French Mayor Says Climbers Should Pay €15,000 Deposit to Ascend Mont Blanc
6th August 2022
Last modified on August 7th, 2022
The Major of Saint-Gervais, Jean-Marc Peillex, says it is needed to cover possible rescue and funeral expenses. Saint-Gervais sits at the base Western Europe’s highest mountain. UPDATED
Conditions have deteriorated this summer on Mont Blanc with melting ice and an increasing number of rockfalls.
Already some routes up the 4,807m mountain have been closed by the authorities.
Mayor Peillex said the average cost of a rescue on the mountain was €10,000 and funeral costs were €5,000.
“It is unacceptable for the French taxpayer to cover those costs,” he said.
He has not yet issued a legal ruling on the proposed deposit, but he has the power to impose it.
See more here:
— Jean-Marc PEILLEX (@PEILLEX) August 3, 2022
Mountain guides have stopped taking climbers on the popular Gouter route from Saint-Gervais or Chamonix.
More than 100 people have died on the Gouter Route in the past 20 years.
Mayor Peillex criticised some “pseudo climbers” who insisted on attempting the climb “with death in their backpacks”.
He told the BBC “I wanted to make people react, to understand that today it’s very dangerous, almost suicidal to go up”.
The mountain refuges at Goûter and Tête Rousse have been closed due to rockfalls.
There was a major rockfall on Thursday that would have killed anyone in its path.
There has been some reaction to the proposal from Mayor Peillex on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:
Earlier this summer 11 people died in the Dolomites in Italy when there was a partial collapse of a glacier on the Marmolada mountain.
It was likely caused by climate change and warming temperatures.
At the end of July group of Romanians were spotted on Mont Blanc wearing shorts, trainers and straw hats.
A police helicopter was despatched, and the group was ordered back down the mountain.
In most years there are hundreds of rescues in the area with several dozen deaths.
- Italy declares state of emergency over drought
- Glaciers around the world melting faster due to increasing climate change
- Fresh warnings on alpine snow levels
- State of emergency set to be declared in Italy as drought worsens
- Everest base camp set to move due to climate change
- Austrian glaciers set to melt by end of the century
- Skiing, snowboarding and sustainability