According to the Village Guides company, “tourism professionals” must adapt to the new weather conditions in the mountains: “the hut keepers who must be able to open earlier and a little later in the season, when the conditions become good.” Article written by Published on 08/05/2022 20:29 Updated on 08/05/2022 20:49 Reading time: 2 min. The mayor of Saint-Gervais “is totally right” to close the Tête Rousse and Goûter refuges, which notably allow the ascent of Mont-Blanc, according to the president of the company of Guides du village, Olivier Bégain. While the risk of massive rock falls due to high temperatures represents a mortal danger, the high mountain guide protests to still see people in the mountains while the guides have been avoiding the massif for three weeks. franceinfo: Do you agree with the mayor’s decision to close the two main refuges allowing access to Mont-Blanc? Olivier Bégain: He is completely right. But we haven’t been going up to the Refuge du Goûter for three weeks – there is already no guide on site, and attendance has remained high. The people who were going up weren’t necessarily at the level of the race: afterwards they had to be rescued, so it was a good decision that the mayor made. The majority of people who are still in the mountains are mountaineers who climbed without a guide because we took the necessary steps early enough to avoid accidents: it’s up to guides, we adapt and other ways are suggested. Have you ever experienced such a closure? We have already experienced closures, notably in 2003, but they were very sporadic and exceptional. There, it will be a month that we avoid the sector while we stayed for a week or ten days maximum before. The economic impact is significant for professionals: in our company, Mont Blanc represents 70% of our activity. But it’s not just up to us to adapt, all tourism professionals must: the ski lifts (necessary to climb the massif), the refuge keepers who must be able to open earlier and a little later in the season, when the conditions become good again, for example. We can even consider ascents of Mont-Blanc in winter, which the equipment now allows without problem. What are your recommendations? We advise people to come and see us: whether they decide to go with a guide or not, our door is always open to come and discuss the conditions, that we explain to them what is good and not so good, what are the risks. The problem is that we absolutely do not see all the people who are currently in the mountains and who are often ill-prepared and ill-equipped. It can’t go on like this. Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share by email Share link
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