Winter is here! 

One storm has followed another and there is now good snow cover, even on the floor of the valley. Excellent news then: 

- The ski areas will be able to open up gradually. 

- You can go ski touring, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. 


On the other hand, it snowed a lot and as usual it was windy. The risk of avalanches is high. On the eve of the opening of some of the lifts, we call on you to be very careful. It is also important to follow good habits: 

- Careful preparation of the outing: read the “BERA” (avalanche bulletin) carefully, consult the weather forecast, find out about the conditions, study the route, choose your companions. 

- Once in the field: observe - analyse - discuss - decide - adapt or even give up. 

We are all keen to get out there, but we need to give ourselves time to get back into the swing of things and to get back into shape physically! 


Here is the schedule for the opening of the lifts in the valley: 

- Friday 10 December: Grands Montets ski area open continuously 

- Saturday 11 December: Part of the Les Houches ski area in continuous operation 

- Saturday 11 December: La Flégère ski area only for the weekend (continuous opening from 18 December). 

- Saturday 11 December: Plan de l'Aiguille cable car (second section opens on 18 December) 

- Saturday 18 December: Domaine du Brévent + Balme/Vallorcine. 


The ski areas are currently being prepared. The groomers are working, sometimes using a winch. Be careful with the cables and that you don’t find yourself on a slope with a snow groomer pushing the snow from above. Please respect the work of the operators!  

After a snowfall, PIDAs (Plan d'Intervention de Déclenchement des Avalanches – controlled avalanche release sometimes involving explosives) are put in place (usually in the morning, which sometimes requires delays in opening). Signs prohibiting access for the duration of the operations are put in place. For the "early bird" ski tourers, please respect these prohibitions! 


The marked ski touring itineraries are practicable, (except when there is a high avalanche risk; ask for information!) but they are not necessarily marked yet. You can download this little booklet which includes all the itineraries in the Mont Blanc region, while waiting for the brochure which will be available soon. 



- These marked routes, although close to the slopes, are not secured by the ski patrol. The activity is done under your own responsibility. Remember to equip yourself accordingly (avalanche transceiver/probe/shovel, phone) and to plan your outing (avalanche risk, weather, etc). 

- Although they are not opened or closed by the ski patrol, a ban on access can still be put in place at the start of the route by the commune concerned or the operating company in the event of a high avalanche risk or PIDA. 

- They are not maintained on a daily basis and their technical difficulty varies according to the conditions (icy passages, lack of snow etc.) and the amount of traffic they have had. 

- Although separate from the slopes, they are accessible only during the opening of the ski area as the descent is made via the slopes. 

- Beware of dogs running loose. 


For those who leave the marked routes, we ask you to be extremely careful and to choose your route carefully. 



The Nordic area opens this Saturday 11 December. 

The marked routes for snowshoes and pedestrians can be used, but they are also being marked out. You can find the map here! For those who would like to leave these routes, you will have to wait for better snow conditions. 



What about ice climbing? All this snow isn’t good for ice formation at the Crémerie. On the right and left banks of the Argentière glacier, you will have to go and see once the conditions allow it! 


Report translated from La Chamoniarde.