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Aiguille du Midi 3842m - Chamonix Mont-Blanc, France

summit of the Aiguille du Midi 3842m

The Aiguille du Midi is a 3842m peak in the Mont Blanc massif of the French Alps. This is the closest you can get to the summit of Mont-Blanc without hiking or climbing.

The Aiguille du Midi is the highest mountain peak served by an aerial lift system. The name translates literally to "Needle of the Mid-day". The mountain lies to the south-east of Chamonix and when viewed from in front of the church it indicates that it is noon when the sun passes over its summit.

The Aiguille du Midi is an extremely popular attraction with nearly half a million visitors per year. It is open all year round, except for the annual maintenance period in November (that can vary around two or three weeks) and during extremely bad weather conditions. 

The Aiguille du Midi is an ideal starting point of the Three Monts route to ascend Mont-Blanc. The intermediate point, Plan de l'Aiguille (2,317m), is the mid station of the Aiguille du Midi cable car and is an access point for off piste skiing and ski touring in the winter season, hiking, rock climbing, paragliding in the spring, summer and 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).

The Aiguille du Midi Cable Car - Journey, Prices, Dates

The Aiguille du Midi cable car leaves from the centre of Chamonix Town (1035m) up to the summit of the Aiguile du Midi (3842m). You can see here the Aiguille du Midi Cable Car opening closing dates and times and summer - winter prices for the Aiguille du Midi lift, Montenvers train and the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car to Point Helbronner. 

It is a two-stage journey. The first leg brings visitors to the Plan de l'Aiguille (2,317m). The second stage,without any support pillar, traverses Les Pelerins glacier before rising up the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi at the top station (3778m). A footbridge connects the cable car top station with the Central Piton terrace. An elevator inside the rock rises the visitor the final 42metres to the top terrace at an altitude of 3,842metres.

From the terraces of the Aiguille du Midi, there is a departure point for the Panoramic Mont Blanc cable car, the highest cable car in the world, which connects France to Italy. The 5km journey goes across the Mont Blanc Massif, from the Aiguille du Midi to Point Helbronner. From Point Helbronner, the Funivie cable car line descends into the La Palud area of Courmayeur, Italy. Rebuilt and re-opened in 2015, the Italian top station is a nice place to visit, with a sunny terrace with 360 degree views of the Mont Blanc massif, and a different perspective of the mountains. 

The Aiguille du Midi cable car holds the world record for the highest vertical ascent: 2807m (from 1035m to 3842m). This is the closest you can get to the Mont Blanc on a lift system. From here, there is no cable car to the summit of Mont Blanc.

The Aiguille du Midi Complex - Restaurants and Services

The station of the Aiguille du Midi has several terraces where visitors can take in the spectacular views of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.

Among other peaks, Dome du Gouter (4304m), Refuge Vallot (4362m), Mont Maudit (4465 m), Mont Blanc du Tacul (4248m) and, of course, the summit of Mont Blanc (4810m) can be seen.

On a clear day, it is possible to see the Matterhorn (4478m), the Monte Rosa (4634m) and the Grand Combin (4314m). 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.