Mont Blanc is the highest point in the Alps and all Western Europe, at 4810m. It's not the most treacherous peak in the world of mountaineering, but it requires respect and attention: rockfalls, low temperatures, strong winds and snowfalls await the daring. Fortunately, it is also possible to ascend the mountain in comfort and enjoy the view from the top.
Get acquainted with the main tourist methods of climbing Mont Blanc and choose the right one for you.
Mont Blanc by tram
Tramway du Mont-Blanc is a calm and measured way to experience the height and power of the famous mountain. The route starts at Le Fayet station in the village of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. The route runs through picturesque alpine meadows and up the slopes to Nid d'Aigle station at 2372 metres. The trip lasts just over an hour and is 14.4 km long. The price of the ticket for adults is 33 euros. There is a cafe upstairs where you can admire the Mont Blanc glaciers with a cup of hot coffee.
But keep an eye out for the weather — if it snows heavily in the Alps, the tram will only take you to the intermediate station for safety.
Tip: On early trips the tram will be more spacious, so it's better to buy a ticket for 8:30 am. You should book your return trip immediately upon arrival at the final station.
Another simple and safe option to get to Mont Blanc is a funicular. But just like the tram, you will see the top only from a distance.
The funicular departs from the town of Chamonix, the heart of skiing in the area. The cost of a round trip is 61.50 euros per adult ticket. The first funicular will take you to an altitude of 2,300 metres, and then you'll need to switch to the second one, which goes directly to your destination, Aiguille du Midi, at an altitude of 3,842 metres.
For an additional 25€, you can take the panoramic funicular over the glaciers of the White Valley for a breathtaking ride. It's an experience you'll remember for a lifetime. There is also a good restaurant on the site, which is definitely worth it as a treat. And, of course, don't forget to charge your phones and cameras — the photo opportunities are unbelievable!
Tip: You'll be climbing from the valley to the much less hospitable mountain slopes. Dress in layers, and wear sunglasses and sunscreen.
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If you're an experienced hiker and want to get all the way to the top, you can choose a mixed route. A tram or funicular will take you to Nid d'Aigle station at 2372m, where the mountain climbing trail starts.
The trail leads travellers to the Tête Rousse hut at 3165 metres. Here you can spend a warm and comfortable night for 50 euros per person, and a full lunch will cost 20 euros.
After Tête Rousse the trail is clearly visible, and there are helpful signs. Especially dangerous places have a metal rope affixed to help hikers. The first dangerous section is the Grand Couloir, known for its rockfalls. Sometimes they're quite frequent, so you need to be as careful as possible.
After Refuge du Goûter (3815 m, 60 euros for accommodation) you'll need some equipment, since you'll have to climb a snowy slope. The road will finally lead you to the Vallot hut at an altitude of 4362 meters, and from there it's not far to the top of Mont Blanc! The hut is an unheated aluminium trailer that is not suitable for overnight stays but it will help in case of bad weather or emergency.
The cost of climbing Mont Blanc in a group with an experienced instructor is about 1500 euros per person. If you decide to climb independently, test your strength and make sure you're well-prepared!
Finally, one more alternative: you can easily fly over the majestic mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views. Such an adventure is very popular and well developed. more details can be found here.
Whether you're an experienced hiker or just want to enjoy a tram ride, you can experience the spectacle of Mont Blanc.
Have a good Alpine adventure!