Rockfall Hits Popular Alpine Route

Mont Blanc tramway partially closed


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Climbers are shying away from the Voie Royale, Mount Blanc’s most popular route, in the aftermath of a massive rockfall last week that has left the Couloir du Goûter dangerous and unstable. The fall occurred on Wednesday after days of dry conditions and above-average temperatures loosened blocks of rock. A guide for British Mountain Guides who was reconnoitering the couloir when the slide occurred called it “totally unbelievable. Blocks were flying past us as we sprinted into the campground.” France’s Office de Haute Montagne, which oversees mountaineering on the peak, classified the Voie Royale as “fortement déconseillé,” or “strongly discouraged,” although it is not formally closed. The rockfall also shut down part of the Mont Blanc Tramway; that closure is expected to continue until 2013.