Chamonix Journals

Alpine Ventures

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A travel journal to Chamonix by Alan Ingram

European Alps Photo, Chamonix, France More Photos
Quote: Introductory information on hiking and climbing in the European Alps of Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland. Accounts and photographs are provided of ascents of Mont Blanc ( the highest ) and the Gran Paradiso ( one of the easiest ) of the 80 "four-thousanders" ( peaks over 4000metres ). One of the finest alpine panoramas can be obtained from the observation platform atop the Aiguille du Midi accessable by the cable car from Chamonix.

Alpine Ventures

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Overview

European Alps Photo, Chamonix, France
Quote:
The picture postcard scenery of the alpine valleys with their quaint chalets, flower-strewn meadows, fir and pine forests, and blue mountain lakes surmounted by jagged, white peaks. The sunsets and sunrises on the mountain tops when they flame red in the rays of the rising and setting sun - the best views are obtained from the climbing huts. The spectacular views on ascents and from summits over the surrounding alpine landscapes of icy glaciers and snow-covered peaks. One of Europe's most spectacular alpine panoramas is achieved by taking the cable car in Chamonix to gain the airy observation platform atop the Aiguille du Midi directly below the imposing massif...Read More

Ascent of the Gran Paradiso, 4061m

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Attraction

Ascent of the Gran Paradiso, 4061m Photo, Chamonix, France
Quote:
Accessible from Chamonix via the road tunnel under Mont Blanc. From the hamlet of Pont at the end of the mountain road from Val d’Aosta it is a half day climb (2-3 hrs)to overnight in the Refugio de Vittoria Emanuele II of the Italian Alpine Club (CAI). (Advisable to book in advance). An early morning alpine start by torchlight through a maze of large boulders gains extensive snowfields leading inexorably upwards. A final traverse beneath the pinnacled crest crossing the bergschrund and a short scramble reaches the Madonna on the rocky summit for a spectacular panorama over the surrounding alpine landscape including the massif of Mont Blanc and the spike of the Matterhorn o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 15, 2001

Ascent of the Gran Paradiso, 4061m
Val d'Aosta
Chamonix, France

Aiguille du Midi

Attraction

Aiguille du Midi Photo, Chamonix, France
Quote:
The Aiguille du Midi cable car is one of the highest in the world - a white knuckle ride as you rapidly ascend from the valley floor.

The observation platform on the top of the rocky spire provides a spectacular panoramic view over the Chamonix Valley and the surrounding peaks of the French Alps ranging from the dominant massif of Mont Blanc, its satellite Mont Blanc de Tacul, the Aiguille du Geant and the serrated spires of the other Chamonix Aiguilles looming above the dazzling white, crevassed slopes of the Mer de Glace.

An outstanding alpine landscape - not to be missed.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 16, 2001

Aiguille du Midi
Chamonix
Chamonix, France

Hut to hut way to explore the Alps

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Story/Tip

European Alps Photo, Chamonix, France
Quote:
Winter mountaineering experience in the Scottish Highlands provides an excellent foundation for first forays into the European Alps. Although new horizons with greater challenges are opened, clothing and essential equipment - the mandatory ice-axe and crampons - remain the same. While some major summits, such as the Gross Glockner in the Austrian Tyrol and the Monch in the Bernese Oberland, are feasible in a single day, most alpine climbs require at least two days with an initial half-day ascent to a hut at the starting point of one's chosen route. In many cases cable cars or rack-and-pinion railways can be used to avoid such arduous uphill slogs (and the agonies and damage to one's feet and knees of ...Read More
Austrian Tyrol Photo, Chamonix, France
Quote:
With its extensive network of readily-accessible mountain huts the Austrian Tyrol is ideal for first forays into the European Alps. The multitude of 3,000 metre summits provides a wealth of easy routes and good practice and experience for future assaults on the higher and more difficult routes of the 4,000m peaks of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. Many of the so-called "huts" are in fact substantial, three-storied, stone-built buildings and, with their private rooms and extensive menus, are more akin to hotels. For most people the "Bergsteiger essen" - a kind of sausage soup - is a complete meal on its own. An abundance of chair-lifts and cable cars enable day trips above the snow-line while...Read More

Magnetism of Mont Blanc

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Story/Tip

Mont Blanc Photo, Chamonix, France
Quote:
As the highest summit in the Alps, although only second highest in continental Europe to the 5,633 metres Mt. Elbrus in the Caucasus and thereby failing to qualify as one of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks of the seven continents), the 4,807m Mont Blanc straddling the French-Italian frontier is a natural magnet for international peak baggers and high on "To Do" lists of alpine forays. Like Scotland's Ben Nevis and the principal peaks of other countries it attracts considerably more attention than lesser but more aesthetically appealing targets. On a good day some 200 climbers can make their way to its top and there is severe over-crowding in huts. However despite the lowly F+ on the alpin...Read More