Aiguille du Midi – superb cable car trip in the French Alps

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.

Ascending through the mist

Mid station

Unloading at mid station

View from top station

View from top station


Climbers setting out from the cable car station

The bridge leads from the top station to a rock with an internal elevator, which goes the last 42m to the top terrace.

The top terrace, at 3842m

Aiguille du Midi top station and terrace. Photo by Michel Caplain at http://geo.hmg.inpg.fr/caplain/

Chamonix Village, partially hidden by valley cloud

Chamonix after the cloud has lifted, taken from the top station

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7 thoughts on “Aiguille du Midi – superb cable car trip in the French Alps

  1. Breathtaking pictures of this magnificent area just a few hours away from my home on the other side of the border (canton of Valais, Switzerland). There is a little mountain train leaving Martigny/Switzerland and leading you to Chamonix/France. Sometimes frightening views but always spectacular. Just a short part of the journey in Autumn for you :

    • Thank you for the amazing train ride! We took the rack and pinion train to Mer De Glac, a very enjoyable trip while on the way to see the ice sculptures. We also visited your beautiful country while staying In Chamonix, but only Geneva and Lausanne. We hope to return one day!

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