LA CHAMONIARDE, A MOUNTAIN RESCUE SOCIETY
At the beginning of the 20th century, and due to the lack of public rescue plan*, the mayor of Chamonix used to delegate mountain rescue operations to the President of the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix. In 1948, due to a significant upsurge in the number of rescues, the military alpine training division (EMHM) and the national ski and mountaineering center (ENSA) are called to join mountain guides to help during mountain rescue operations.
The local mountain rescue society (SCSM) creates La Chamoniarde, to manage and supervise mountain rescues in the Chamonix valley.
Ever since, rescue management has evolved on a regional and national scale, and La Chamoniarde has known to adjust to the evolution of mountain sports and practice. It is today a valued partner in the organization of mountain rescue on a district and national scale.
*After the terrible 1956 mountain accident on Mont Blanc (Henry and Vincendon), public authorities became involved in mountain rescuing. The 1958 Loi Montagne assigns legal responsibility to the Police Commissioner, in the field of mountain rescuing. For the first time ever, a division of the public service was assigned to mountain rescues. The mountain Rescue department of the French Gendarmerie, PGHM - originally named GSHM then PSHM – is now the head supervisor and manager for mountain rescue operations..