La Chamoniarde manages the Mont Blanc Security Alert network (SAMB: Sécurité Alerte Mont Blanc) and memberships to the Alps’ Great Radio network (GRA: Grand réseau Radio des Alpes).
La Chamoniarde has been managing the Sécurité Alerte Mont Blanc S.A.M.B radio network (Mont Blanc Security Alert network) since its creation in 1987. This civilian radio network covers the Mont Blanc massif and allows those that work in rescue operations to communicate with mountain professionals and enthusiasts by radio. This requires a personal frequency attributed to you (obtained independently or via a club, syndicat etc.) and an approved radio.
S.A.M.B is monitored 24/7 by the Chamonix PGHM.
This mixed network (analog and digital) is based on ICOM France technology. It has 4 notable relays (Aiguille du midi, Mont Buet, Grands Montets and Mont Joly) and 17 radio transmitters in mountain huts and high mountain shelters.
The radio base station is at the Chamonix PGHM. It has a supervisor identifying each caller. This device is also capable of blocking those who obstruct the network.
La Chamoniarde provides emergency radio transmitters located in mountain huts, allowing mountaineers in difficulty to call for help during the periods where there are no hut guardians.
They are equipped with a double frequency (PGHM for rescue, Emergency CODIS 74 for fire).
17 mountain huts are equipped in this way : Argentière, Leschaux, Envers des Aiguilles, Charpoua, Couvercle, Requin, Plan Glacier, Durier, Albert 1er, Nid d'Aigle, Plan de l'Aiguille, Les Conscrits, Goûter, Grands Mulets, Tête Rousse, abri Vallot, Simond.
Through patronage, ICOM France and La Chamoniarde have developed a technical solution so as to have a mixed radio network. It can operate in analog, but also anticipates the future by being compatible with digital norms.
ICOM France then supplied La Chamoniarde with equipment (listening posts, 4 relays) and developed new generation emergency transmitter radios with remote controls.
More information in the video section at the bottom of the page.
Since 2012, Five associative radio networks (Sécurité Alerte Mont-Blanc – Vanoise – Dauphiné – Oisans/Ecrins et Ubaye/Alpes de Haute Provence) have come together to form and manage the Grand réseau Radio des Alpes (G.R.A), thus covering a large part of the french Alps, with a single subscription.
SAMB and the GRA are alert and rescue networks intended for mountain professionals or users. You must have a working frequency personally attributed to you (obtained independently or via a club, syndicat etc.)* as well as an approved radio.
The 2020 annual subscription for SAMB is € 15.50 per radio unit (free for SNGM / SIM guides) - January 1st / December 31st -
The 2020 annual subscription for the GRA is € 70 per radio unit.
For any new membership requests, go to : www.radios-secours-montagne.com This method is now the only way to join the Grand réseau Radio des Alpes.
Thank you for your understanding
* This is your working frequency to keep your communications off the emergency frequency. This is to be obtained from the National Frequency Agency (Agence Nationale des Fréquences).
You can choose your installer from this list when you register. All are approved and have agreements with the mountain rescue radio networks.
This commercial part does not depend on the association and we do not get involved in the appointments or for the pricing: programming costs and possible shipping costs.
The Emergency radio frequency covers the Mont Blanc regions of Haute Savoie, Swiss Wallis region and Aosta valley. This inter-connected network despatches emergency calls to rescue central offices in Annecy/Meythet and Chamonix (France) – Sierre (Switzerland) – Aosta (Italy).
Contact the SDIS 74 office directly to join this network : +33 450 220 303
Refer to the “Canal Emergency” brochure.
The history shows that the increasing number of mountain rescues soon necessitated a specific communication device in order for rescuers to exchange information and coordinate their actions on terrain. The first communication device used an 80 MHz frequency, and was assigned by the French Ministry of Internal Affairs. The 400 MHz remote control station was installed at the top of Aiguille du Midi. Then, a voice dispensing station was transferring alerts through specialized frequencies to the various administration offices (District administration, hospital, fire department). In 1985, the radio installations were destroyed by a fire that occurred in the infrastructures at the top of Aiguille du Midi.
Established in 1987, the Mont Blanc Safety Alert Network (SAMB) started a collaboration with the local company Savoie Electronique . Signal towers were installed at the top of Aiguille du Midi and Grand Montets, along with 9 emergency beacons in the nearby mountain huts. Equipment and operations were financed by the General Board , The local mountain rescue society “Société Chamoniarde de Secours”( S.C.S.M). The district administration of Haute Savoie provided the S.C.S.M with a 150 MHz frequency. Chamonix PGHM , St Gervais, the Drop Zone heli base in Les Bois, the Chamonix and Sallanches hospitals were equipped with radio base stations. A few years later and in order to improve the radio network in the upper area of the Chamonix valley, the Grands Montets signal tower was removed in 1992 and relocated on Mount Buet, just below the peak ( attached to the district of Vallorcine).
In 1989 the nearby town administration of Val Montjoie financed the radio network broadening, and a signal tower was installed at the top of Mont Joly, complementing the 13 emergency beacons in mountain huts attached to the administration of St Gervais, Les Contamines, Passy and Sallanches. In 1991, the SDIS 74 transmission department took over the network maintenance, in exchange of the equipment ownership, whereas the Société Chamoniarde kept ownership and remained in charge of maintenance operations for the Chamonix valley network.
At the end of year 2000, the Emergency radio network became fully operational In the Aosta Valley, the Swiss Wallis county and Haute Savoie, thus completing the needs for radio network around the Mont Blanc region. Modifications were made on emergency beacons in mountain huts to allow a dual-frequency transmission, and alert the SAMB- Emergency network. A constructive decision from SDIS 74 handed over the equipment and maintenance assignments of its signal towers and emergency beacons to La Chamoniarde, and granted a 10-year period subsidies to finance the modernize the SAMB radio network. The Emergency alert network aims at covering rescue on the large Haute Savoie district scale, whereas alerts received by the SAMB have dealt with mountain rescue operations in the Mont Blanc range.