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Friday, August 19, 2022

Climbing Mont Blanc. A deposit of 15,000 euros for a rescue operation and a funeral

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Those willing to climb Mont Blanc – the highest peak in the Alps – will have to pay 15,000 euros. The funds are to be earmarked for a possible rescue operation and funeral. This is the decision of the authorities of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains at the foot of the mountain, who complain about irresponsible “pseudo-mountaineers”.

A deposit will be required from climbers attempting to climb Mont Blanc via the popular eccentric route France, leading through the village of Gouter. Jean-Marc Peillex, mayor of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, called unprofessional attempts to reach the top “a game of Russian roulette”.

The guides suspended work on the route in mid-July due to rockfall, and local authorities have repeatedly advised against using this entrance. The intense, prolonged heatwave made the conditions on the mountain even more dangerous, reported the British daily Guardian.

Mont BlancShutterstock

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“In shorts, sneakers and straw hats”

In a statement posted on Twitter, Peillex wrote that many “pseudo-mountaineers” ignored the warnings. He cited the story of five tourists from Romaniawho tried to climb Mont Blanc “in shorts, sneakers and straw hats” and were turned back by the mountain rangers.

– People want to climb with death in backpacks. So let’s anticipate the cost of their rescue and burial, because it is unacceptable that French taxpayers pay the bill for them, Peillex said.

The safety debate on mountain expeditions intensified in Europe in early July, after 11 people died after a fragment of a glacier broke away from the Marmolada massif, the highest peak in the Italian Dolomites. After the accident, the mayors of nearby towns closed key entrances to the mountain massif for safety reasons, but there were climbers who tried to circumvent the ban.

Mont Blanc, 4807 m above sea level, also known as the Roof of Europe, is located on the Italian-French-Swiss border.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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