France to impose daily cap of 214 climbers on Mont Blanc
Mountains France to impose daily cap of 214 climbers on Mont Blanc
Rockfall a growing risk as high temperatures thaw ground at higher altitudes
France will impose a daily cap of 214 climbers on Mont Blanc next year, one of several measures taken to limit overcrowding on one of Europeâs highest peaks.
âItâs a tough decision but a very good one, because Mont Blanc is a climb unlike any other. You have to be prepared, â said Jean-Marc Peillex, mayor of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, the Alpine town where the most popular route to the top of the mountain begins.
More than 300 people have attempted to climb the mountain each day this summer season despite the growing risk of rockfall, as high temperatures thaw more ground at higher altitudes. At least 16 have died so far this year, though just one has occurred on the busy âroyal routeâ.
Police this summer began requiring aspiring climbers to have a reservation at one of the refuges on the route before letting them proceed. Peillex said he was considering the creation of a âsnow brigadeâ of officers to enforce the new rules.Climate change is melting the French Alps, say mountaineers Read more
Officials say the scramble to summit the 4,810-metre peak has caused tensions among climbers, some of whom are ill-prepared (wearing trainers, for example) or unfamiliar with mountaineering etiquette. Peillex reported a tourist setting up a tent at the very top of the mountain.
Skirmishes have been reported among climbers jostling for position on key sections of the trail, while fake guides have also been found leading tourists up.
The new limits were announced after a series of meetings over the weekend between local officials, Franceâs mountain police brigade, the French mountaineering federation and guide associations.Topics
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