Sunday, June 5, 2011
World's Highest Cable Car [powerpoint]
The Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m) is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps.
The cable car to the summit, the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi, was built in 1955 and held the title of the world's highest cable car for about two decades. It still holds the record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world, from 1035m to 3842m. It travels from Chamonix to the top of the Aiguille du Midi – an altitude gain of over 2,800 m – in 20 minutes.
The Aiguille summit contains a panoramic viewing platform, a cafe and a gift shop. The Vallée Blanche ski run begins here, and the nearby Cosmiques Refuge is the starting point for one of the routes to the Mont Blanc summit. From the Aiguille another cable car (summer months only) crosses the Glacier de Geant to Point Helbronner (3,452 m) at the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif. Point Helbronner is served with a cable car from La Palud, a village near Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley (Italy).