Where it is located
The Mont Blanc cable car concerns the Mont Blanc massif, from the Italian side of Courmayeur to the French side of Chamonix (or vice versa).
Mont Blanc is a unique case in all of Europe. In fact, it is not a single mountain nor a simple chain of peaks lined up side by side.
On the contrary, it is a huge mountainous massif, consisting of several chains of peaks that delimit large glacial valleys. The largest of these glacial valleys, called Vallée Blanche, is dug in the center of the massif, forming two mighty bastions on either side that overlook each other. On its descent, the glacial valley continues with the meandering mass of the Mer de Glace.
What is it about
The Mont Blanc cable-car system allows you to ascend the massif of the Mont Blanc from the Italian side departing from the village of Entreves getting to “Punta Helbronner” (3466 mt) with a intermediate stop at “Pontal-Le Pavillon” (2173 mt). This is the Italian span called The SkyWay. From there you can continue on a separate cable-way flying horizontally over the the great glacial valley of the “Vallée Blanche” that includes the “Glacier Miage” and the “Glacier Géant” and get to the “Aiguille du Midi” (3842 mt), on the French side of the massif. From there it goes another cable way that reaches Chamonix, in France.
How it works
The Mont Blanc Cable Car is a large Italian-French cable car system. From a practical point of view, it is divided into three parts, the first and third part of which divided into two segments.
Segment 1: SKYWAY
From Entreves to Point Helbronner Route: Entreves (1306 mt) – Pontal-Le Pavillon (2173 mt) – Point Helbronner (3466 mt) – The Skyway is completely in Italian territory. The journey takes place from Entrèves, a hamlet of Courmayeur, to Point Helbronner, with one half-way stop at Pontal-Le Pavillon (2173 mt).
Segment 2: TELECABINE PANORAMIC MONT-BLANC
From Point Helbronner to Aguille du Midi Route: Point Helbronner (3466 mt) – Aiguille du Midi (3842 mt) – The Télécabine Panoramic Mont-Blanc, in French territory, is a long slightly uphill traverse from Punta Helbronner to Aiguille du Midi, flying over the Vallée Blanche in a single huge span suspended on the glaciers. Elevator within Aguille du Midi Station – A lift connects the Télécabine Panoramic Mont-Blanc Station (3842 mt) with the Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi Station (3777 mt)
Segment 3: TELEPHERIQUE DE L’AIGUILLE DU MIDI
From Aguille du Midi to Chamonix Route: Aiguille du Midi Station (3777 mt) – Plan de l’Aiguille (2317 mt) – Chamonix (1035 mt) – The Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi, in French territory, goes from Aiguille du Midi to Chamonix with one half-way stop at Plan de l’Aiguille.
Note: Of course this itinerary can be followed in either directions stopping at any of the stations.
When is operating
The service works all year round, except on November and a few days in May when the Skyway is closed for maintenance. During Summer season (from the end of June to the beginning of September) the first departure is at 6:30 am, from both sides Italian and French, and the last departure is at 5:00 pm. During this period, all sections of the cable car are in operation, including the crossing over the glaciers. In the Winter season, the first departure is at 8:30 am, from both sides, and the last one at 4:20 pm. Note that in the winter only sections 1 and 3 are in operation, while the crossing over the glaciers is suspended.
To whom it is indicated
The route does not require particular physical efforts. It is, therefore, an experience for everyone: for adults, children and older adults. In order to feel at ease at the elevation that can be reached by the cable-car system it is important to be in good health. Indeed the high altitude could not be indicated for people suffering from cardio-circulatory issues and/or respiratory diseases. Also, it is not recommendable the ascent for children under 3 years of age. If you hold any concern about your security of the plant, load-bearing cables and trusses are checked regularly and precisely. cabins leave and arrive without tugging and at the slightest danger of turbulence or storm at high altitude, the affected part of the system is stopped.
What is so extraordinary about it
There is no such circumstance, in all of Europe, to experience the sensation of being completely surrounded by rocks and ice. The spectacle is so overwhelming as to amaze even those who have climbed those peaks and glacial valleys on foot, with crampons, ice axes and ropes. At the beginning, you rise up over crests and pinnacles, surrounded by walls and tongues of ice. During the crossing, you will fly over huge glaciers and gigantic seracs, such as the Gigante glacier and the Mer de Glace, where you can see rope teams of mountaineers. All around, famous peaks rise often more than 4000 meters high: Dente del Gigante, Tour Ronde, Mont Maudit, Grand Capucin, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Aiguille du Midi. Further away the Mont Blanc on one side, the Grandes Jorasses, the Aiguille Verte and the Dru on the other. Then, during the descent towards Chamonix, you can contemplate the white cap of Mont Blanc to the west and the jagged array of the Aiguilles de Chamonix to the east. What else to add? As already mentioned, the itinerary allows for various solutions, each one recommended: the choice of whether to travel only one stretch or make the entire crossing depends on many factors: the weather conditions, the time available, costs involved. Perhaps the most exciting part is the intermediate one, where you experience the unique sensation of being enveloped by the mountain to the fullest. But also the ascent on the brand new Skyway and the superb views enjoyed from Punta Helbronner are such as to greatly satisfy any expectation. For those who choose to make a stop at the Pavillon, a visit to the Saussurea Alpine Botanical Garden is highly recommended. It is an opportunity to admire rare endemic species of plants and splendid crystals from the area. In addition, from the Pavillon, it is possible to take a 75 minuts hike up to the scenic viewpoint on the Brenva glacier.
Hotel Aigle - The ideal starting point for your excursions
The Hotel Aigle is the ideal base for ascending Mont Blanc with the Skyway. The locality of Pontal, starting point of the cable car, is an offshoot of Entrèves and can be found at 700 mt from the hotel. Therefore, it can be reached in a few minutes on foot without necessarily using the car. At our hotel you will find all the information material to plan your escursions.
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