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French mayor files complaint against US dad who scaled Mont Blanc with kids


A French mayor has lodged a formal complaint against a US dad and self-confessed “adrenaline junkie” who tried to scale Mont Blanc with his two children, aged nine and 11, and got caught in an avalanche.


Jean-Marc Peillex, mayor of the Saint-Gervais municipality in France that includes Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, was furious when climbing enthusiast Paul Sweeny went on US TV to talk about his exploits (see video below).

“It’s a demonstration of vanity and conceit pushed absolutely to the limit,” Peillex told reporters after seeing the lurid ABC news clip featuring Sweeny and his children, Shannon and Paul Junior.

After publicly blasting Sweeny over the weekend, Peillex went a step further on Monday. The mayor lodged a formal complaint with the local police against the mountain climber for "endangering the life of others", according to an official document posted on his Twitter account.

Sweeny, who told ABC he wanted to beat a world record by scaling the mountain with his children, failed to get to the summit after the avalanche.

But his appearance on mainstream American TV infuriated Mont Blanc officials fed up with irresponsible behavior on the mountain.

“Mont Blanc is for serious climbers,” said Peillex. “It isn’t a trek or a playground for record-breakers.

“Sweeny deserves a severe dressing-down for irresponsibly putting the lives of his two children in danger, not publicity on a major news channel.”

On July 8, Peillex made headlines after he refused to allow a Polish climber to be airlifted by helicopter off the mountain, because he was at a refuge and perfectly safe.

“We are not a taxi service,” he said.

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