Many of you will know that it has been a challenging summer season for the Mont Blanc Natural Resort, with lift problems at both the Grands Montets and on the Aiguille du Midi.
Rumour in the valley has very much been one of stoic confidence that it will be business as usual this winter. Today Mont Blanc Natural Resort issued a press release regarding the situation at the Grands Montets and proposed opening dates for this coming season. Full details can be found at https://www.montblancnaturalresort.com/en/communique-septembre2018
"Following the devastating fire that took place on September 11th at Les Grands Montets, which destroyed the Argentière-Lognan and Lognan-Grands Montets mid-station, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the residents of the Chamonix Valley and the Mont Blanc region as well as to our customers, partners and, in general, to all those who love Les Grands Montets for their messages of sympathy and support."
"Despite the fact that we are not responsible for this incident, we want to address this situation and face the challenge head on. We are committed to doing everything in our power to partially open the Lognan ski area, if snow conditions allow it, during the weekends starting on November 17th 2018. Full or partial opening every day, depending on snow conditions, will begin on December 7th 2018."
Unfortunately the summit of the Grands Montets won't be accessible by lift this season. The whole mid station was destroyed by fire and significant work will need to be done to clear the site and reinstate it. However, it sounds like there will be some alternative options with the provision of marked ski touring routes to access the summit. So it could be an ideal time to try skinning for the first time!
This season there is also a new chair being put in which should open up even more terrain low down in the ski area. Not to mention that we should all benefit from the super fast 10 person bubble that has been operating for the last couple of years.
Over on the Aiguille du Midi, there should be some news soon as the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc are currently scheduling work to replace the cable on the top section. Of Course this is a huge job but there is confidence that the Midi will be open for the winter season. For those worried about Vallee Blanche descents, these can still be made from the Skyway/Helbronner on the Italian side.
Brévent-Flégère and Le Tour are scheduled to open on December 8th 2018
Les Houches scheduled to open partially for weekends from 17th November 2018. Full opening December 8th 2018.
Note: All subject to snow conditions of course...