Aiguille du Midi

Aiguille du Midi (in summer)

Aiguille du Midi (right) and Dôme du Goûter (far left)

The Aiguille du Midi ( 3842 m) is a rocky outpost in the Mont Blanc massif south of Chamonix and dominates the city center around 2800 m. The summit area is accessible by a cable car for tourism and is one of the most popular vantage points on the highest mountain range in the Alps dar.


1955, the cable car télépherique de l' Aiguille du Midi was opened. Takes you from Chamonix in two sections on the crag. From the middle station on the Plan de l' Aiguille ( 2310 m) hangs the rope without intermediate supports for kilometers and 1467 meters high up the mountain station. The first train runs high above the glacier Les Pelerins before it along the north side of the Aiguille du Midi goes up. At the opening it was considered the highest cable car in the world (Height of mountain station: 3777 m). This title has now lost the track, but is still the second highest cable car in Europe after the railway to the Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt. The hill station and the corresponding panoramic terrace, restaurant and café are among the most visited tourist attractions of Chamonix.


The first concrete plans to build a cable car to the Aiguille du Midi derived from two Swiss engineers from the year 1905. They planned the hamlet of Les Pelerins with the summit of the Aiguille du Midi to join. The project met with then insurmountable technical implementation difficulties and was canceled for this reason.

Four years later tried again people in the challenge, this time it was the French company Funicular Railways. A partial success was the opening of the first funicular Section Les Pelerins - La Para in 1924.

The second section La Para - Les Glaciers was completed three years later. The further planning at first enclosed a third section - which called because of their shape and " coffee grinders " or " Iron " valley station still sits at 2400m a ruin above Chamonix - on the Aiguille di Midi, but first located due to geological problems to the slightly lower Col du Midi was rescheduled and was eventually abandoned altogether. From the opening of the second section 1927, the cable car bore the honorable title cable car to the highest hill station in the world. This was, however, at no time relevant, because the highest cable car in the world was in 1926 was put into operation Zugspitze Railway ( 2805m ). The 1955 newly built cable car to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi was entitled thereafter to right until the 1979 built car to the Klein Matterhorn in Zermatt went.

With the outbreak of the Second World War and the establishment of the cable car Planpraz - Brevent the popularity of the cable car was always low and set the operation in 1951.

The Italian engineer Count Dino Lora Totino, who had previously planned a cable car to the summit of the Matterhorn, was planning the new construction of the cable car to the Aiguille du Midi on the other line with an offset to the left valley station and a new intermediate station at Plan du Midi. After four years of intensive construction work, the construction of the two sections of the new cable car telepherique de l' Aiguille du Midi was completed by Heckel, whose second section today overcomes the greatest height difference of a support -free cable car.

In 1991, the entire property was refurbished.

The summit building

Here you will find next to a souvenir shop, a snack bar and a cafeteria, a gourmet restaurant, aptly named for Altitude 3842. The gift shop offers in its offer to sell a special edition of stamps on which the Aiguille du Midi is shown. The cards can be inserted directly into a post box on site on the mountain.

Transmitter at the summit

On the summit of the mountains is also a relatively weak radio and television transmitting equipment, but which is using a directional antenna several hundred kilometers receivable.

Other cable cars

From the Aiguille du Midi, the unique technical lift that Vallee Blanche over the Glacier du Géant leads to Pointe Helbronner (Italy ) on 3462 m. The return trip takes with starting point Aiguille du Midi about two hours, from the village of Chamonix -Mont- Blanc from between four and five hours. The Pointe Helbronner is also obtained from La Palud in Courmayeur in Aosta over the Rifugio Torino on 3375 m with a cable car. Thus, a system spans multiple cable cars, the entire Mont Blanc massif. Because of the frequent strong winds over the Glacier de Geant the cable car to Pointe Helbronner wrong but only irregularly.


The first ascent of the lower north summit took place on August 4, 1818 by Antoni Malczewski the poles and six leaders, on 5 August 1856 and the South Summit in the context of an organized by Count Ferdinand de Bouille expedition of J. Alexandre Devouassoud, and A. and J. Simond first climbed. The construction of the cable car, the normal routes on the Aiguille du Midi, however, fell back into oblivion.

By the south wall performs a variety of sports climbing routes, despite the proximity to the cable car, you should not let the great height and quite alpine environment in mind. The south wall was known by the route of Maurice Baquet and Gaston Rébuffat which the two opened on 13 July 1956 and today after the first ascent Rébuffatführe (VI ) is called.

From the top station, an increase of Mont Blanc ( on the Refuge Refuge des Cosmiques and overshoot of the Mont Maudit ) begins.

In spring, the Aiguille du Midi is the starting point for the high alpine Vallée Blanche ski route that crosses the Glacier de Geant and the Mer de Glace to Chamonix to Mont Envers or up. With a length of about 20 km and a vertical drop of 2800 meters, it is considered the longest to reach with lifts of ski trails of the Alps.


Descent from the Aiguille du Midi cable car to Chamonix

North side in the winter

Seen the gondola cable car to the Aiguille du Midi, from the middle station of Plan de l' Aiguille ( 2310 m).

Panorama of Mont Blanc and the mountain station