Evaluation of mountain rescue after the summer season

Jean-Salomon, Governor of the Hautes-Pyrénées department, visited the CRS Pyrenees Mountain Rescue Service in Gavarnie-Jedre and the PGHM in Pierrefitnes Starras on September 14th and 22nd to meet “these heroes of everyday life”. did. Then, at the end of the summer, we look back on their activities.

Mountain rescue activities are closely related to the number of tourists in the sector. Assistance requests are highly emphasized during the summer months with very large peaks in July and August.

In recent years, the enthusiasm of vacationers for mountainous areas has been confirmed. The proportion of experienced climbers is declining in favor of inexperienced climbers who do not necessarily have the knowledge and proper equipment to ensure complete safety. In this context, hiking represents a non-negligible part of interventions, as do those associated with downhill and electric mountain biking exercises.

Phone regulations also reflect an increase in the number of calls to inform and guide hikers facing minor difficulties.

Source: Hautes-Pyrénées
Source: Hautes-Pyrénées.

A reminder about how mountain rescue teams work

Mountain rescue is an event involving one or more victims in areas difficult to access by conventional road means and/or requiring the use of techniques specific to the mountain environment to access, rescue or evacuate. intervention.

The alert is received by CTA-CODIS via 112 and a meeting is held with three participants (CTA-CODIS / Caller / Mountain Rescue). Then CTA-CODIS hangs up and SAMU joins and joins the conference at 3:00. PGHM and CRS Pyrénées in Pierrefitte-Nestalas operate according to a weekly staggered schedule from 10:00 am Monday to 10:00 am the following Monday (PGHM is even week and CRS odd week).

This good functioning of the Mountain Rescue System in the Haute-Pyrenees is due to the great respect between the various partners and the unifying role of the Prefecture in drafting the ORSEC Regulations (Mountain Rescue Plan to be published on 29 September 2021). approved).

Source: Hautes-Pyrénées
Source: Hautes-Pyrénées

Helicopters all year round: Choucas 65, summer enhanced with Dragon 64

  • Choucas 65 (DAG de Laloubère): used throughout the year by two rescue parties, except during maintenance periods or when Dragon 64 is stationed at Gavarnie-Gèdre (in which case the intervention is for the benefit of the Pyrenees). Do-Atlantic).
  • Dragon 64 (summer detachment of civil security at the CRS post in Gavarnie-Gèdre): Every year, roughly from June 15th to September 15th, Dragon 64 is held at the nearby Gavarnie circus one week out of two. is placed at the entrance of of the CRS Pyrenees post. This positioning allows us to shorten the approach time in the direction of this very busy sector and illuminate the rest of the Upper Pyrenees Chain. can also be maintained. This benefits from the possibility of increasing intervention time in the alpine sector.

Summer 2022 highlights example


At 5:00 pm on August 22nd, the caretaker of the Saladets shelter reported that a hiker had fallen downhill in Breche de Laurent. Clouds are already appearing in the scene when the helicopter arrives in the area. Rescue workers and doctors are lowered down and join the victims on foot. A hiker suffers from a dislocated broken leg. Despite several attempts, the helicopter fails to retrieve the victim. At the same time, a rescue his caravan of six of his PGHM soldiers was formed to carry the victims up and down on stretchers. Thanks to the cleanup, the helicopter was recalled at 7:30pm to pick up the victims and doctors. The rest of the team continues to join the vehicle on foot (ending the mission at 10:00 PM).

Jean Salomon, governor of the Hautes-Pyrénées, visits a mountain rescue team.

CRS Pyrenees :

At 4:00 pm on July 20, the Gavarnie-Gèdre Mountain Rescue Service (PPSM) was informed that two climbers’ ropes were blocked at Vignemale. Dragon 64 carries two of his CRS rescue crews and winches to the area in difficult weather and weather conditions (storm onset). The two rescuers evolve on two long ropes at the rocky red shale level and join the leader first. Then lift her second victim, which is blocked about 30 meters below. The roped crew is hauled towards Vignemale Ridge by his CRS, still using alpine techniques, to evacuate with a long winch (50m). The assembly is kept intact in his PPSM in Gavarnie.

Jean Salomon, governor of the Hautes-Pyrénées, visits a mountain rescue team.

winter prevention tips

When practicing off-piste:

  • Find out about avalanche risks (consider pictograms and notice boards
    weather displays at the busiest intersections of the station);
  • Establish an itinerary that suits your level (don’t overestimate your physical ability and skill level);
  • If the conditions are too uncertain, give up.
  • However, never go off-piste alone (please indicate route and estimated return time).
  • Equip your backpack with an Avalanche Victim Detector (dva), a shovel, and a probe. Also wear at least a passive reflector (Recco).

For snowshoes:

  • Please respect the rules for practicing off-piste.
    weather bulletin reference and avalanche risk (equipment: walkie-talkie, probe, shovel);
  • Weather can change rapidly. Wear suitable clothing (or pack a backpack) to protect yourself from the cold and snow.
  • I know how to plan alternative routes and give up, just like summer.
  • Remember to bring telecommunications equipment to call emergency services and equipment to signal you on the ground (such as a fluorescent vest).
  • Check the condition of the points under the racket, the condition of the straps and the sieve.
  • be careful. Snowshoes are not suitable for steep slopes. Especially in the forest, if you neglect the anti-slip, you may hit a tree.

When practicing ski touring or ski mountaineering:

  • If you are a beginner, find a route suitable for your level (uphill, downhill).
  • Due to resort development during the day, ski slope access may be prohibited at night due to grooming equipment to prepare snow packs, or during preventative avalanche triggering operations. It often happens.
  • Climbing routes are often suggested during the day to reach the top of the slope without going in the opposite direction.
  • Please respect the rules for practicing off-piste.
    weather bulletin reference and avalanche risk (equipment: walkie-talkie, probe, shovel);
  • Always check the status of your equipment before leaving the house.

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