Water scarcity at the Refuge des Cosmiques since February, 2019


Since its reopening on the 23rd of February 2019, the Cosmiques refuge operated with a broken melter. Consequently, water has been scarce at the Cosmiques refuge.

A company specialized in high-altitude works and particularly in this kind of melters will start working on a new melter next week.

Cosmique Refuge, Mont Blanc massif
Cosmique Refuge, Mont Blanc massif
Cosmique refuge seen from the Grands Mulets Refuge, photo by Svíčková, licensed under CC-BY 3.0, source @commons.wikimedia.org

The Cosmiques refuge was dry since it reopened, in February 2019.

The old shelter burned in December 1986 and from 1987 to 1991 the present Cosmiques refuge was built.

The refuge was designed to function with a self-powered system, which worked just fine until this year.

Indeed, the Cosmiques Refuge, which is located at 3,613 m altitude (11,853 ft), was meant to operate with abundant water, if not even inexhaustible. 

However, the self-powered melter broke this year and the Cosmique refuge was left dry.

Water was brought by helicopter three times.

Since the melter broke down, there were three rotations by a helicopter carrying 500 litres of water.

"We save on a daily basis. We adapt, "says Elise Veyrat, the guardian of the shelter.

"We are lucky in our misfortune ... well somehow," adds Elise Veyrat. 

The cold and snowy spring meant that there were not many customers this spring.

Far from ideal for business, but that meant there was enough water for those who frequented the Cosmiques refuge this spring.

A new melter will be built as soon as possible.

Besides the water brought in by helicopter, the shelter is also supplied with water by the melting of the snow from the roof, but these are not viable solutions, especially since summer is starting.

Thus, a new melter will be built at the Cosmiques refuge.

The construction is expected to take around two weeks, but the actual time is highly dependent on the weather conditions.

A company specialized in high-altitude works and in this kind of melters will visit the Cosmiques refuge next week.

Le Dauphine

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