Why climb a mountain? For a selfie at the top, of course. The show on the Aiguille du Midi is both Mont Blanc, the high mountains and the glaciers but also us, the tourists. There are only so many ways to do a selfie and I saw most of them up here. Mine are the time-honoured method of handing my camera to a trustable-looking fellow tourist.
Chamonix had been welcoming tourists for at least a century before the téléphériques so the paths and tourist attractions have been honed over the years. Up in the thin air and dizzying drops at 3842 metres there’s accommodation, shop, a restaurant, as well as the indoor and outdoor viewing facilities. “Step in to the void” is the most recent, a glass-bottomed platform out over the valley; the queue for it was more than an hour.
There’s been a téléphérique to the top of the Aiguille du Midi since 1955; the ride is smooth and fast. The daring imagination of the pioneers in the early twentieth century who even dreamed a venture like this was an engineering possibility is as breathtaking as the views.