French mayor demands €15,000 fee to climb Mont Blanc

A French mayor says conditions on Mont Blanc are now so dangerous that climbers will have to pay a €15,000 (£12,640; $15,370) deposit to cover rescue and possible funeral costs.

Jean-Marc Peillex is mayor of Saint-Gervais, a village at the foot of Western Europe’s highest mountain, whose summit is at 4,807m (15,774ft).

Those who ignored warnings and took the Goûter route up the mountain were playing “Russian roulette”, he said.

The heatwave has increased rockfalls.

Mayor Peillex said the average cost of a rescue on the mountain was €10,000 and funeral costs were €5,000. “It is unacceptable for the French taxpayer to cover those costs,” he said in a press release.

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