Compagnie du Mont Blanc has issued a press release following Tuesday's fire at Le Grands Montets ski area:
'In the early afternoon of Tuesday 11th September, a fire broke out during work to repair the roofing of the upper station of the 1st cable-car between Argentière & Lognan (Les Grands Montets ski area). This work was entrusted to a specialist sub-contractor.
The fire spread almost instantaneously throughout all the buildings of the arrival station, creating severe damage to the infrastructures of the two cable-cars.
Of the eight cables which equip the two sections of the cable-car, five gave way as a result of the heat generated by the fire causing one cabin at the top of the Grands Montets to plunge onto the glacier below, the second cabin being immobilised on its bearer cables.
As far as the lower section between Argentière & Lognan is concerned, one cabin is retained by its bearer cable & the other by the tractor cable.
The investigations will continue during the coming days before the reconstruction work may begin, work which will take a good number of months.
To face up to this new ordeal, the teams at the Grands Montets with the backing of all the staff of the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc, will make every effort to permit visitors & partners to access the two cables car of the Grands Montets ski area as soon as possible.'
You can hear the man with the clipboard pausing before he says 'hmm not going to be cheap'.
t's not been a great year for CMB with the top section of the Aiguille du Midi lift - from Plan de l'Aiguille to the Midi - closing for repairs in May before reopening for the summer. The, in August, it was announced that the top lift would be closed again due to the same cable fault occurring. CMB issued a statement to the effect that the lift will re open in December following a cable replacement
Finally, the Panoramic Mont Blanc lift remains closed following significant cable damage from storm Eleanor. The 30 mm diameter carrying cable was severed in two places by the strong winds that blew up to 250 kilometers/hour.