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  • The field trip dedicated to snow and avalanches will take place in Chamonix on October 9th, 2013. It is a unique opportunity to discover magnificent panoramas. Accompanying persons will be warmly welcomed.
  • Excursion 1

    Aiguille du Midi (3842 m – 12,605 ft)
    High mountain – Panoramic viewpoint of MontBlanc
    (Canceled in case of bad weather)


    A ride in the Aiguille du Midi cable car will allow you to discover a 360° view with the Mont Blanc, the Chamonix valley, and the Swiss (cervin) and Italian (Grand paradis) Alpine summits.


    On this occasion, it will also be interesting to see the north face of Mont Blanc du Tacul and to discuss with mountain rescue specialists (PGHM) about serac falls on these busy routes. The main avalanche paths in Chamonix are also clearly visible from the Aiguille du midi or during the cable car ride.


    You can follow-up with trip No. 2 in the afternoon.
  • Excursion 2

    Montenvers - Mer de glace (1913 m – 6,246 ft)
    It is the second major viewing point of the massif of the Mont Blanc. The little Montenvers railroad car offers views of the Mer de Glace (France’s largest glacier; 7 km long, 200 m thick) and a panoramic view of famous peaks such as Les Drus and Les Grandes Jorasses. It will also give us the opportunity to address the problem of protecting a railroad track open in the summer and in the winter and crossed by several avalanche galleries.


    It will be possible to couple the railroad ride to Montenvers with a hiking trail from the Aiguilles de Chamonix to the Plan de l’Aiguille and to go back to Chamonix using the first part of the Aiguille du midi cable car ( 2 h to 3 h long – relatively easy – difference in altitude of 200-300 m).


  • Excursion 3

    Taconnaz avalanche defense structures
    It is one of the most important defense structures in Europe. The Taconnaz avalanche has it's starting zone in a vast glacial area, a run-out zone near inhabited areas, a potential difference between the release area and the run-out zone of 3000 m and a centennial volume of 1.6 millions m3. The tour will include an introduction to the instruments which measure pressure and velocity and could also be completed by other paths, depending on the time, to explore avalanche protection (Bourgeat, Griaz, Entremène-Gaillands). This tour will be organized by the engineers from the Irstea who are in charge of the design of avalanche protections . (easy access)


  • Excursion 4

    Avalanche road defense
    Large avalanche events threaten international transportation routes to Switzerland and Italy.
    Three stops are planned: the Col des Montets (1460 m), the avalanche defense structures of the Pendant, and those of the access to the Mont Blanc tunnel.
    Local experts in charge of security will explain the different approaches and methods used in risk management.
    This trip is mainly by car with short walking. The possibility exists to combine this tour with a ½-day trip to Montenvers.


  • Excursion 5

    Mountain hiking: Lakes Chéserys (2200 m)
    This trip is for experienced hikers: 800 m vertical ascent, 6 hours walking time, and several sections of ladders.

    The trip is limited to 30-40 people with a very early departure from Grenoble.
    [Cancellation in case of bad weather].

    Start from the Col des Montets and return to Argentière-Trelechamp.

    Professional guides and local experts will accompany the group on this trip. The route will cross the paths of several large avalanches, such as Montroc (catastrophe of February 1999), Fis-Argentière (historic avalanche 1812), and Goat Horn (avalanche of February 1984). In addition, there will be opportunities to view old avalanche defense structures built in the early part of twentieth century, to discuss the protective function of forests, and to address the problems of security and protection in areas of new development and rapid population growth.


  • Excursion 6

    Open tour in Chamonix
    Self tour of downtown Chamonix, the town of mountaineering lovers.
    Pass included for Aiguille du Midi (see excursion 1) and Montenvers (cf. excursion 2), but in open visit.

  • Excursion 7

    Tour of the mountain rescue center and dropping zone
    The French mountain rescue squad (PGHM) opens the doors of its dropping zone.
    The tour includes a special focus on the Eurocopter 145 and an overview of mountain rescue issues in the Mont-Blanc range.


  • Programme accompagnant(e)s

    Depending on the weather: Aiguille du Midi and / or Montenvers, the discovery of the town of Chamonix (alpine museum, shopping, Lake Gaillands ...), or the possibility of a short hike or to choose one of the five previous excursions ...

  • For further information

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    Email : issw2013@anena.org
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