Mountain Safety and Rescue

Transborder cooperation

Since 2004, La Chamoniarde has regularly been involved in European INTERREG projects, in particular with its Italian counterparts from the Fondation Montagne Sûre but also with CREALP (Switzerland), the Italian regional environmental protection agencies (ARPA) and the EDYTEM laboratory.

PrevRiskHauteMontagne (2016-2017)


Carried by the 2014-2020 ALCOTRA Program, regional partnerships around the Mont Blanc range were strengthened in February 2016 thanks to the launching of a tutorial program called “PrevRiskHauteMontagne”.

The Courmayeur based Montagne Sûre Foundation coordinates the actions. La Chamoniarde participates in the project. The alpine townhalls of Valtournenche in the Italian Aosta region, and the regional Agencies for the Protection of the Environment in the Aosta Valley and Piémont regions (ARPA), and the EDYTEM- CNRS research centre on the alpine Environment (CREALP) in the Swiss Wallis region, also bring their contribution to the profject. 

The program mainly informs and educates local populations, tourists and all mountain activity adepts. Emphasize is stressed on high mountain particulars and natural or individual mountain hazards. 


  • Workshops: supervised by mountain guides, they aim at teaching alpine environment basics. The program includes a presentation of the alpine, related activities and resulting dangers. Each Tuesday and Thursday during summer La Chamoniarde organizes good-practice sessions at the top of Grands Montets (2016).

  • DVA DAYS: Free registration to our avalanche search practice days, for beginners and experienced who own an avalanche search device (DVA). Mountain guides and instructors teach searching, probing and shovelling techniques each Sunday during winter 2017.
  • Public conferences: information about how transborder mountain rescue cooperation works, in conjunction with the Mountain Rescue Triangular meetings ( September 24,2016 in Courmayeur; January 17, 2017 in Chamonix)

  • August 2016 :Breuil -Cervinia “Mountain Rescue Celebration”, Italy. 

  • La Chamoniarde Website redesigns and creates a web-responsive and functional internet communication tool, digital pad and smartphone compatible. 

  • Improving social network communication strategy, including alert messages resulting from defined situations.

  • Access to digital pads in mountain huts ( Le Gouter and Les Cosmiques) to log on and refer to the latest information easily ( weather report, mountain conditions, mountaineering reports…)


  • Camera system to collect data on the evolution of the North face of Mont Blanc du Tacul. 

  • Survey on snow bridges at Col du Midi to analyse formation and rupture mechanism.


  • Mountain Rescue Triangular meetings ( September 24,2016 in Courmayeur, January 17, 2017 in Chamonix

  • Purchase of 2 avalanche search device sets (DVA) for the Chamonix valley.

  • 5 Radio emergency beacons were installed in alpine shelters and winter-unrestricted mountain huts. 

  • Basic mountain awareness and training courses (one day in class and one day out on a glacier) were designed for the media to be better informed, to improve communication on mountain events, to provide useful contacts and become a reliable source of information.

  • Tour operator training (Tourist office, lift ticket-sales staff and ambassadors) to dispatch information on weather reports, mountain conditions and potential hazards.

  • Marking and sign system for the high alpine.

PrevRiskMontBlanc (2011/2013)


In 2011, the innovative ALCOTRA cross-boarder project was initiated ( Projet ALCOTRA 2007-2013)by la Chamoniarde, in order to improve communication on the mountain environment and the resulting hazards.

In collaboration with the Courmayeur based Mountagne Sûre Foundation , La Chamoniarde managed an ambitious 2-year program (2012/2013) that aimed at teaching local children how to behave and act responsibly in the mountains. 

  • Mountain accident data and survey across the Mont Blanc range (France /Itlay) to coordinate tutorial programs.

  • Upgrading of Météosite to Pôle Montagne Risk: a permanent exhibition on alpine natural hazards.

  • Communication on Natural Mountain hazards and behave recommendations.


More than 400 local school eight-year olds benefited from this training program. Several workshops proposed a comprehensive approach of their environment. An entertaining booklet the children could use during the workshops came to illustrate field examples.

Finally, the children from Courmayeur and Chamonix participated in the Fête de la Montagne event to celebrate the successful project. 


Adapted to 15-20 year-olds, this program is a terrain training course supervised by mountain guides to learn the basic safety mountaineering techniques. 

40 young people joined the program.


Organized by La Chamoniarde for all mountain users, 960 people have benefited from terrain safety training courses. The course objective is based on basic safety techniques and behaviour in mountain accident situations.


  • 15 000 illustrated booklets, in French, for children.
  • 10 000 pocket mementos about safety, in French and Italian.

These documents serve to illustrate training courses performed by La Chamoniarde.

  • Safety communication with local government representatives and administrators.
  • Two meetings gathering organizations involved in public safety across the Mont Blanc range were organized, to discuss high risk management by local authorities.  
  • Mountain safety around the Mont Blanc range.


From 2005 to 2007, the European INTERREG III project was jointly directed by Foundation Montagne Sûre and La Chamoniarde. Thanks to the project:

Winter safety training workshops were created to teach the young public, locals and tourist about snow cover. La Chamoniarde and Montagne Sûre websites were both reorganized and upgraded.

Leaflets, signs, booklets, videos, cdroms were edited in order to communicate on snow and safety

Aging equipment on some classic climbing routes in the Mont Blanc range was replaced ( Dent du Géant, Les Gaillands climbing crag …)


Rescue mountain specialists from France (PGHM) and Italy, in partnership with the snowshoeing market leader TSL, built an advanced rescue sleigh called «FRANCO GARDA", named after a great rescuer from Val d'Aosta who perished in a mountain accident.

The European-subsidized INTERREG 3 program helped financing the production of the sleigh prototype.  

In October 2005 the mountain rescue ICAR Congress approved the sleigh project. It is now used in many countries and has become an essential piece of rescue equipment around the world ( rescues at sea- fire-fighters- natural disasters, urban rescues) 

The sleigh was recently equipped with a fat-bike wheel to improve shock absorbency and workability. 

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