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Gouter Rockfall - the facts

During mid afternoon of 24 August there was a significant rockfall in the Grand Couloir on the Mont Blanc "normal route".
This follows a sustained period of warm weather with freezing levels above 4000m for several days and nights.

A BMG guide who was near the couloir doing a reconnaissance at the time described the size as "totally unbelievable. Blocks were flying past us as we sprinted into the campground above the Tete Rousse hut".

A team of geologists are inspecting the site to determine its stability. In the meantime the Chamonix and St Gervais guides have suspended ascents of Mont Blanc until the weather cools down.

The Office de Haute Montagne described the route as "fortement déconseillé". This translates to "I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole if I were you."

However, there is no formal closure of the route and the Tete Rousse hut remains open.

According to the PGHM there were no fatalities and one injury. However, they advise waiting until the weather cools down before attempting Mont Blanc by this route.

The Chamonix weather forecast predicts a lowering of the freezing level from 4000m to 2400m during the night of 26-27 August.