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Fake guide nabbed by French flics
Posted: 23 May 2007 11:35 PM  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

A “fake” Polish guide has been arrested by the Gendarmerie after abandonning two of his clients at the Tete Rouse refuge (3167m) during a climb of Mont-Blanc. A group of four made contact with the guide via the Internet and paid 1500 euros for the trip. After being left buy the guide two of the group were apparently able to make it down to the valley but the other two, exhausted, had to summon the rescue services (who were not best pleased) by using a distress beacon in the refuge.

Regional paper the Dauphine Libere <DL: 21st May 2007 > has a long report but uses it to beat its familiar anti-English drum conflating the Polishman pretending to be a high mountain guide with British Tour Operators who employ staff to orient guests around ski pistes. In fairness it is a long time I’ve lived in Chamonix but relations seem to have soured further since the local Tourism director M. Prud’homme called on the “English” to go home.

Although the UIAGM certification is the gold standard in Europe it should be noted that in many countries, including Eastern Europe, Turkey and Canada, local guides operate with no or lower qualifications. Groups frequently talk of leaving their “guides” on the mountain while they continue to the summit, but these are experienced mountaineers for whom the guide is a more a liason officer in the sense of the pre-war Himalyan expeditions. For the Polish left on Mont-Blanc it was altogether a more serious proposition. Their “guide” has been summoned before the Bonneville court on the 18th of June although the police don’t think he’ll turn up despite Poland now being part of the EU.

[ Edited: 23 May 2007 11:45 PM by davidof]
Posted: 24 May 2007 11:06 PM   [ # 1 ]  
Total Posts:  18
Joined  2003-10-26

Outrageous and dangerous. Still, why didn’t they choose a French guide?  big surprise

Posted: 28 June 2007 09:56 PM   [ # 2 ]  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

Slavomir Radzivowski, the Polish fake guide was in court today (yes he did turn up) and got a six month suspended sentence and a 5000 euro fine. The judgement will be displayed over the summer at the Chamonix tourist office. In his defence Radzivowski claimed that he never passed himself off as a professional guide, just someone who agreed to help a group to the summit of Mont Blanc in return for covering his expenses.

Gilles Claret-Tournier for the mountain guides association said that Radzivowski had placed the group in danger by his route choice and actions. There was over a meter of fresh snow on the route when the Gendarmerie rescued two members of the group from the TĂȘte Rousse refuge at 3167 meters.

Sounds like a good powder day grin

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