Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

Chamonix is the home of the Mont Blanc summit and was the site of the 1924 Winter Olympics, the very first Winter Olympics. The valley of Chamonix was formed by glaciers during the Quaternary Era some ten thousand years ago when the town was buried under about 1000 meters of ice. Chamonix has been described as the "death-sport capital of the world" with its extensive winter sports such as ice climbing, extreme skiing, paragliding, and mountain climbing. Chamonix is also famous for its spectacular cable car up to the Aiguille du Midi at 3842 meters, constructed in 1955. It was then the highest cable car in the world. Today, the temperature was around 60° F in Chamonix. With snow on the mountains year round, you can enjoy a wonderful spring day like this and be skiing with just a short ride up the mountain. Wander around the town, taking in the striking views while enjoying a French crepe and a cappuccino.

At a height of 4,810 meters (15,781 feet), Mont Blanc is the highest European mountain west of Russia . The Les Bossons Glacier is distinctly visible from Chamonix. It originates in the highest summits of the massif and descends a total of 3600 meters, making it the largest icefall in Europe. It moves at 1 meter per day, also making it the fastest moving. The first mountaineers to successfully reach the summit of Mont Blanc were Paccard and Balmat on August 6, 1786 and this event traditionally marks the start of modern mountaineering. Some 20,000 mountain climbers now make the ascent each year and Tim plans to conquer Mont Blanc next summer.

To view all of our pictures of Chamonix, visit: http://public.fotki.com/Davis2001r6/italy-2011/france/