Grands Montets closed ‘till Christmas

The Grands Montets domain, part of the Chamonix Mont-Blanc ski area will be closed until around the 20th of December following the discovery of problems with the structure of the load cables of the first section of the cable car during tests in October. The closure also appears to affect the Plan Joran chair which passes under the cables.

In a press release the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc says that the tests were as a result of new regulations for cable-cars and the problem came totally out of the blue as tests under the old regime in mid-May showed no such problems. The new tests are more detailed using an X-Ray examination of the cable. The results were a major headache for the CMB coming so close to the ski season. They could have continued operation but under a far stricter examination protocol that would have resulted in two days of closure per month and the risk that the whole site would have to be shut down for repairs.

In the end they contracted Bourg-en-Bresse based cable specialists Tréfileurope. They have just supplied the world’s longest cable car cable for nearby ski resort of les Houches. It took a considerable amount of effort for Tréfileurope to produce the new cables at such short notice.

The delay in opening, initially scheduled for the 1st of December will come as a blow to the lift company already suffering from extremely poor results in 2006, in part due to the closure of the Grands Montets cable car due to poor snow cover at the start of the season. In 2004 the summer season was ruined when a maintenance crew dropped the cable of the Aiguille du Midi, this was followed by an accident in August.

Further Information

Press Release

Posted by on Sunday, 26 November, 2006 at 02:04 PM

La Grave has a similar problem. Work on replacing the cable only began on the 11th of November and will take a month. The cable car is schedule to open on the 23rd of December, if all goes well. Just in time for Christmas.

Posted by  on  Sunday, 26 November, 2006  at 03:14 PM

I hope that they decide to open Domaine de Balme or Brevent in early December then, since historically the Gds Montets is the only/first station to open in early December . . . . snow allowing of course. Our nice dump from last week has nearly all melted thanks to the blasted foehn wind . . . .

Posted by  on  Sunday, 26 November, 2006  at 08:21 PM

I have heard that the Tour Operators are not happy as some have sold holidays from the 16th and are faced with no skiing. CmB is saying that it will try to open other areas if the snow cover allows. Given that there should be some snow this week, 30-50cm in total at 1500m this should be a possibility.

Posted by davidof on  Monday, 04 December, 2006  at 11:19 AM

So far nothing open in Chamonix. And we have snow now. Oh, and the new CdMB website in English is STILL not up. Amazing. Viewing the new site in French, the new design involves PHP scripts on nearly every page, which take a long time to load over my fast ADSL line. Pity anyone on dial up trying to look at the site.

I think the new site is prettier, but yet it is just very very slow, which is the opposite of what you want out of a utility site which you use to find real time information daily about which lifts are open before heading out the door . . . someone must be learning web programming at the expense of the CdMB it appears.

Posted by  on  Tuesday, 12 December, 2006  at 08:19 PM

I’ve got to agree with you on this. A lot of French ski domain websites are maintained by half-wits. Why do I want to download a huge flash plug-in just to find out (or usually not) what the snow condiitons are like? You know it is not hard, people want to know what’s open, what the conditions are like, a web cam that works all year round not just in February, accomodation search and how to reach resort by road or public transport.

Anyway GM may open on Saturday 16th with the following lifts:-

Plan Joran Chairlift
Tabé Chairlift
Marmottons Chairlift
Bochard Gondola

It is not 100% certain yet according to CdMB.

Posted by davidof on  Tuesday, 12 December, 2006  at 08:38 PM
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