Concern expressed by French Alpine Club (FFCAM) over number of mountaineers who arrive at the Refuge du Goûter on Mont Blanc without reservations

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The Refuge du Goûter on Mont Blanc which opened in 2013 is now being plauged by the problem of climbers who don’t book reservations in advance (Photo: FFCAM for UIAA)

Saint-Gervais (Haute-Savoie), 6 August, 2014: The French Federation of Alpine and Mountain Clubs (FFCAM) is concerned about a steady rise in the number of mountaineers en route to the summit of Mont Blanc who arrive at the Refuge du Goûter without prior reservations for the night.

Refuge wardens say they have seen a daily increase in mountaineers who arrive at the shelter which is located at an altitude of 3,835 metres before the last stage to climbing the summit of the Mont Blanc.

The shelter opened in 2013 can only hold 120 people which mean there are increasingly more and more times when everyone’s demands cannot be met. FFCAM must follow accommodation, safety and evacuation rules in the event of danger and it is not possible to take on more guests than the number the Refuge was designed for.

Every year 20,000 people attempt the climb to the Mont Blanc with up to 400 daily departures over the summer months and this requires that mountaineers who wish to climb the mountain must adhere better to the rules.

FFCAM which manages the Refuge du Goûter will organise a meeting on this subject with local authorities, professionals and mountaineers in the hope of finding a long-term solutions to reduce the problem of mountaineers who embark on this popular route to the Mont Blanc and do not book beforehand for a night at the shelter.

The issue is important because FFCAM supports the fundamental value of Mont Blanc being an area of total liberty. Yet there is the need to remind climbers that they must undertake the challenge of climbing the mountain while respecting rules which ensure both individual and collective safety.

Raymond Courtial, Vice Chairman of FFCAM says “enough is enough” and “mountaineers need to take responsibility.”

“They need to comply with the rules and it is up to each individual to plan ahead and reserve a place online at:,”said Courtial.

The problem has persisted despite a compulsory reservation system set up when the shelter opened and preventive action taken by the high mountain police force (PGHM) at the Tête Rousse and the creation of a website for information

Please contact FFCAM press contact Alexandre Bérard for more information:

Tel. 06 08 61 36 97