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A LONG WEEKEND IN THE FRENCH ALPS

September 24, 2020 | Chamonix, France | By Whitney Hubbell

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Day One: Aguille Du Midi

Day Two: Mountain Bike Ride & Chairlift to Beer Tasting

Day Three: Train to the Glacier & Picnic 

DAY ONE: AGUILLE DU MIDI

The number one activity that cannot be missed is Aguille du Midi. You’ll want to have this experience on a clear day so you can actually see the sights once you’ve reached the top. So make sure to check the weather, and plan your weekend around going here on a clear day. In general, weather in the alps during summertime is usually wonderful, but quick thunderstorms in the afternoon are not out of the norm. But this experience is definitely not one to miss so make sure you have a full day dedicated to it.

 

Trying to explain this experience is difficult because there’s nothing quite like it. Even as we were in the moment we were attempting to describe the indescribable, the construction seems impossible like it’s out of a movie. The closest thing we came up with was likening it to an epic opening scene of a James Bond chase scene or a much larger, more amazing Dr. Evil’s lair. 

THE PANORAMIC TRAM

Go to the ticket office in downtown Chamonix to buy a cablecar ticket, they will tell you what times are available for departure. We had about an hour to kill before our departure so I went into one of the million outdoor stores to buy hiking shoes and then headed to a souvenir store while the rest of the group went to the Saturday outdoor market - which missing that was a regrettable decision so try to hit up the market before your tram departure.


Entering the tram line was an interesting experience during times of COVID because we all social distanced in the line but then were packed in closer than a can of sardines, squished up against strangers felt very wrong and uncomfortable but the views were distracting enough. If you don’t muscle your way in ahead of everyone, you’ll spend the 20 minute ‘panoramic’ tram ride staring at the back of a strangers head. Don’t fret though, you’ll have plenty of life-changing views once you’ve reached the top.

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MOST VERT FEET IN THE WORLD

This tram climbs more vertical feet than any other in the world. You disembark at Aguille Du Midi which is the halfway point. Here you will find a little restaurant which offers small sandwiches and beer, and the summit is the starting point for hikes around the summit. 

12,605 FEET 

You will exit at the halfway point, Aguille Du Midi and take a second cablecar to reach the top (you won't need an additional ticket). The second tram takes you to the summit of Aguille du Midi. You will be at 12,605 feet once you reach the top so make sure to bring a jacket. We went in July and I wore leggings and a sweater but had to borrow Bre's puffy jacket at the top. I saw a couple people in shorts with goose bumped legs so I would definitely recommend preparing for experience as you will be outside for at least a couple hours.

 

Once you get to the top, we went to the deck where there is a little snack bar and checked out the views which were absolutely stunning. I’ve never been that high before and couldn’t believe how different of a perspective it is to see the tallest mountains from a birds eye view- almost like you're in a plane or helicopter. 

 

But to our absolute shock, the experience kept getting more and more impressive. The structure, architecture and construction is mind-blowing in itself, thinking back on it I still can’t believe man was able to create something like that. 

 

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12,605 FEET 

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HOW TO SPEND A LONG WEEKEND IN CHAMONIX: DAY 2

You will exit at the halfway point, Aguille Du Midi and take a second cablecar to reach the top (you won't need an additional ticket). The second tram takes you to the summit of Aguille du Midi. You will be at 12,605 feet once you reach the top so make sure to bring a jacket. We went in July and I wore leggings and a sweater but had to borrow Bre's puffy jacket at the top. I saw a couple people in shorts with goose bumped legs so I would definitely recommend preparing for experience as you will be outside for at least a couple hours.

 

Once you get to the top, we went to the deck where there is a little snack bar and checked out the views which were absolutely stunning. I’ve never been that high before and couldn’t believe how different of a perspective it is to see the tallest mountains from a birds eye view- almost like you're in a plane or helicopter. 

 

But to our absolute shock, the experience kept getting more and more impressive. The structure, architecture and construction is mind-blowing in itself, thinking back on it I still can’t believe man was able to create something like that.