Stellar Magazine has posted this article about efforts that are underway to clean up, and preserve Mount Blanc, one of the most iconic climbing and trekking sites in Europe, if not the world. It seems that with the influx of visitors, including tourists, climbers, and others, the amount of trash on the mountain has grown into an epidemic. Now, Jean-Marc Peillex, Mayor of the town of Saint-Gervais has put together a controversial plan. Peillex would like to see anyone who wishes to climb on the mountain have to first get a permit, and then trek with a guide. Surprisingly, main mountaineers have spoken out against the plan however, as they see it undermining the “spirit of the sport”.
It’s an interesting debate, and one that is sure to be creeping up in other locations around the planet. I’ve already read stories about the amount of trash on Everest, and of course we all know the issues that arose on the Inca Trail in Peru which forced the government there to take measures not unlike what Peillex is suggesting. Personally, I see both sides of the argument. We need to protect our most precious outdoor environments so that they will remain a place we want to visit and are around for future generations to explore. On the other hand, by requiring permits and guides, it does take away some of the adventure of exploring a place on our own.
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