“Have fun and be safe!”
That very phrase or some variation of it, you’ve surely heard time and time again.
Partaking in winter sports can be great and a lot of fun, especially when you have taken the necessary precautions as saftey isn’t guaranteed in the mountains.
Depending on the particular sport, these precautions include having the right clothing and equipment; knowing how to use that equipment; having enough information about the location; what weather is forecasted and the current conditions; whether you need a partner or mountain guide or making others aware you’re heading out alone; and finally, are you fully insured in case of an accident including search and rescue and repatriation?
A helicopter rescue without insurance is estimated to cost 2,000euros, rescue from a remote location about 400euros and transportation from the bottom of a lift station to surgery/casualty roughly 200euros. And then of course then theres’s the medical and pharmacutical bills after. No one likes to think of these details, especially at the beginning of the season. It is essential nonetheless and Chamonix have options including e-gloo which is sold in conjuction with the Mont-Blanc Unlimited or Chamonix Le Pass lift-passes; Carré Neige for short term stays and Carte Neige for an annual cover, available at the Tourist Office (Carte Neige requires a doctor’s certificate confirming your current good health.)
France – 112
PGHM (Mountain Rescue) – +33 (0)4 50 53 16 89
Sur Pistes (Ski Patrol) – +33 (0)4 50 54 04 73
Photos Source: chamonet.com and tellurideskischool.com