Saturday Snapshots #75

by Jeanne on January 30, 2010

in France, Photography, Saturday Snapshots

Post image for Saturday Snapshots #75

Aiguille du Midi climbers – Chamonix 2008 

The Aguille du Midi is an impressive 3,842m peak in the Mont Blanc Massif in the French Alps above Chamonix.  Its name literally translated means “needle of midday” and it is so named because the sun sits directly over the peak at noon, when viewed from Chamonix.

According to Wikipedia, the cable car to the summit, the Téléphérique de l’Aiguille du Midi, was built in 1955 and held the title of the world’s highest cable car for about two decades. It still holds the record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world, from 1,035 m to 3,842 m. There are two sections: from Chamonix to Plan de l’Aiguille at 2,317 m and then directly, without any support pillar, to the upper station at 3,777 m (the building contains an elevator to the summit).  The cable car travels from Chamonix to the top of the Aiguille du Midi – an altitude gain of over 2,800 m – in 20 minutes.  When you step ont at the peak, your breath is literally taken away – I know mine was when we visited in the summer of 2008 – not only by the view but by the distinct lack of oxygen!

The Vallée Blanche ski run begins here, and the nearby Cosmiques Refuge is the starting point for one of the routes to the Mont Blanc summit.  From various viewing platforms at the summit you can see the parties of roped climbers and skiers like this one beginning their journeys, shuffling along a ridge no more than a foot or so wide (think the ridge of a sand dune, but with a couple of thousand metres to fall), down to the snow-covered glacier to proceed either up or down.

My skiing trip to the Alps this week should be far less fraught with danger!

This is part of a series of non-food photographs that will be published every Saturday on CookSister. Please visit my Saturday Snapshot Archive pages for a full list of photographs previously featured.  All photos featured in Saturday Snapshots are available to buy as greeting cards or prints in my RedBubble store.  Feel free to browse - they make great gifts for friends, famil – or yourself!

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew January 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

you took that pic? impressive


Manggy January 30, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Oh wow. I’m sure you don’t regret the danger– this is a breathtaking once-in-a-lifetime shot! :)


Juno January 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Lovely pic Jeanne. Enjoy your skiing trip! x


nina January 31, 2010 at 4:24 am

Have a lovely trip Jeanne!!!


The Cooking Ninja January 31, 2010 at 9:36 am

Wow! What a beautiful pic! I have hike some mountains long ago but not this high and in snow. :) Must be exhilarating to be up there and the view must be spectacular!
btw: Thanks for leaving comments on my blog. I enjoyed them a lot. I like the idea you suggested that I make a monthly letter to my daughter on her progress. Sometimes it just amazes me within a month, how much she has learned, grown and changes.


Sarah, Maison Cupcake January 31, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Rather them than me! I went to Chamonix in the height of summer about 20 years ago and my overriding memory is seeing the glacier and feeling so cold in July.


Sarka January 31, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Beautiful photo! I’d love to have a courage and physical strength to climb up one day! :)


Jamie February 2, 2010 at 11:24 am

Stunning, beautiful photograph. Scary though. I’d rather be in the chalet. Hope you are really enjoying the ski trip!


Paz February 3, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Awesome photo. So did you have a fun time skiing? I hope so. ;-)


dinnerware | Elizeth February 7, 2010 at 8:45 am

That is an absolutely beautiful picture! I think their skiing level is a bit above mine! :)


פינגווין חופשות סקי November 27, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Various viewing platforms at the top you can see many climbers and skiers strung like this so begin their journey, dragging a peak of no more than a foot.


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