Summit of Mont Blanc. Wikimedia photo.
As more and more climbers attempt to scale the world’s highest peaks, overcrowding is becoming a prominent issue. With over 20,000 climbers each year, Mont Blanc is no exception. As a result, French authorities just enacted a new restriction for those attempting to scale the highest peak in Western Europe. According to CNN, every climber pursuing Mont Blanc by the standard route, which typically includes at least one overnight stay, must book a room in one of the mountain shelters. Those who break this rule by camping illegally could face a two-year prison sentence and a €300,000 ($335,000) fine.
Previously, the shelters on Mont Blanc have struggled with sanitation and security due to overcrowding. The ban is an effort to prevent such issues moving forward. The new restriction also comes in wake of recent fatalities on Mount Everest that resulted from traffic jams near the summit. As concern heightens about overcrowding on these coveted mountaintops, only time will tell what other regulations will arise to protect the well-being of both the climbers and the mountains.
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