Tignes
File photo: Northern side of Mont Blanc in Tignes, southeastern FranceLoic Venance/AFP

The mayor of a town popular for those taking on Europe's highest peak has said that climbers who do not have the proper equipment for scaling Mont Blanc will face fines.

The mountain has seen a rash of incidents, including deaths, which may have been avoided if those involved had the required gear for attempting such treacherous climbs.

Jean-Marc Peillex, the mayor of Saint-Gervais, issued the local decree on Thursday (17 August) as rescue services continued to search for a missing 46-year-old who was thought to have attempted the climb without adequate equipment.

According to AFP, mountaineers will be required to have equipment for escaping from crevices, along with crampons, a hat, waterproof jacket and boots. Signs in different languages will be posted notifying budding climbers of the new rules.

The mayor has asked for help enforcing the law from local police, Paris Match reported, as otherwise he worries that the signs may not be taken seriously.

The rules are hoped to deter those like the Hungarian couple recently stopped who wanted to take their nine-year-old twins on the climb with them. On Twitter, Peillex said the decree was "in memory of those who who had been dragged into the bowls of Mont Blanc by the madness of a few".

Peillex has been vocally opposed to reckless people on the mountain in the past too. When an American father almost lost his children, aged nine and 11, on the mountain while attempting to break a world record for the youngest climbers, Peillex told Le Figaro: "If he were French he would also deserve [to have] his children taken away from him".