UKC

Access Restrictions on Mont Blanc extended to August 1st

Authorities in the Haute-Savoie region of France have extended the period of temporary access restriction to August 1st on the popular Goûter Route/Normal Route up Mont Blanc as a result of overcrowding. Only climbers with pre-booked accommodation at the Goûter hut will be permitted to attempt the route in an effort to resolve its overcrowding issue.

Mont Blanc - Gouter Route, 158 kb
Mont Blanc - Gouter Route
© Kamil Jutkiewicz, Sep 2012

The restrictions were initially proposed to be in place for a week, but will now be enforced until August 1st, according to a French news report. During this period, access to the summit of Mont Blanc via this route, beyond the Tête-Rousse Glacier, is only granted to those who can provide evidence of a reservation at the Goûter refuge. Details of the restriction is provided in French on the Goûter refuge website (PDF at top).

The hut's capacity of 120 climbers is frequently exceeded, posing 'safety and public order risks.' However, people without a reservation but who are 'in a state of distress' can be accommodated 'under the principle of solidarity in the mountains,' according to the PDF.

The mayor of St Gervais, Jean-Marc Peillex, has frequently intervened in activities on the mountain. Last year he imposed a minimum equipment by-law concerning climbers on the Goûter route, following a spate of deaths due to ill-preparedness. Mr Peillex has threatened closure of the refuge if measures are not taken to control the risks of overcrowding.



Forums 35 comments

Yeah, never quite "got" why people think Paris is that nice a destination.  Of the two Eurostar destinations Brussels is nicer, and if you move on to somewhere else in Belgium having arrived e.g. Antwerp it's nicer...
I think you underestimate the powers of the Gendarmes. I was turned back by the one on the Weisshorn only last week - just seeing it in the distance was enough! Also, many years ago, the Rimpfischhorn North ridge...
I think it's not allowed to camp near the Gouter. Not sure how far away from the hut this extends. You can camp in a designated area by the TR. I'm guessing that someong pushing for the summit from TR would start very...
Who says that avoiding cable cars and huts is illegal? It appears that a simple step is being taken to prevent inexperienced and ill-equipped people from relying on using a single hut on a single honeypot route when...
Incredible. And unfair. In all my trips to the Chamonix area I've never once stayed in a hut as they are expensive and I have very little money. Both times I've been up Mont Blanc we walked up from the valley, bivvied...
I can't remember the exact details but it was something like permission was given for the new refuge on condition the old one was removed. Then there was a complete turn around. Effectively providing another 100 or so...

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