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. Often in summer time it is possible to
spot climbers on their way up this face towards the summit of the
Aiguille. From the top station (3842m) the view of the Alps is
top station 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, Mont 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
Aiguille du Midi cable car 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
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 closed 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.
In 10 minutes you will go from 1030 metres to 2317 metres, travelling
over the forest. To the right, you will be able to admire the Mont-Blanc
massif and the summit of Mont-Blanc (4810 metres) and, lower down, the
glacier des Bossons. To the left, at the back, the Aiguille verte, Les
Drus, the Aiguilles de Chamonix. When you arrive at the Plan de
l'Aiguille, you will change cabins.
speed : 10 m/s
3 pylons in line
2500 m between stations
75 passengers per cabin
A 40 mm diameter haulage cable.
In 10 minutes, you will reach an altitude of 3777 metres. To your right,
the old Col du Midi cable-car line. Facing you, the seracs and terminal
spur of the Glacier des Pèlerins, the suspended glaciers and the north
face of the Aiguille du Midi.
span between the two stations which are 2867 m apart.
65 passengers per cabin
A 46 mm diameter haulage cable.
epic history of the
Aiguille du Midi cable
1905 : two Swiss engineers, Feldmann and Srub,
devise a plan to connect the hamlet of Les Pèlerins to the summit of
the Aiguille du Midi, thanks to a combination of a funicular railway and
: the Compagnie Française des Funiculaires takes up and modifies the
: the first section - Les Pèlerins-La Para – is opened, and in 1927
the second section - La Para - Les Glaciers – is inaugurated. At the
time, this funicular railway was the highest in the world.
: the war and the opening of the
Planpraz-Brévent cable-car got the better of the funicular railway
which is closed to the public. An Italian engineer, Count Monte Dino
Lora Totino, is asked to devise a new plan.
: the first section of the current route is inaugurated. The second
section, with a difference in level of 1500 m without any pylons, is an
unprecedented achievement. 30 mountain guides from Aosta and Chamonix
will take two days to hoist a cable 1700 m long and weighing over a
tonne to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi.
: the cable-car is completed and the
work on the "Panoramic" cable-car begins. It will be put into
service in 1958.