Mont Blanc activities

Mont Blanc activities


Our top things to do in Mont Blanc

Bon appetit

Itís all calorific, cheese and carbs around Mont Blanc. A firm favourite is tartiflette - potatoes layered with cheese, cream and bacon and baked in the oven. Or raclette with, yes, more potatoes, melted cheese and cured meats all prepared ŗ table. Or fondue, with more melted cheese, or steak sizzled in oil. You just have to go with the fatty flow and enjoy working it off on the hills.

Cable cars arenít just for skiers

For those of us who donít ski, the achievements of the cable car system around Mont Blanc are little known. This feat of engineering can be used not only to shorten your hike into the high grounds, but also for some more leisurely lusting over landscapes on your day off from trekking. The most famous is the Aiguille du Midi cable car, a 20-minute ride out of Chamonix up to a height of 3,842m, with views over the French, Swiss and Italian Alps and, of course, Mont Blanc itself. It has two stages, with the first stop at the Plan de l'Aiguille (2,300m), a popular point for various day hikes, such as walking back to Montenvers railway station, where you can pick up a train back to Chamonix.
 
The second stage flies over Les Pelerins glacier before rising up the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi. You can toast your arrival at the aptly named 3842 Restaurant, the highest dining to be had in Europe. You can continue on to Italy from here too, with an additional panoramic voyage across the massif to Point Helbronner, and then another cable car down to Courmayeur.

Snowshoeing around Mont Blanc

Walkers donít have to hang up their boots completely when the snow falls on Mont Blanc, because they can just don snowshoes instead. You will have the walking trails around Chamonix to yourself, and the sense of achievement of conquering peak after peak in the massif, bouncing across the freshly fallen snow, is beyond bucket list banter.

Taking refuge

Staying overnight in a remote, and always exquisitely located, mountain refuge is a five star experience, if they ever handed out stars for views and vicarious architecture. Itís like entering a club of committed climbers, alpine enthusiasts and all round inspiring adventurers, all bunking down with some of the finest bedtime stories you will ever hear. Most are owned by the Club Alpin Francais (CAF), the latest and highest offering being the eco state of the art Refuge du GoŻter, the last stop before the final ascent to the summit. Other examples include Refuge Elena, where you can catch the morning glow off the Pre de Bar glacier. Or Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme, a favourite if you are taking on the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme at 2483m. Booking is essential although your tour operator will organize all this for you.
Photo credits: [Cable cars : ptwo] [Bon appetit: bigbirdz] [Snowshoeing : Richard Allaway] [Taking refuge: SNappa2006]
Written by Catherine Mack
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