Mature Flâneur

High-wire Across Mont Blanc

Riding the world's highest-vertical-ascent cable car

Tim Ward, Mature Flâneur
Globetrotters
Published in
9 min readMay 28, 2024

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Mount Blanc, the high way. All photos by Tim Ward

“Bring your passports,” we were told when we bought our tickets.

This was for the world’s highest-verticle ascent cable car ride). It runs from Chamonix, France, up 2,800 vertical meters to the Aiguille du Midi peak (literally the “Needle at Noon”,” at 3,842 m/12,605 ft). There, one switches cable cars and soars “peak to peak” across the Mont Blanc Massif to Pointe Helbronner in Italy. Mont Blanc, at 4,810 meters, is the highest of the French Alps. It’s surrounded by a frozen snowfield all year round — hence the name, which means “Mount White.”

We had just arrived in the little ski town of Chamonix in the French Alps the previous afternoon, May 23, without any plans or information — as is typical of the flâneuring mode in which Teresa (my beloved spouse) and I travel. That evening I learned the “peak to peak” portion of the cable car ride was only open a few months each summer… beginning May 25! What incredible luck. We bought our tickets for the very first morning of the 2024 season.

The view from our balcony in Chamonix

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Tim Ward, Mature Flâneur
Globetrotters

Author, communications expert and publisher of Changemakers Books, Tim is now a full time Mature Flaneur, wandering Europe with Teresa, his beloved wife.