The Mont Blanc massif and the Aiguilles
The Mont Blanc massif and the Aiguilles Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Reviews
The Mont Blanc massif and the Aiguilles Jul 31, 2013
The Mont Blanc massif, the aiguilles (the needles) and Mont Blanc itself is the highest, largest massif and mountain in the whole of alps and the european union as well.
Mont Blanc, the highest peak - standing tall above the rest at 4,810 m (15,781 ft) rises dramatically almost 4kms from the valley floor from the town of chamonix-mont-blanc (1000m) and with subpeaks such as mont blanc du tacul, mont maudit, dôme du goûter (which all could be seen from chamonix) are no lower than 4200 meters - these, together with mont blanc forms the heaviest glaciated area of the peaks of the massif.
the area is around 645 km2 with deep valleys, thick glaciers (mer de glace, glacier d'argentiere, glacier du tour, glacier des bossons, vallee blanche etc), ice caves, waterfalls, crags, ancient forests and huge amount of human activity as this area is famous for mountaineers, rock climbers and trekkers. the unusual landscape of the mont blanc massif (aside from mont blanc) are the mountain peaks of the aiguilles (needles). they are sharp spires that rises dramatically towards the sky. examples are aiguille du dru, aiguille du midi, aiguille de la republique and many many many more.
the mont blanc massif is also home to the 2 of the six great north faces of the alps: aiguille du dru and les grandes jorasses - so named because of the difficulty scaling the north face because of its great height from the base.
the activities to do here seems endless, so many tour operators caters to:
- mont blanc expedition (climbing and tour du mont blanc)
- panorama helicopter rides across the massif
- guided hiking and trekking
- and many more from the operators.
*but actually the hikes and the trekks - you can do it alone withouth guides, its very easy because the trails are easily marked and you can get trail maps of the mont blanc massif and the aiguilles rouges from the tourist center in chamonix.*
the easiest and fastest way to experience being in the middle of the massif itself is through the cable car of aiguille du midi 3,842 m (12,605 ft) (Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi) the highest of the aiguilles facing chamonix and one of the highest cable cars in the world. it would take you as closest to mont blanc as possible and if you buy the combi ticket (78 euros) to pointe helbronner, italy - also called the panorama view of mont blanc at 3,462 m (11,358 ft) - it would take you across the high altitude glacier of glacier du géant and the beautiful spires and peaks that you could not see from the chamonix valley and beyond. aiguille du midi is also a stop off point for mountaineers who wants the easy way to mont blanc and to the refuge des cosmiques at 3613m, the first hut before scaling mont blanc.
another cable car view is at le brévent mountain (just opposite aiguille du midi) at 2,525 m (8,284 ft) - it would give you the whole panorama of the north faces of peaks of the mont blanc massif and they are also seem close to touch.
to be able to easily access the drus, ice caves, mer de glace and les grandes jorasses - take the mountain train to montenvers (1900m) from the center of chamonix.
chamonix-mont-blanc doenst have a mountain village atmosphere, as its busy town full of tourists from all over the world and you'd be side by side with serious trekkers and mountaineers with ice axes and crampons, but the experience around the massif and up there into the highest peaks are worth every effort.
to be able to get to chamonix - the closest is geneva international airport and from there book a shuttle bus and you'd be less than two hours to chamonix.
Part of the an unforgetable journey across the EUROPEAN ALPS travel blog
Part of the list a guide to the EUROPEAN ALPS.
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