Day 7 Tuesday 28th September 2010
Drive to Chamonix, take Aiguille Midi cablecar to Mont Blanc, Take lots of photos, descend to halfway station, walk 2.5hrs to Mer de Glas (glacier) (Grand Balcon Nord track) and catch the Montenvers train back to Chamonix. Stay at La Thuille.
Chatter – he says
Left Annecy early in the morning as our plan was to get to Chamonix and take the cable car to view Mont Blanc. The drive was spectacular – it’s a huge alpine area and the size of the mountains around us is overwhelming – even though I had been in this environment before in the middle of winter – it still has this incredible effect on me.
The weather was OK – not the best – but sufficiently well behaved to allow us to take in what the mountain has to offer. We took the cable car to the viewing area of Mont Blanc. For the first time in my life I experienced the effort of moving around at altitude (at only 4000m or thereabouts). Its not easy, and the pounding in the head as you negotiate the steps gives some idea of what climbers experience at much higher altitudes. I take my hat off to them. After many photos of the various climbers in precarious positions on the sides of vertical or overhanging cliffs, snow and glaciers and peaks and other points of interest, we descended by cable car down through the cloud to the midway station where we alighted. We took the grand balcon Nord track to the rack rail station (2.5hrs) through the snow, glacial debris and broken cloud. We took the higher track via signal so we could look down on the glacier as we approached the rack rail station. The cloud parted and we were able to photograph it. We were too late to catch the short ride on the gondola to the face of the glacier – but weren’t disappointed as the higher view of the sheer size of the beast was something only tramping tourists will get to appreciate.
The rack rail ride down to Chamonix is very steep and its engineering feat is certainly appreciated by those with that sort of bent.
From Chamonix, we made our way with the help of Paul to la Thuille, where Jenny had booked our accommodation for the evening. One our most successful and rewarding days so far.
Chatter – she will say