ANGER AS CLIMBERS LAND PLANE ON MONT BLANC
20th June 2019
Last modified on February 19th, 2020
Two mountaineers have been pursued by police after landing their plane less than 400 metres from the Mont Blanc summit.
The two Swiss men landed the small aircraft at 4,450 metres on Tuesday before heading up to the top of Europe’s tallest peak in the French Alps.
It’s understood that a helicopter of the Chamonix high mountain police (PGHM) was flying in the area and saw the aircraft on the east face of Mont Blanc.
One of the gendarmes was lowered from the helicoper and went after the the climbers.
Officials said the area was not an authorised landing zone.
The two mountaineers, who were equipped with ropes and crampons, were stopped and asked their identity then told to turn back.
The Mayor of Chamonix, Eric Fournier, has reacted furiously.
“This unprecedented behaviour is strictly inadmissible,” he said in a statement.
“It constitutes an intolerable attack on the high mountain environment and all the existing protective measures.”
Monsieur Fournier thanked the PGHM for intervening and said he hope it would dissuade others from “this kind of provocation”.
It’s not clear whether the mountaineers will face any further action.