Mont-Blanc massif: Individual Mountain Activities from 11 May 2020


As France ended the coronavirus Covid-19 confinement yesterday, 11 May 2020, the Mont-Blanc massif is accessible again.

However, strict regulations are still in place: the mountains can only be accessed individually, during the daytime, and a good distance must be kept.

Mountain activities are possible from 11 May 2020. The Aiguille du Midi cable car will resume service from 16 May. Photo source, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
The Montevers train will resume service from 16 May 2020

Individual mountain activities

"Access to the mountains is again possible from Monday, May 11 to practice outdoor activities on an individual basis, whether hiking or climbing," announced the prefect Pierre Lambert, Saturday, May 9, confirming the lifting of the ban on-mountain activities within a 100-meter drop in altitude above the place of containment (a decree in force since April 15).

But mountain activities will take place with strict rules. Firstly, groups of more than 10 people on public roads are prohibited. Secondly, mountain activities, whether it is climbing or hiking, must be done individually, only during the daytime, because "the shelters of the department are not yet guarded and the winter shelters do not allow to maintain an adequate distance with regard to the health context".

“This resumption of sports activities in the mountains must be done gradually and moderately. Athletes are called upon to adopt responsible behaviour, practising below their level, at least initially", urged Pierre Lambert, "in order to prevent any risk of accident which would come to weigh on hospital capacity".

Physical activities contribute to a high risk of respiratory transmission through sustained ventilation. The distance between two practitioners must be increased sufficiently, for example, five meters for brisk walking and 10 meters for jogging or cycling.

And there is more good news. The ski lifts will be able to resume service. The Compagnie du Mont-Blanc is working to reopen access to Aiguille du Midi and Montenvers.

Risk of avalanches is not nonexistent, warn the experts

Impatience is becoming biting for ski touring fans, but beware, the risk of avalanches will not be nonexistent in the coming days. 

After a clear night and a good refreeze, the ski conditions are good above 2,300 meters above sea level in the Savoie and Haute-Savoie mountains.

However, be aware, as avalanches can still happen. “There are two elements that will increase the risk in the coming days: precipitation and therefore a new layer of snow, but also temperatures that will quickly start again. on the rise", warns snow expert Alain Duclos, from the Savoie Department.

Professional practice remains prohibited

As for the practice of the mountain in a professional capacity, it is not yet authorized. 

"We are waiting for the Ministry of Sports to lift the ban but the mountain guides and guides can, of course, train themselves and go back to the mountains from Monday (editor's note: 11 May 2020) onwards but they cannot yet supervise clients. However, everyone is still working on the fastest opening of the season, especially on the Goûter course, to reopen the shelters after June 2. "Perhaps even before, with an amendment to the decree, if the sports minister lifts the ban but the health protocols do not yet seem finalized", said Pierre Lambert.

Source: Le Dauphine

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