www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-49563157 People have been leaving all manner of junk on the mountain, and a nearby mayor is irate. A former Royal Marine left a ROWING MACHINE on the mountain. Yes, it took strength and stamina to carry it up, but one would think that a professional soldier should have more common sense, just to save himself and his comrades... He was far from the only climber who should have known better.
I think the rowing machine story was blown completely out of proportion. This guy has apparently carried this rowing machine up and down three other European mountains already. He got stuck on Mont Blanc and asked if he could leave his rowing machine temporarily in one of the mountain shelters. He never "abandoned" it as a lot of the media reported, since he has every intention of taking it back down himself -- it only weighs 26 kilos.
Obviously, taking something like that up a mountain seems like a silly idea to all of us, but it was in support of a British military charity, which has offered to pay to retrieve it. Meanwhile the British ambassador has apologised. Much ado about nothing.
Meanwhile there is plenty of other junk on Mont Blanc that needs to be picked up. At the moment the melting glaciers are still spitting out stuff from 70 or 80 years ago, such as debris from the Air India Malabar Princess, which crashed in 1950.