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French mountain resident wants 1911 photos of others enjoying the summit

A cyclist has come up with a plan to use social media to shame the person who has reportedly stolen the sign marking the summit of Mont Ventoux.

Alban Klein responded to reports last month that the sign had gone missing, with a social media campaign and a hashtag #touchepasamontventoux (don’t touch Mont Ventoux).

He aims to collect 1911 photos of the sign taken by cyclists and says it will shame the thief.

1911 is the height in metres of the summit, and is shown on the sign.

“This sign is part of ramblers’ heritage”, Klein, who lives on the mountain, told the Connexion.

“Everyone has their photo taken with it’”.

“[The social media campaign] won’t get the sign back, but it will make whoever stole it feel guilty”.

 

We reported in March how the sign, which provided a backdrop for photographs of cyclists and walkers who have conquered the ascent, was plastered in stickers left there by those who have climbed the mountain.

French trail running champion Sandra Martin noticed the sign had gone and said that it was “outrageous and sacrilegious” that it had been stolen.

She blamed the disappearance of the sign on a “Ventoux fetishist” who would have taken the sign “to put it up in their living room or above their bed.”

Luc Reynard, mayor of Bedoin, the village at the foot of the climb suspected that workers from the Vaucluse department may be responsible.

“I don’t really know what to make of it,” he said, “but surely it has to be them. A fortnight ago, I was at a meeting with the head of the departmental estate management section. Their services must have removed the sign to replace it with a new one that had the true altitude measured in June by the Vaucluse surveyors’ society."

That height will reportedly be shown as 1,897 metres rather than the 1,911 on the sign that has vanished – the difference being that the former is the highest altitude that the road reaches, while the latter is the summit itself. Searching online for an image of the sign suggests that it is regularly replaced, and that the official altitude of the summit keeps being revised.

One previous version of the sign, pictured above, gives the summit’s height as 1,910 metres another one shows it as 1,912 metres.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.