A mayor in an area of the French Alps which is a gateway to Mont Blanc has said he plans to fine climbers attempting to scale the mountain without proper outdoor gear such as crampons and ropes.
Exasperated by a series of accidents on western Europe's highest peak involving ill-equipped tourists, mayor Jean-Marc Peillex has issued a local regulation mandating mountaineering equipment.
The most popular route to scale the 4,810-metre (15,780-feet) mountain, known as the "voie royale", runs through Peillex's Saint-Gervais district.
The threat of a fine -- set to be modest 38 euros (44 dollars) -- was needed because thrill-seeking visitors "have refused to listen to the warnings," Peillex told AFP on Thursday.
The new rule, which will be translated into English and Russian and displayed publicly, requires climbers to have a hat, a waterproof mountain jacket, boots, crampons and equipment needed to escape from crevices.
Peillex is hoping police will enforce the law to send a message to others.
Mountain rescue teams were searching for a 46-year-old man who went missing after attempting to climb the mountain on Tuesday, apparently with no equipment.
Local authorities also stopped a couple from Hungary trying to take their nine-year-old twins towards the summit.