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French mayor wants Mont Blanc climbers to pay €15,000 rescue and funeral deposit

(CNN) — Anyone wanting to summit Europe’s tallest peak, Mont Blanc, might quickly have to put up a €15,000 (about $15,300) deposit to cowl potential rescue and funeral prices beneath plans introduced by an area mayor fed up with the “contempt” of risk-taking climbers.

Jean-Marc Peillex, mayor of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, a city on the French aspect, says too many unqualified climbers are playing with their lives on the mountain, the place current scorching climate has made situations extra treacherous.

“The municipality of Saint-Gervais plans to take measures adapted to the irresponsibility of some and the risks they make rescuers run,” Peillex mentioned in a press release on Twitter.

According to the mayor, the €15,000 deposit corresponds to the “average cost of a rescue (€10,000) and to the funeral costs of a victim (€5,000).”

“It is unacceptable that it is the French taxpayer who bears these costs,” Peillex mentioned, including that those that make the climb now achieve this “with death in their backpack.”

‘Russian routlette’

Due to the “extremely dangerous” situations alongside the Couloir du Goûter — a very difficult part also called the Corridor of Death — Peillex mentioned reaching the summit of Mont Blanc by way of a preferred path often known as the Voie Royale, or Royal Way, was strictly suggested towards.

Climbing Mont Blanc has been made riskier by massive rockfalls and a interval of drought and warmth waves, he added.

The mayor accused round 50 “pseudo-mountain-climbers” who traversed the route in July of “playing the latest fashionable game: Russian roulette!”

His assertion mentioned gendarmes in a helicopter used a megaphone to make a gaggle of Romanian hikers flip again from an try to summit Mont Blanc utilizing a megaphone on July 30.

On the Italian aspect of the mountain, the mayor of the ski resort city of Courmayeur, Roberto Rota, has described Peillex’s deposit plan as “surreal.”

In feedback confirmed by his press workplace, Rota informed the day by day Corriere della Sera that “the mountain is not a 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,” he mentioned. “The decision to close a path, a route, is made if there is an objective risk.”

Top picture credit score: Philippe Desmazes/AFP by way of Getty Images

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