Chamonix valley, France

While I was in France this summer, one of our day trips was to the Chamonix valley where we took a cablecar up to Planpraz in the Aiguilles Rouge mountain range, on the opposite side of the valley from Mont Blanc, at 4807m the highest mountain in the Alps, and also the highest mountain in the European Union.

Chamonix is a year-round resort, with skiing in winter and hiking and climbing in the summer. Each year a number of people die during activities in the Mont Blanc range, in fact the day these images were captured 6 hikers died on the Aiguille d’Argentiere which is one of the peaks near the Aiguille Verte (4122m) area of the Mont Blanc range, the really pointy peaks in these images. The weather changed very quickly while we were there and it’s thought the climbers were caught in it and fell to their deaths. The second to last (less colorful) image shows the Aiguille du Midi, 3842m. Not possible to see it in the size of this image, but at the top there’s a viewing area with a glass box that extends out over a straight drop-off (on the right of the mountain in this image) that people can step into…I did it shortly after it opened last winter. I’ll post images captured last winter later in the year.