Richard Branson forced to aim for cover during Mont Blanc climb
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The highest mountain in Western Europe, Mont Blanc is the world’s most dangerous natural wonder, according to research by Holidu. Plans to make the huge mountain safer for climbers have been slammed by experienced mountaineers.
Around three quarters of all climbers take the same route to the summit of Mont Blanc in the Alps.
However in spring a new crevasse, thought to be caused by global warming, opened up on the Bosses ridge on the normal route.
Officials have placed four iron stakes on the ridge to help climbers to cross the dangerous crevasse.
However, an experienced Alpine mountaineer, Christophe Profit, 61, made headlines for removing two of the stakes.
He said: “These anchors invite the uninitiated to take an itinerary that has become very steep and dangerous after the appearance of crevasses. It’s misleading.”
Many locals feel that the mountain is being transformed into a commercial tourist activity and selling tourist packages to visitors with no experience.
They believe that measures should be taken to put off novice climbers and to preserve Mont Blanc for only the most experienced.
According to Holidu’s research, around 100 die per year attempting the deadly Mont Blanc climb.
Alpine Mag, a French mountaineering website, said “useless” tourists needed to be put off the climb.
Profit said that real climbers should be able to find their way around the crevasse and a new route.
The mayor of Saint-Gervais, a town close to Mont Blanc, said: “The people who go up Mont Blanc don’t all know the dangers.
“We can’t tell them to go off and die. The crevasse could lead to fatal accidents. I don’t want to be signing death certificates.”
Alpine guides recently stopped taking tourists up Mont Blanc’s normal route due to an increase in rock falls.
The incidents are thought to have been caused by climate change just like the new crevasse.
The mayor of Saint-Gervais expressed concern that inexperienced climbers would attempt the route anyway.
He said: “A true mountaineer will climb the mountain when the mountain lets them do it.”
Mont Blanc should only be attempted by the most experienced of climbers as there is a high risk of avalanches, falls and medical complications.
The mountain is the highest in the Alps and around 200 people try to reach the summit each day in summer.
Meanwhile, the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, was found to be the most dangerous natural wonder in the UK.
There are around three deaths on Ben Nevis each year and can be very dangerous in bad conditions.
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