# 8
15th January 2009


Editorial :

Bonjour !
Happy new year! I send you my very best wishes of happiness for 2009,especially in these crisis times, and I’m pretty sure one of your first wishes would be to be able to come back & ski at Serre-Chevalier as many times as you would dream of !!

All the best for you and your relatives in 2009 and enjoy 2009!
Talk to you soon!



Look at these beautiful bumps in the snow: it is the untouched space of the Smurf Village for the kids.

We were lucky to see it just before some early skiers left the first tracks on it.


Did you know…?

Catex, Gatex: are they kind of spy name codes?!

Not at all!

But the link between those strange words is the snow, or more exactly avalanches.
Ski resorts are located on slopes that can be dangerous. The resort managers often need to extend their skiable offer and to best secure ski slopes, they use two systems called Catex and Gatex, usually installed next to mountain tops or at the top of the concerned slope.

What is the functioning of the Catex system? (EXplosive Transport Cable)
In general, there is a cabin which constitutes the start of a network of pylons linked to each other by a cable. Explosive are trailed along the cables: when exploding , a huge amount of snow will slide down the slopes, avoiding the avalanches to slide down the slopes while skiers are on them.

What is the functioning of the Gazex system? (GAs EXplosive tube) ?

The final aim is the same, trigger avalanches before they hazardly do it by themselves. A big pipe is installed at the top of the concerned area: gas will be released and set to fire to trigger the avalanche. The Gazex system is generally used on very focused & sensitive areas i.e. when we know that there is always an avalanche in formation on a specific zone, due for example to weather conditions (wind, etc).

Artificers are working early in the morning to enable people to safely enjoy skiing later in the morning. Do you imagine a bit the long walk of these workers approaching risky sites? They need to walk or to ski, sometimes with snow at the level at the top of the thighs often in the fog. For their own safety, they are trained to be extremely cautious in their moves as the snow cover is unstable.
Until the snow remains unstable (fresh snow, persistent wind, etc) and the zone is not cleared, some ski areas of the resort need to be kept closed.

e sont artificiers qui opèrent le matin tôt pour nous permettre de skier le plus tôt possible. Mais vous imaginez la marche d'approche de ces sites dangereux ? avancer à pied ou à ski avec de la neige arrivant au ventre ou mi-cuisse, dans le brouillard ... et pour leur propre sécurité ils doivent prendre de nombreuses précautions, car ils évoluent sur un manteau neigeux instable.

So now you better ware of the snow avalanche techniques, you will be able to understand why you sometimes need to wait to access the slopes or to know what is happening when you hear detonation waves in the morning.



This picture was taken on the track on the Briançon resort to reach the Prorel gondola lift.


Saison 2008 / 2009


snow depth

15th December

15th January

15th February

15th March

15th April

** @ first ski lift level

70 cm

95 cm

- cm

- cm

- cm

** @ hight ski lift level

230 cm

215 cm

- cm

- cm

- cm

Last snow fall

15 décembre

7 janvier




Number of sunny days
(from 1st Jan. 2007)

250 days

14 days





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