If you’re wondering what skiing will look like in a post COVID-19 world, just look to the French Alps. Chamonix and its operating entity, Compagnie du Mont Blanc are leading the way as it concerns screening skiers and riders for Coronavirus and this past weekend, those innovations allowed them to reopen their most iconic lift.
In what they are describing as “experimental and unprecedented,” CMB has put together a comprehensive screening process that, among other things, involves high tech cameras, socially distanced queues, and an entire “welcome and safety protocol” that must be adhered to by both staff and visitors alike. The most futuristic aspect of the process is definitely the thermal imaging cameras that can detect if a person has a fever prior to loading.
After testing their methods throughout April and the beginning of May, resort officials felt comfortable enough to reopen the Aiguille du Midi tramway along with the Montenvers Mer de Glace railway line. Besides offering a much needed escape for the locals who have been under lock down since March 14th, the move is inspiring hope among mountain economies that continue to rely heavily on tourism dollars.
Local pro skier, Leo Slemett had a picture perfect run down the Vallee Blanche on day #1 of operation and the following footage has us aching to make turns again. Something tells us nobody was complaining about having to wear a mask while riding the beloved tram, especially when the scenery at the top looks like this.
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Reopening of the Aiguille du Midi today, thank you @montblanc_nr for the organization and logistics 🙏🏻 It was just pure happiness to be up there again with the pirate @vivianbruchez . For the Vallée Blanche, conditions are good on the top up to 3000m, then crusty, changing, soft snow. You can ski till the junction with the Leschaux glacier or it slides on the ice 🥶 It takes 1 hour walk to reach the Montenvers train. Enjoy & be safe ! 🎥 Big thanks @vivianbruchez for the video 👌🏾 #saltyandsweet #home #rideforEstelle 💫 #chamonixmontblanc #betterwithaltitude #livethemoment #iskiedtoday #futurelight #livetoplayanotherday #neverstopexploring #mountainsarecalling #vibramathletes #freeride #mountains #skiing #quarantine
Chamonix Mont Blanc COVID-19 Precautions:
- Thermal camera (compliance with GDPR guidelines).
- Hydro-Alcoholic solution.
- Mask to be worn during all phases of the transport & in the confined waiting areas (Please come equipped)
- Transport specially adapted (limited numbers, distance between visitors, special circulation measures….)
- A full “Welcome & Safety” protocol for both visitors & staff
- Regular disinfection of lifts, trains & buildings
- Full information panels with instructions to be followed before & during the visit
Find out more here: Experimental and Unprecedented Sanitary Measures At High Altitude