Little attentions to get to the top safely
The wait is finally over and the sensation is like a burst of new life, a note reverberating through the air: after all these weeks down in the valley it is finally time to look at things from a different viewpoint again and put everything back into perspective. To do so, we need to go back up, right to the top, up there where the air is rare and you see the world differently, up there where everything takes on a different weight, a different feel. And going up so high at this moment in time poses a challenge to us as individuals and collectively.
The whole of Italy is striving to get back up. An entire country must be driven upwards. Most of humankind, in fact, needs lifting up again. And Skyway Monte Bianco is well aware of this. Because the philosophy of ascending has always been the deep-rooted reason behind each thought and every decision, especially during difficult times.
This rising up, taking up on high is the philosophy of Skyway Monte Bianco. And it is thanks to this mindset that every explorer, in choosing Skyway Monte Bianco, becomes a Skynaut. Skynauts respond to the call of the Great Mountain, namely that primordial instinct that, in times of difficulty, attracts humans to the most secret, magical, holy places on earth. Skynauts feel that their best part, that spark inside of them, is kindled and expands the closer they come to the sky. But above all, Skynauts know that at the base of every undertaking lies safety, in the form of details, minutiae indispensable for reaching the top.
A safe ascent.
Skyway Monte Bianco has been taking Skynauts up to the sky from Courmayeur for seventy years, from the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest point in Italy, and back. And many things, like safety, are now a part of its very being.
It was natural for us therefore, to reorganise our ascent to ensure it meets the necessary measures called for by the current situation, with care and discretion however, in order not to spoil the pureness and appeal of this experience. We have called this action Skysafe and it is a collective gesture, a group effort that involves both the Mont Blanc Family and Skynauts.
Before we could go back up, the first, fundamental step was training for our collaborators, so that each member of the Mont Blanc Family is, when necessary, a resource for the others. This means everyone has received specific training and an individual, personalised safety and disinfecting kit. Everyone has also had a serological test and temperatures are taken every day. Because those who lead the way must not only give the example for their companions, they must also be able to work in safety.
Skynauts must also be able to ascend in complete safety and to make their experience even more exciting, each stage of the journey has been rethought with due care.
To avoid crowding and queues at the ticket offices, for the entire summer tickets will only available online, booking is obligatory and, unlike in the past, free of charge. On the day, all Skynauts have to do is arrive wearing surgical face masks, which must be worn for the duration of their time at Skyway Monte Bianco.
Maximum capacity of the cable car will be reduced by a third, enabling everyone to keep the minimum safety distance apart and, at the same time, admire the breath-taking views from the huge windows.
Arriving at the third and last station, visitors will be allowed to spend a maximum of an hour and a half at Pointe Helbronner | The Sky. This will give them plenty of time to admire the scenery from the 360° Observatory as their eyes take in the surrounding peaks and there are no time limits back down at the intermediate Pavillon station. The only Skynauts who will not have to observe the time limit at Pointe Helbronner are climbers and those with an alpine lunch voucher. Even if the Alpine Buffet will, unfortunately, remain closed during the reopening phase, those who book will be able to enjoy a unique lunch in the Panoramic Bistro, a chance to taste typical Valle d’Aosta products at 3,500 metres above sea level.
In any case, any vouchers already purchased or purchased now online will be valid, even after their expiry date, until November 2021.
To guarantee maximum cleanliness and the necessary levels of sanitisation, not all the areas in the stations will be open to the public. For this reason, Skynauts will be asked to follow the marked routes, not to stop in some areas and to respect the descent time in their booking.
We know. This reopening is a very delicate moment. Personal responsibility and attention to the safety of all must dictate everything we do. It will be up to the single individual to make the difference over the upcoming months. But while humans slow down, the Alpine summer never stops to rest. In fact, the arrival of summer will bring new attractions to Skyway Monte Bianco…
The responsible Skynauts’ guide
Rediscovering the joy of the great mountain means being in a condition to fully enjoy the ascent and, at the same time, respect others. This is why responsible Skynauts follow these rules:
- They do not use the cable car if they have symptoms of acute respiratory infection or if their temperature is higher than 37.5°C.
- They make sure to arrive 15 minutes before their departure time with their online ticket (we suggest not printing it as an eco-friendly gesture) and come back down from Pointe Helbronner at the time shown in their online booking.
- They bring a protective surgical face mask with them and wear it over mouth and nose for the duration of their Skyway Monte Bianco experience.
- They follow the signage and routes marked at the stations.
- They sanitise their hands frequently, especially before getting into the cabin and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
- They use their own smartphone to access the restaurant menu via the QR code.
- They notify Skyway Monte Bianco staff if they have any symptoms of respiratory infection such as a cough, a temperature or a cold.
- They do not forget their exceptional experience on Mont Blanc and turn it into an opportunity to be the best example of themselves. They discover the secret of the Great Mountain and take it with them forever. They hold onto it like an important resource that they can draw on when needed.
On our way back up, again.
Skyway Monte Bianco has observed the mountain for so many years as a guest, a custodian and a friend. It knows it up close, from every angle. It has talked with it, studied it and, after all this time, has learnt something. It has understood that, even when everything seems to have changed, even when we seem to have lost our way, going back up to that place on the edge of the sky may truly make the difference.
In a word, this is the start of a new chapter and we are ready to tackle it, to take Italy up on high, to its highest point.