French mayor slates UK man who left rowing machine on Mont Blanc


A mayor in the French alps has urged Emmanuel Macron to take action against “wackos” climbing Mont Blanc, after incidents including a British tourist abandoning a rowing machine on western Europe’s highest peak. Jean-Marc Peillex, mayor of Saint-Gervais, who for years has sounded the alarm against overcrowding on Mont Blanc, said a member of the British “Royal Commandos”, thought to mean the Royal Marines, hauled up the exercise machine for a stunt on Saturday.

But he did not have the strength to bring it back down and left it in an emergency hut situated at 4,362 metres (14,300 feet). The man gave his name as Disney, said Peillex in an open letter published on Sunday, adding “with a name like that, you’d think he thought he was at an amusement park”.

Also over the weekend, he said, a German tourist made the ascent with his dog, despite warnings not to do so from police brigades who patrol Mont Blanc during the busy summer season. He had promised he would leave his dog at a refuge before attempting the summit, said Peillex.

Instead, he left in the middle of the night for the summit with the dog, which survived but returned with bloodied paws, according to photos posted on Peillex’s Twitter account. The incidents over the weekend came after two Swiss climbers landed a small plane east of Mont Blanc’s summit in June and started hiking to the top.(TheGuardian)…[+]