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Want to get to Europe's tallest peak? You may be asked for a funeral deposit

Mont Blanc is sometimes called an easy ascent but weather conditions are making the climb increasingly treacherous.

August 05, 2022 / 02:10 PM IST
Mont Blanc in Europe.

Mont Blanc in Europe.

Tired of inexperienced climbers risking their lives to scale Mont Blanc, a French mayor has revealed plans to make them submit a hefty deposit to cover rescue and funeral costs, CNN reported.

Jean-Marc Peillex, the mayor of French town Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, wants climbers to pay 15,000 euros before journeying on to Europe's tallest peak.

In a statement in French, posted on Twitter, Peillex said the average cost to rescue a climber added up to 10,000, while a funeral would cost 5,000 euros.

He added that it was unfair to expect French taxpayers to bear these expenses.

“People want to climb with death in their backpacks,” he was quoted as saying by The Guardian.“So let’s anticipate the cost of having to rescue them, and for their burial."

Peillex explained how weather-related changes had made climbing Mont Blanc more dangerous.


Reaching the peak has been made so difficult by drought, rockfalls and heatwaves access only the experienced climbers complete the undertaking, news agency AFP reported.

Earlier 100 to 120 climbers could reach the summit each day but now the numbers have been reduced to 12 to 20,  Olivier Grebert, the president of the Compagnie des guides de Chamonix, the world's oldest and biggest association of guides, told the news agency.

Mont Blanc is situated along the French-Italian border and extends into Switzerland.

Administrators on the Italian side are unhappy with the French mayor's plans. They said the mountain is not anyone's property.

"We, as administrators, can limit ourselves to reporting sub-optimal routes' conditions, but asking for a deposit to climb to the top is surreal," Roberto Rota, the mayor of ski resort town Courmayeur, said, according to CNN. "The decision to close a path, a route, is made if there is an objective risk.

(With inputs from AFP)

Moneycontrol News
first published: Aug 5, 2022 02:07 pm
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