The Mayor of St Gervais and councillor for the Mont Blanc area, Jean-Marc Peillex has signed an arrêté municipale (local by-law) enforcing a minimum equipment and clothing list to be adhered to by anyone attempting the mountain via its popular Goûter Route, with immediate effect.
In the by-law, the Mayor states that his actions are due to the 'irresponsibility' of some ill-prepared climbers attempting Mont Blanc. Translated from the document released on Facebook, he wrote:
'In spite of efforts by mountain professionals in convincing certain climbers that Mont Blanc cannot be summited as easily as a small hill, in spite of the media coverage revolving around stories of irresponsible behaviour, nothing can be done and fatal accidents have become more and more frequent due to carelessness and the strong urge to achieve a goal.'
The Mayor's decision has been catalysed by a spate of deaths, accidents and disappearances on the mountain this summer, the majority of which have been on the Goûter route, which Mr Peillex threatened to close entirely last year.
According to the arrêté municipal, 20,000 people visit Mont Blanc each summer on average, with between 350-400 people attempting the mountain every day, via the different routes.
Information regarding the policing of the equipment list is yet to be released. Questions have also been raised on social media concerning the logistics of enforcing the by-law.
Kilian Jornet responded on Twitter...'So if you climb from the Italian side, this is legal?'
Bref, si on grimpe coté italien c'est legal? 😅😅 pic.twitter.com/o3krX1gZU8— kilian jornet (@kilianj) August 17, 2017