Old Goûter Refuge: four conditions for the renovation project


Friday 2nd February 2018, Nicolas Hulot the Minister of Ecological Transition, gave the green light to the rehabilitation project of the old Goûter refuge (3,817m).

According to France Bleu, the Minister stipulates 4 conditions:

  • The renovation of the old Goûter Refuge will be possible with the destruction of the annex, with less architectural and heritage value, therefore the visibility on the ridge is more important.
  • The total reception capacity (old and new refuge) should not exceed 140 places, in accordance with the prescription established in 2008 during the authorization of construction of the new refuge of Goûter, in order to limit the anthropization and to control the frequentation of this emblematic and touristic high mountain area.
  • The functions currently assigned to the annex will be integrated into the old refuge (volume collection, winter refuge), with a concerted management of the evacuation supervision in the event of a disaster in one of the refuges.
  • The old refuge will include the necessary volume for the storage of the rescue equipment of the High Mountain Gendarmerie Platoon (PGHM) in order to facilitate interventions with climbers in danger.
Old Goûter Refuge (3,817m). Photo source: @www.francebleu.fr/
Old Goûter Refuge (3,817m)

The Mayor of Saint Gervais denounces the imposed conditions

It is the issue of maximum capacity that irritates Jean-Marc Peillex, the Mayor of Saint-Gervais.

"140 places maximum!" There are 120 in the new refuge so that means 20 places in the old refuge. To be profitable, the minimum is 35 places. There, it makes economically and technically this project. Thank you Mr Hulot to have made a good Parisian and technocratic decision as we dislike them in the Pays du Mont-Blanc, I would have preferred the minister to say I am against it rather than to take such an ambiguous and unachievable decision".

"It makes a pretty good decision on paper but makes rehabilitation impossible", added the mayor of Saint-Gervais.

According to Radio Mont Blanc, the mayor also denounces the destruction of the annex which today serves as an emergency shelter and for winter at the new Goûter Refuge. This is also where rescuers store their equipment. Its destruction would require the transfer of all these activities.

In the coming weeks, the mayor should still file the building permit for the rehabilitation of the old refuge. But with a project of 35 places, above the limit set by Nicolas Hulot. The permit is still far from being settled.

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