Mont-Blanc Massif: new emergency beacons in the mountain huts located at high altitude


The renewal project of the emergency beacons, launched in September 2016, by the local mountain security association La Chamoniarde, has ended.

Emergency beacons. Photo source:
Tête Rousse Hut. Photo source:

According to Le Dauphine, 17 Mountain Huts & Refuges were equipped with new generation emergency beacons. These devices were installed with the financial support of SDIS 74 and ALCOTRA PREVRISK HAUTE MONTAGNE, and with the help of the Chamonix PGHM and the Air Detachment of the Gendarmerie Choucas 74.

The Mountain Huts & Refuges equipped are: 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, Vallot, Simond.

The goal: "to be able to launch an alert outside the guarding period".

The mountaineers were facing "old devices", described the director of La Chamoniarde, Océane Vibert. She said that "it was necessary to review the devices for each site".

The new generation emergency beacons can receive communication from the Chamonix valley, in case of research of a missing person by the Chamonix PGHM.

These devices of Icom technology are equipped with:

  • a technology, both analog and digital;
  • a double frequency: one for rescue (PGHM) and the other for fire (firefighters);
  • a USB port (low energy) to recharge if necessary the mobile phone, in case of emergency.

Emergency radio and alert beacons

The new generation emergency beacons operate in total autonomy of energy on a 12-volt battery connected to a solar panel.

The emergency beacons allow to mountaineers in difficulty:

  • to receive vocal support from the Chamonix PGHM;
  • to send an alert from the high altitude huts, outside the guarding period.

to Chamonix PGHM:

  • to exchange information in real time with the mountaineers and also listen if anyone is there;
  • to launch "forced listening": we can listen if there is noise or people", takes as an example the director of La Chamoniarde;
  • to operate distance controls, consult the power of the battery.

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