Two Swiss climbers illegally land plane near the Mont-Blanc summit


On Tuesday, the 18th of June 2019, two Swiss mountaineers have landed a small plane less than 400 metres (1,312-foot) from the summit of Mont-Blanc.

After landing the plane, the Swiss men attempted to climb the top of Mont-Blanc.

However, the PGHM of Chamonix prevented them from doing so, as they landed the plane in an unauthorised landing zone.

Mont Blanc in summer, the biggest peak of the Alps
View from the summit of Mont Blanc

Were they too lazy to climb Mont-Blanc by the alpine route?

On Tuesday, the 18th of June 2019, late morning, the PGHM of Chamonix were in a helicopter surveillance mission aboard Choucas 74 when they saw the landed tourist plane.

The Swiss had landed their small plane illegally within 400 meters of the summit of Mont Blanc, at 4,550 m above sea level between the Wall of the Coast and the upper Red Rocks, in the municipality of Chamonix.

According to The Guardian, the two Swiss climbers were equipped with ropes and crampons and they had already started climbing towards the summit of Mont-Blanc when the PGHM of Chamonix intercepted and asked them to return.

"Unprecedented provocation", says Eric Fournier, the mayor of Chamonix

"It is an intolerable attack on the high mountain environment and all existing protection measures", continues Eric Fournier.

The mayor of Chamonix supports the PGHM to intervene and take actions to discourage this kind of behaviour from happening again.

According to Le Dauphine, The Mayor of Saint-Gervais, Jean-Marc Peillex, was deeply irritated: "As long as these people want to continue to challenge the rules with their money, the mountain will be unlivable. It is shameful. And if it's a provocation, let them do it in their Swiss mountains!"

"Unprecedented" means that Lt Col Stephane Bozon has trouble in establishing the exact offence

Le Dauphine says that this offence is so rare that Colonel Bozon is still researching the legislation to make sure they establish the right penalty.

"The prefecture first confirmed to us that it was a forbidden landing zone. [...] Then, we identified that it was a violation of the environmental code, but probably also a violation of the rules of civil aviation.", declared Lt Col Bozon.