The best cable car ride in the world

The best cable car ride in the world

When you are in Chamonix whether you are walking Mont Blanc or not you must make a trip up the Aiguille du Midi, the highest point accessible by cable car in the Chamonix Valley, then keep going all the way to Italy.

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Aiguille du Midi is the highest point in the alps that can be reached by cable car.

Get yourself to the base station of the Aiguille du Midi cable car in the centre of Chamonix early in the morning (as it’s a popular attraction and the queues can grow as the day progresses) and buy yourself a ticket all the way to Italy.

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These large cable cars get you to Aiguille de Midi stopping at Plan de l’ Aiguille on route.

You’ll start your journey in a cable car originally constructed in 1955. They’re large and can fit a couple of dozen people in so try to get near the back or the front so you can appreciate the magnificent views, however the glass is badly scratched (presumably by skiers) so not good for photos but don’t stress – there are many more photo opportunities. Twenty minutes later you’ll arrive at a height of 3,842 metres on the summit terrace with a view of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps.

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This is the sort of view you’ll see every time you turn your head.

Your initial reaction will be WOW because you will be surrounded by so many peaks it’s incomprehensible. There’s a lot to see and learn from identifying the mountains to stepping out into a reinforced glass box suspended out over a 1000 metre precipice.

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“Step into the Void” on Aiguille du Midi. A glass room allows visitors a unique experience … too scary for me!

Earlier this year a new steel gallery measuring 32 metres was finished so people could make the full rotation of the central peak of the Aiguille du Midi.

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The structure built on Aiguille du Midi has multiple viewing platforms allowing great views from all angles.
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Very cool, but I did think the piles looked a bit shaky!

But this is not all.

In the summer months, when the weather is fine, like the beautiful day we had, continue on in a smaller cable car to Helbronner in Italy on the Mont Blanc Panoramic.

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These small cable cars take you for Aiguille du Midi to Italy.

These little cars seat just four people and travel for five kilometres (30 minutes) over the Geant Glacier with spectacular view of the crazy mountaineers. Below us we could see numerous groups of roped climbers, dodging the crevasses and making their way uphill.

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Mountaineers roped together cutting new tracks in the snow.
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This looks like a diaster waiting to happen!
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This diagram shows the transport up the mountains to Aiguille du Midi, along the Telecabine Panoramic Mont- Blanc to Italy and the Skyway to the Italian town of Courmayeur.

Arriving at Helbronner, Italy the Italians have excelled building a multi-level building with viewing platforms and a restaurant so the views can be admired from every angle. In this modern and chic facility there is the 360 degree Terrace, a Crystal Room with a collection of jewels found on the mountain over many years, the Mont Blanc Room with immense glass walls making the mountains seem even closer as well as Bistrot Des Glaciers, a modern restaurant and bar.

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This is the view down to Courmayeur in Italy.

To this facility the Italians have added the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Skyway, opened in May 2015. It is a cable car with rotating cabins, providing 360 degree views as it takes you to the valley floor of Courmayeur, Italy.

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A magnificent day in the most beautiful mountains.

 

Jane Jeffries

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  1. September 01, 2016, 7:53 am

    […] Chamonix – If you haven’t already been to Chamonix in France it’s only a 90-minute drive from Geneva through the picturesque Arve Valley. From there you can enjoy a day skiing in the winter, a walk in the stunning mountains in the summer, view the highest peak in the alps, Mont Blanc or enjoy a trip in a cable car up the Aiguile du Midi and across to Italy, if the weather allows. Highly recommended, read more …‘The best cable car ride in the world’ […]

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