The Chamoniarde - Chamonix's local heroes

 

For more than 70 years, the Chamoniarde has been playing an essential role in keeping both residents and tourists of Chamonix safe.

Founded in 1948, the Chamoniarde is a non-profitable mountain rescue organization which operates on multiple fronts.

image: 
La Chamoniarde : the local mountain security association. Photo source: @https://montblanclive.com/radio
DVA Park of La Flégère

The Chamoniarde is a non-standard, non-profitable mountain awareness organization which aims at promoting safety in the Alps.

According to Le Dauphine, In 2006, the Chamoniarde became a member of the departmental association of mountain rescue societies and it is an integral part of the rescue plan.

Information and awareness

Firstly, one of Chamoniarde's main goals is to raise awareness about the mountain among both residents and tourists of Chamonix in order to promote safety in the Alps.

They provide free information about hiking, climbing and skiing to visitors in their two information centres - Office de Haute Montagne (OHM) and Pôle Montagne Risk (PMR).

The OMH collects the latest hiking and climbing information related to routes and conditions so that mountaineers can have access to the latest and most accurate information.

The PMR, the educational part of the Chamoniarde, displays exhibitions throughout the year. Some of the exhibitions' themes are mountain practice hazards, mountain weather and major natural hazards in the Chamonix valley.

Furthermore, the PMR also displays free animations for children, adapted to their needs and age.

Training

The Chamoniarde organizes training courses periodically in order to help people improve their mountain knowledge and skills and reduce the risk of injury while in the mountain.

Check out all the training courses the Chamoniarde has to offer.

However, please note that the courses are held only in French.

The Chamoniarde also offers booklets on everything you need to know about a large variety of sports, such as freeride, ski touring, hiking, etc.

Check all their flyers and booklets here.

Mountain rescue

The Chamoniarde is mainly composed of volunteers from Chamonix who are professional mountain guides and rescuers.

They are supervised by PGHM and are asked to join their teams during major avalanche rescue operations or while searching for a missing person.

Océane Vibert, the director of the Chamoniarde, declared for Le Dauphine: "When the PGHM needs a reinforcement, they call on our company. We send an alert to our forty or so volunteers. We are three people waiting on the phone. These members are essentially professionals themselves, such as guides or first-aid attendants. In summer, they are permanent at the emergency stations along the Ultra-trail of Mont Blanc or the marathon of the same name."

Check the Chamoniarde's official website for more information.