Italian and Swiss regions of the Mont Blanc range. The French rescue helicopter crew includes a pilot, a mechanics, a first aider and a physician. Each country gave information regarding the way rescue costs are dispatched and managed. Live situations illustrated the international coordination during mountain rescue operations.

Local reporters animated the presentation in a lively way, presenting the situation in a very true and sincere manner. 

This event has been organized during the European project PrevRiskHauteMontagne.


When dealing with mountain accidents and its legal aspects, how does the legal procedure work? How does it affect decision making? These legal parameters are obviously interesting for mountain professionals, but who else?

While the presentation was partly inspired from a real legal suit and trial, emphasis was laid on the fact that PGHM officers lead mountain rescue operations, and act as police officers who can therefore enquire on causes and circumstances of the accident. Their reports represent a fundamental stage in the legal process.

At that time, the mountain professional/instructor on duty that day must justify his actions and decisions in order to gather as much information used to assess the legal liability of the professional party. 

A public discussion followed the reconstitution of the trial in the presence of Jacques Dallest, the Chambéry district attorney. Alain Duclos and Erik Decamps, both mountain experts, also took part in the discussion.

The evening presentation lead to the conclusion that “a better understanding of the complexity of the legal process subsequent to mountain accidents truly contributes to improving on-site decision making” .


In addition, during the same presentation, the public, sports specialists and amateurs, and local rescue authorities ( PGHM, town council) could learn and exchange opinions about the growing practice of extreme sports, their resulting risks and the necessity to instore regulations ( wingsuit, basejumping, VTT DH, Highline etc…)

Public events


It is a component of the PrevRiskHauteMontagne program and a fruitful 2-day event. It took place in Cervinia on August 20, 2016 and included an information campaign on mountain hazards addressed to visitors. 


It takes place in July; workshops on FIRST AID AND RESCUE BASICS are animated by La Chamoniarde.

(safety behaviour basics in an accident, first aid assistance in the high alpine, mountain rescue techniques etc.…)


Taking place in June, La Chamoniarde takes part in this event that aims at developing and promoting communication between young mountaineers of all origins and cultural backgrounds.

It encourages young people to experience mountaineering in a genuinely traditional spirit, while promoting: a desire to discover and respect the alpine environment, support and encourage friendship and solidarity in the climbing party. It aims at developing responsibility, independence and mountaineering safety skills. 


Taking place in March this ski touring/free-riding event includes a timed avalanche search practice. La Chamoniarde manages overall safety during the exercise.

This exercise counts for 10% in the final evaluation during the competition. 


Each year, mountain rescue parties from the Mont Blanc region organize an open house at the helicopter Drop Zone and headquarters in Les Bois, near Chamonix.


The 2017 edition is scheduled for July 2, from 10:00 to 18:00.

The program includes helicopter flying and on-land demos, displays, refreshments and snacks …)

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