Mandatory Permit to Climb Mont Blanc from 2019

 
 

"Permanent restrictions" are to be imposed for the busiest route of Mont Blanc, "Voie Royale". It is said to be the least difficult route and, therefore, the one that concentrates up to 75% of the climbs. However, most of the tourists do not consider the perils that they are exposed to.

The number of people who die attempting to climb the Great Mountain is increasing every year. Only this summer, 16 people have died.

This happens because the adventurers seem not to understand the vital importance of wearing adequate equipment. Moreover, many tourists do not even book a place in a refuge.

Jean-Marc Peillex, the mayor of Saint-Gervais, has been trying to impose security rules, to overcome tragic events.

For several years now, he has been fighting for implementing mandatory proper gear and licenses for those who want to explore the highest peak of Europe.

Mont Blanc is the highest massif of Western Europe. That is why it attracts a lot of people, many of them free-spirit adventurers. They do not take into consideration the dangers that exists, although guides warn them.

“One guide was punched for not stopping to let climbers pass his group, a bunch of Eastern Europeans stayed in a refuge without booking and left without paying, and to cap it all, gendarmes had to turn away a group of Latvians trying to carry up a 10 m-long mast and flag to plant on the summit,”, Peillex stated. He also talks about a certain respect to the "White Mountain", calling his fight a “crusade to restore the mountain’s nobility”.

image: 
Tourists on Mont Blanc, photo taken from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/adventure/adventure-blog/rights-exempt/files/2013/07/climb-mont-blanc-2.ngsversion.1526677070675.adapt.1900.1.jpg
Massif Mont Blanc, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Mont Blanc adventure

As a result, he welcomed the decision by regional state authorities after a meeting with mountain police, the French mountaineering federation and guides.

Starting next summer, in 2019, a license will be necessary to climb the Voie Royale, atop Mont Blanc.

In order to solve the problem with overcrowded refuges, pre-booking will be mandatory. The daily capacity of three refuges along the Royal Route will be combined.

Climbers without guides must pick up a “free” permit from the tourism office to prove they have a bona fide place in a refuge on a given day and a "White Brigade" will be created to enforce the new rules, as reported by The Telegraph.

A first, fixed checkpoint will be installed at the arrival of the Mont-Blanc Tramway in the "Nid d'Aigle" sector.

This brigade will also be required to patrol the entire Voie Royale. This will be financed by the introduction of an “ecotax” (between €10 and €12 per person), that would be included either in the price of a night in a shelter or in the price of a race.

The sanctions for those who will not own such a license are not well set yet, but they should be “really dissuasive”, said Jean-Marc Peillex, the mayor of Saint Gervais. A fine of €135 is not excluded.

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