My husband, my family who was visiting, and I took a day to visit Chamonix, specifically to take cable car to the top of the Auguille du Midi. The last part of the first cable car was a bit scary. We thought the second cable car up to the summit would be worse but it was actually a smoother ride, albeit VERY high. The views were spectacular and I would definitely recommend doing this (as long as you don’t have a serious fear of heights). Be aware that the air is thin there and we found ourselves having difficulty breathing normally, especially after walking up the stairs to the observation platforms. We wanted to do the train ride to the Mer de Glace (cave under the glacier) but it was closed due to rock slides.
What astonished all of us was that towards the summit we saw numerous people hiking up the mountain and others with their hang gliders waiting for the right winds to jump. We also saw ski trails down the mountain. Keep in mind these are 85-90 grade slopes. Once you start skiing there’s no stopping and you can’t see that far in advance to know if you’re going off a cliff or not. When we got to the top, we also saw young men and women suiting up to scale down the cliffs. To me, it seemed like everyone had a death wish but I’m just an old woman with a fear of heights so what do I know!
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in Europe, peaking at 15,782 feet. Chamonix was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. You can take the Auguille du Midi to the top of the mountain (about 48 euros) or take a train to see the Mer de Glace (glacier cave). You can also take the train over the mountain into Italy for a quick visit of the local small town (without your passport). More information can be found at:
Enjoy the ride up on the Auguille du Midi: