Aiguille du Midi
The Aiguille du Midi (3,842 m (12,605 ft)) is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif within the French Alps. It is a popular tourist destination and can be directly accessed by cable car from Chamonix that takes visitors close to Mont Blanc.
The idea for a cable car to the summit, the Téléphérique de l'Aiguille du Midi, was originally proposed around 1909, but did not come into operation until 1955 when it 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 to 3,842 m (3,396 to 12,605 ft). There are two sections: from Chamonix to Plan de l'Aiguille at 2,317 m (7,602 ft) and then directly, without any support pillar, to the upper station at 3,777 m (the building contains an elevator to the summit). The span of the second section is 2,867 m (1.781 mi) measured directly, but only 2,500 m (1.6 mi) measured horizontally. Thus it remains the second longest span width, measured directly. The cable car travels from Chamonix to the top of the Aiguille du Midi – an altitude gain of over 2,800 m (9,200 ft) – in 20 minutes, costing around €60 for an adult-ticket from Chamonix and back.