Massif du Mont Blanc
Massif du Mont Blanc is part of the Tentative list of France in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.
The Massif du Mont Blanc is a mountain group in the border triangle of France, Italy and Switzerland. The massif contains eleven peaks over 4000 metres in height, large parts are covered with glaciers. The most famous peak is the 4810-metre-high Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe. The first ascent of Mont Blanc in August 1786 is considered a symbolic event for the birth of alpinism.
Map of Massif du Mont BlancLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
We visited Aiguille du Midi, admittedly not even in the top 20 peaks on the Mont Blanc Massif, in December 2013. For non-mountaineers such as ourselves (read also, non-lunatics, in relation to Mont Blanc at any rate), this is the closest one is going to get to Mont Blanc, in the winter anyway. It is accessed by a 20 minute cable car from Chamonix, at one point supposedly the world’s highest cable car. The list description mentions the glaciers and peaks of the Alps but suggests what sets it apart is its place in the origin of mountaineering.
It was a bright and clear winters day and there were excellent views both of Mont Blanc and across that part of the Alps, from an altitude of 3,800m. A couple of attractions add some value to the experience. The little museum about mountaineering was enlightening and frightening in equal measure as it was my first introduction to the lengths and risks that some mountaineers go to, in terms of free climbing and wingsuit flights! I also very briefly stepped onto the glass skywalk suspended from the visitor centre despite my fear of heights. Since our trip, there is also now “Le Tube” which is an outdoor suspended tunnel walkway.
Having self-driven in the early morning from Geneva across well-kept winter roads, there were not too many people about. Other memories include watching a lone climber slowly making his way up the snowy ridge, a helicopter hovering directly beside us in the visitor centre and the extortionately overpriced cafe (let’s face it, that’s our main memory!).
In terms of OUV, it’s part of a mountain range, like many many others. Symbolic perhaps, but in and of itself, fairly commonplace. Worth a visit nonetheless in my view.
Was included in the former TWHS the Alps (2005).
2000 Added to Tentative List
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