Chamonix: the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc Negotiates with the Prefect

 

On 1 December 2020, Mathieu Dechavanne (the CEO of Compagnie du Mont-Blanc) met Alain Espinasse (the new prefect of Haute-Savoie), to discuss several subjects and address a request in particular.

image: 
The Aiguille du Midi 3842m peak in the Mont Blanc massif of the French Alps
Aiguille du Midi cable car

The opening of certain ski lifts facilities for pedestrian access only

Like other French ski resorts, Chamonix will not open its ski areas in December.

 The CEO of the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc wants to work on modifying the text of the official decree, which will be published on December 15, to allow, at least, pedestrian access to facilities that are not linked to a ski area.

The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc operates primarily in the territories of Chamonix and Vallorcine, but also, through its two subsidiaries, in the territories of Houches, Saint Gervais and Megève.

While alpine skiing will not be allowed this month, other practices such as ski touring and snowshoeing will be possible.

This interview with the prefect was also an opportunity for Mathieu Dechavanne to clarify the issue of mountain safety, and the responsibility incurred by the practitioners.

The Company brings together 1,000 employees during the winter season, including 600 seasonal workers.

The opening of the lifts in the Chamonix valley was scheduled for December 19.

On that date, a large majority will therefore be on short-time work, explains Mathieu Dechavanne who still hopes that some of them will work.

If pedestrian facilities such as the Aiguille cable car, the Montenvers train and the Mont-Blanc tramway opened in December, Mathieu Dechavanne made a personal commitment that they would not carry any skiers.

The manager of the Company assures that this will be his personal responsibility and warns his teams that he will be uncompromising.

A third meeting with the stations' managers

Prime Minister Jean Castex will discuss again with the station managers on Friday 11 December.

Mountain professionals then hope to obtain an official reopening date for the beginning of January, and not have to wait for the date of the 20th, which is for the moment the one envisaged for a return to normal.


Sources @Radio Mont Blanc

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