The Aiguille du Midi Cable Car
The Aiguille du Midi cable car leaves from the centre of Chamonix. It is a journey of two stages. The first brings visitors to the Plan de l'Aiguille (2300m). The second stage traverses Les Pelerins glacier before rising up the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi.
Often in summer time it is possible to spot climbers on their way up this face towards the summit of the Aiguille du Midi. From the top station (at 3842m) 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, Monta Rosa and the Grand Combin.
An elevator inside the rock rises the final 42m to the top terrace at 3842m. This is the closest you can get to the Mont Blanc without climbing.
Check here for the dates and times of the Aiguille du Midi Cable Car!
You can also check here the lift prices for the Aiguille du Midi, the Montenvers Train and the Panoramic Mont Blanc to Point Helbronner.
History of the Aiguille du Midi Cable Car in Chamonix at 3482m
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.
The Plan de l'Aiguille at 2354m
Plan de l'Aiguille (2354) 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, climbing, and 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 vice versa).
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. The Aiguille du Midi has its own postage stamp and a letterbox. Postcards and stamps are available in the souvenir shops.
More info on Aiguille du Midi Restaurants here.
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.
The 5 km 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.