Last weekend the new cable car top station at the Helbronner opened to the public, after 2 or 3 years of work, on the Italian/French border in the Mont Blanc massif. Today I took the Panoramic gondola over from the Aiguille du Midi to check it out.
The new top station building is pretty modern looking, with lots of shiny glass and metal, and some nice wood finish. There is a café/bar, and a nice sunny panoramic terrace, like at the old top station, but it is more spacious. It seems more relaxed than the Aiguille du Midi for the moment.
There is an elevator down into the mountain, and a tunnel, in order to access the Refuge Torino, and currently to access the glacier, as they are still rebuilding the higher glacier access.
The cable car is supposed to revolve, for an extra panoramic view. I didn't take it down into the Italian side, as it required a seperate ticket, but it looks pretty smooth, and has a capacity of 70 people or so.
Photos by Steve Baldwin "Snow Tales & Powder Trails"