Wednesday, 10 July 2013

A day visit to Aiguille Du Midi, Chamonix -Day 3- 26/2/2013

As usual wake up around 7.30 a.m. The sun just up and we drove to Passy Plateau. We reached the top mountains and to our surprise that there isn't any tourists or workers around here yet.

We stay around to take some photos. The temperature around minus 9 degrees. After an hour spent on the plateau, we went back to the hotel as the owner run a small cafe. Enjoying a cup of hot coffee and tea with blackforest cake. What a beautiful morning to enjoy life as free and easy.

While waiting for my husband, so went wandering into the nearby houses and hotels.  About 20 yards away from hotel, there were some houses with beautiful gardens. Following the road leading to the back gardens, there were plenty of different species of birds enjoying their foods tied to the trees. I am surprised to find such beautiful nature around this area. I had not notice that I had spent 2 hours busy taking photos of the birds. It was hard to take birds photos as any noise or movements from me seen to scare them away.

After 2 hours of trying to keep still and not to scare the birds away. I am too cold to stay still anymore and it was time to move on to our next destination.

We drove to Chamonix which took about half an hour. Parked our car at the hotel parking and went to queue for our tickets to Aiguille Du Midi. The queue was not long and the cable car fee up to the top peak was  $50.00 euro each. The 2  cable cars to reach to the top summit. The first cable car  will take us up to 2,317m and it took 10 minutes. the cable car move above the forest and can view the Mont Blanc Massif with the Bossoms Glacier below.

We arrived at the Aiguille Du Midi, the first section. At the Plain de I'Aiguille, the temperature around here was minus 15 degrees. We alighted the cable car and followed the skiers out to the pista where we can enjoy the view. We were allow half an hour out on the mountains plateau. The snow about 2 foots high or higher. We only stay near to the station as some of plains were too risking for trekking or walking. We had an enjoyable times here taking photos and enjoy the nature beauty. Then we took the 2nd  cable car to the last leg up to the summit. The temperature drop even further to minus 26 degrees with strong wind.

The altitude for the last part of the summit is 3,842m and it took 10 minutes to reach the top.  The journey was a spectacular one above the ice towers and terminal tongue of the Glaciers des Pelerins. The hanging glaciers on the north face of the Aiguille de midi site.

At this level, the temperature drop even further from minus 26 to 29 degree. The cold wind frozen our faces, hands and legs. We had difficulties in breathing and have to walk slowly as our legs and hands were like rubbers and hard to move.

There were another 300 steps to climb to reach the terraces restaurant and cafe. At here we can view 360 panoramic views of the France, Swiss and Italy Alps. At this level, the expert skiers, rock climbers are allow to go out to the Alps but we are not allow out. After 2 hours out in the open terrace taking photos. We were almost frozen. We didn't have any suntan lotion as the sun direct hit on our faces. We bought 2 packet of crisps in out backpack and it burst with a "pop" loud and clear in the cable car due to the pressure of the altitude.

In the cafe, we enjoy a cup of hot tea and coffee with some chips and stay the rest of the day at the cafe as we were knackered. After a few hours later we proceed to take the lift on the central column to to the top  of the summit from here we can view Vallee Blanche gondala known as "Panoramic Mont-Blanc" ran over the glaciers over France and Italy. At this level there was a museum showing the experts mountains climbing and skiers enjoying the challenge of the nature. There was a terrace but with plastic glass windows where we can view the top of the mountain Alps in the warm surroundings without suffering from the cold.

When we reached to the top of the summit, we felt at the top of the world. This place totally worth the value they charged. Around 4.20 p.m. the staff inform us that we got the last 10 minutes left to take the last cable car down.

Times passing faster than we notice so we took the lift down to the terrace and have to climb up the 300 steps up to take the cable car. We can see the fog and mist started to form around the mountains peaks.

At the station, we walk around the town of Chamonix enjoying the beautiful sunset on the mountain  peaks. We bought some gifts for our friends and relatives. I couldn't stay at the top of the peak to take the sunset but happy to enjoy the beautiful nature beauty.

We have a cup of coffee at the Macdonalds then walk around the town centre looking for our dinner. Tonight dinner at the Chinese restaurant cost us $25.00 Euros and after dinner, drove back to our hotel for an early nite.

Every nights when we drove back to the hotel, we are not aware of the scenic view of the snake like tunnels or roads built to access to Chamonix. It was amazing but scarily when the car drove through the snake pass.

This place was amazing and would recommend to anyone whom is keen in mountain climbers, trekkers or skiers. This just the place to go for it.

Due to having problem with downloading the photos so I only able to posted the above few photos of this beautiful place.

 Place: Passy Pateau and Aiguille Du Midi and Chamonix
Date: 26.2.2013
Photos by: Catherine Suen and Robert Suen

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