The Petzl Foundation is sponsoring scientific research to decrease risks on the normal route to Mont-Blanc. The Mont-Blanc rising to 4,809 meters is the highest peak in the Alps. It is also one of the deadliest summits in the world. To conquer the summit, the mountaineers must go to the “Grand couloir du Goûter” unavoidable on the normal route. It was dubbed, not without cause, the death couloir. Particularly dangerous because of the frequent rockfalls the death couloir and the Goûter edge were the scene of 102 mortal incidents between 1990 and 2017, nearly 4 deaths yearly.
This research is gathering data on when rockfall and avalanches occur along with weather, snow conditions and other data to help identify the highest risk times to help mountaineers make the best choices about when to traverse “the Death Couloir.”