Avid climbers who wish to conquer Mont Blanc may not only be physically exhausted by the end of the journey but also financially exhausted at the front leg of the journey.
Mayor Jean-Marc Peillex of Saint-Gervais is insisting that mountaineers put in a €15,000 (US$15,277) deposit to pay for their own rescue mission and funeral. The statement was announced via a tweet on his account.
— Jean-Marc PEILLEX (@PEILLEX) August 3, 2022
The hefty fee is due to the worsening conditions of the mountain from global warming, which is currently making it hard for even the most experienced climbers to make it to the summit.
As per the BBC, on Mont Blanc’s official website, it was even noted that mountain guides are now refusing to bring climbers up the famous Goûter Route from Saint-Germaine or from the Alpine resort of Chamonix.
Climate change has caused the Alps to see unprecedented amounts of snow being lost, resulting in perilous rockfalls, some of which were deemed dangerous enough to kill people in their path.
Peillex justified with the BBC that the deposit is put out there mainly to scare people away from climbing the mountain. According to him, the caution of landslides has not been enough to deter amateur climbers from the route.
More than 70 people tried to climb the mountain just this past Thursday, and the number keeps rising with each day. On average, only a dozen to 20 of the most skilled mountaineers are able to get to the summit nowadays, as compared to almost 120 in the past.
And so, if some advice wasn’t good enough to stop them, he thought he might as well tack on an enormous price involving their own funeral preparations to curtail even the most valiant of travelers.
While it currently isn’t a law, he has the power to make it one if people do not abide by his call for safety. Mayor Peillex, however, does not have the right to close the Goûter Route to the public.
[via BBC and Independent UK, cover image via Calin Tatu / Adobe Stock]