Often during the summer season it is possible to spot climbers on their way up this face towards the summit of the Aiguille du Midi. From the top station (3,842m) the view of the Alps is incredible.
The top station of the Aiguille du Midi has several terraces where visitors can take in the spectacular views of the Swiss, French and Italian Alps. On a clear day it is possible to see the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and the Grand Combin.
An elevator inside the rock rises the final 42m to the top terrace at 3,842m. This is the closest you can get to the Mont Blanc without climbing. See the 2014 opening and closing times and dates for the Aiguille du Midi Cable Car.
You can also check here the summer and winter lift prices for the Aiguille du Midi, Montenvers Train and the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car to Point Helbronner. Watch here LIVE the webcams of Chamonix.net, all the webcams of the Chamonix Valley, including the Aiguille du Midi webcam.
The Plan de l'Aiguille at 2,354m
Plan de l'Aiguille (2,354m) is the mid station of the Aiguille du Midi cable car. It is an ideal starting point for all sorts of sports including off piste skiing in the winter season, and hiking, rock climbing, paragliding in the summer/autumn seasons.
A great day excursion is to walk from the Plan d'Aiguille to the Montenvers Train Station and Mer de Glace and take the train back down to Chamonix (or viceversa).
One of the Mont Blanc climbing itineraries (via the Grands Mulets refuge) starts here.
Aiguille du Midi Restaurants and Services
The restaurant at the top of the Aiguille du Midi is called the "3842" and is one of the highest restaurants in the world. Gourmet and regional food is on the menu. There is also a cafeteria and a snack bar. See more info on Aiguille du Midi restaurants.
The Aiguille du Midi has its own postage stamp and a letterbox. Postcards and stamps are available in the souvenir shops.
Panoramic Mont Blanc Cable Car
A further journey into the high mountain landscape surrounding the Aiguille du Midi can be made by the Panoramic Mont Blanc lift, which is the highest cable car traverse in the world, and which connects France and Italy during the summer months.
The 5km journey from the top station of the Aiguille de Midi to Point Helbronner crosses the Mont Blanc Massif. Count on two hours roundtrip from the summit of the Aiguille du Midi, 4-5 hours from the the bottom station in Chamonix. It is also possible to take another cable car down from Point Helbronner down into the La Palud area of Courmayeur, Italy.
Update: The cable car line from Chamonix to Le Palud area of Courmayeur is closed, due to renovation of the cable car on the Italian side of Mont Blanc. Instead, you can get to Courmayeur from Chamonix by bus. More info about the new cable car on the italian side of Mont Blanc can be found on this page. The opening of the new lift is hoped to be in May 2015.
History of the Aiguille du Midi Cable Car
The Aiguille du Midi lift was first thought of by two Swiss engineers in 1905. Their plan was to link the hamlet of Les Pelerins with the summit of l'Aiguille du Midi. The project met technical problems and was abandoned. Four years later a French company, Funicular Railways, made a new attempt and the first section Les Pelerins - La Para was opened in 1924.
The second section La Para - Les Glaciers was completed three years later. It was then the highest cable car in the world. With the outbreak of the WWII and the opening of the Planpraz to Brevent cable car, the popularity of the Aiguille du Midi diminished and it was closed in 1951. An Italian engineer Count Dino Lora Totino was called in to rebuild and extend the cable car.
Four years and a lot of hard work later, the new Aiguille du Midi cable car was finally completed. It was entirely renovated in 1991.