Storm Eleanor passed over the Alps last week and brought with it winds of up to 220km/h and huge amounts of snow. This caused significant frost and ice build up on the hanging pylon above Col de Flambeaux, damaging the bearer cable.
The Compagnie du Mont Blanc have issued a statement warning skiers and mountaineers to take special care in the areas under the cable. Parts of the gondola system are on the glacier and with continuing adverse weather there is still risk of further damage. Teams are working as fast as the weather will allow to stabilise the equipment and clear any debris.
Areas in which to take special are the upper part of the Classic Vallée Blanche, the Gros Rognon Variant, and the whole area covered by the Gros Rognon, Col des Flambeaux and Pointe Helbronner. Currently, conditions in the high mountains are dangerous, with an avalanche risk of 4/5 and continuing poor weather. The high winds have also made the build up or lack of snow bridges particularly difficult to track. If you do venture into the high mountains it is strongly advised you go with a qualified mountain guide.
The Panoramic lift does not usually run during the winter, so this does not affect current lift openings. How this will affect the summer opening remains to be seen.