Aiguille du Midi, France

I came across these pictures from my first trip to Chamonix Mont-Blanc about a decade ago and thought I would share them with you.

During that trip, I visited Aiguille du Midi – a 3,842-metre-tall (12,605 ft) peak in the Mont-Blanc Massif. It is reachable via cable car that holds the record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world – from 1,035 to 3,842 m (3,396 to 12,605 ft).

Back then, even though it was around the same time of the year, the weather wasn’t as predictable as this time around. After encountering some bad weather in the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland, I decided to get a two-day multi-pass so that I can go up anytime the weather turned favourable.

Below are my recollections:

The First Ascent

Weather has been a deciding factor for this trip. After being cloudy and rainy for the past couple of days, I woke up at 7am and caught a glimpse of the white peak, I just had to go check it out!

The lift up was bumpy – highest vertical ascent they say – but offers great close-up view of the Mont Blanc Massif.

The Plan d’Anguille stop overlooks the snow dusted ridge and the Chamonix valley below.

But once we reaches Aiguille du Midi, the Mont Blanc peak is nowhere to be seen.

It was -9 degrees celsius and snowing on the summit – Yes, snow, in the middle of July! We were accompanied by groups and groups of mountain climbers. All geared up and ready to go.

One by one they set out, past the sign of High Mountain Area.

I took a step forward and just happen to see the sheer drop of cliff on the side, the clouds made it look safer than it is. This is not for the faint of heart. 

The Second Ascent

When I asked for a two-day multi-pass for the Aiguille du Midi lift in the morning, the woman at the ticket counter told me that due to bad weather, I won’t be able to see much at the top. I told her as my luck would have it, and paid 70 euros for a two-day multi-pass.

So after I was done with Mer de Glace, I thought I would head back up and see what the mountain presents. I rode up with a group of mountain climbers. It was later in the day, there weren’t many people on top. The mountain was yet to be seen.

Staff cleanign the Step Into the Wild Skywalk posing for a shot

The climbers pulls out a ukulele and started singing. The air was chill but felt jovial as more people sang along. Even the Japanese tourists joined by clapping their hands.

All of a suddent, the sky started to clear, and for a minute we thought Mont Blanc would reveal itself…

It didn’t. We stayed till closing and took the last lift down. Everyone was giddy and exhilarated, remembrance of a good time!

The Third Ascent

The benefit of having a two day multi-pass, is tht you can ride as many time as you like. So after closely monitoring the Aiguille du Midi webcam, I headed up there for the third time. This time, the view was worth it!

Aiguille du Midi literally translates to “Needle of the mid-day” – When viewed from in front of the church in Chamonix, it indicates noon when the sun passes over its summit.

Et voilà – Mont Blanc!

Panaromic cable car to Pointe Helbronner, Italy

While the weather still held, I decided to Take the cable car crossing to Italy.

Due to the technical difficulties, I waited one and a half hours to get on the cable car. No picture can capture the thrill of this ride!

It was supposed to be a 15 minute ride one-way, but in reality it took almost an hour.

We started out under blazing sun as reflected by the massive snowfield with a splendid view of the white valley below.

Human ants
You don’t want to fall into this
Or this
Or these
Rope up!

Once we reached Pointe Helbronner(Italy), the weather deteriorated, and it started snowing (again, in mid-July), soon the visibility dropped to zero.

I felt lucky to be able to see the views in such a small time window.

Coming up next: Valencia, Spain – Arrival

17 thoughts on “Aiguille du Midi, France

  1. The climbers in the video look like they’re heading towards some kind of no-return doom. Your mention of the hidden cliff nearby confirmed I have no interest in this sort of thrill. The cable car rides look plenty adventurous enough for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an adventure that must have been… The photos and videos are excellent, and with the opening photo I can imagine you skiing down those slopes 🙂 You really got some great shots and a nice feeling of altitude, extremes, and a bit of danger.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Looking down into those crevasses, even just through your photos, gives me the heebie jeebies. I’ve not got a good head for heights when looking straight down! Glad it was third time lucky for you with the cable car up the Aiguille du Midi. Stunning views. I visited five and a half years ago, and it’s an experience I’ll never forget ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

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