Day 18: L’Aiguille du Midi

I went up to Aiguille du Midi.

I joked that it was the pinnacle of this whole adventure, but there was truth behind the jest. Those of you I’ve spoken with about this trip know I’ve been looking forward to Chamonix and Aiguille du Midi more than any other destination.

It did not disappoint. I didn’t even mind that it was cloudy, so I wasn’t able to see into Italy or Switzerland as one can on a clearer day.

The cable car up to Aiguille du Midi is the steepest such ride in the world. It “…holds the record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world, from 1,035 to 3,842 m (3,396 to 12,605 ft).” (Wikipedia)

It is not cheap to do. The cost is about 60 euro.

They cram you into the car like sardines. I wasn’t able to take many photos or videos during the ride, but thousands of other people have and if you’re curious to see how intense it was, please look it up. It’s worth doing.

Once up there, I didn’t want to leave. I had a gorgeous lunch at the fancy restaurant there, then went to the top viewing platform to take more photos. And then I found an out of the way spot where I could sit down and hang out for a while, which I did.

At one point I had to climb a few sets of stairs to get where I wanted to be. The stairs were outside, on the side of a mountain, and grated. You could see straight down as you climbed.

I loved it. My legs were shaking. I was a little lightheaded anyway. The thinness of the air was very noticeable and I moved slowly the whole time I was up there. But then, the stairs added some adrenaline into that mix. It was quite an experience.

The whole time I was up there was wonderful.

And now I’m back down, in Chamonix, at a mere 3500 feet above sea level, and am amused that my legs are as shaky as they would be if I’d gone for a long run today!

Series Navigation<< Day 17: Getting To Chamonix-Mont-Blanc By Train Is Not For The WeakDay 19: Annecy >>

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