The Aiguille du Midi cable car ride will take your breath away – literally! From Chamonix village at 1,035m, visitors are whisked up to 3842m in 20 minutes. This is about the same height as New Zealand’s Aoraki Mt Cook. It is the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world.
For many of us who are not alpinists, this will be the highest altitude we will ever reach (except in a plane, of course!). And the experience is worth it. There are 360 degree views of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps, a view of Mt Blanc massif, and a wonderful scene looking down the valley to Chamonix.
It is truly a feat of French engineering. There are two sections of the ride, the first is to mid station, and the second is up to top station. The cable between the mid and top stations, incredibly, has no pillar support.
At this height, however, having reached it so quickly, climbing a few steps can be very tiring. These photos were taken in September 2006.
The bridge leads from the top station to a rock with an internal elevator, which goes the last 42m to the top terrace.