<< Switzerland Trip 2009

Mont Blanc

We drove to Mont Blanc (in France) one day. Mont Blanc is the tallest mountain in the Alps. There is a cable car that will take you up to a structure on the mountain right next to it so you can take good pictures. It was freaking insane! I couldn't get enough photos!

It was actually two structures on two separate peaks with a little bridge between them. There was a gift shop, cafe, restaurant and other touristy things up there. Also an ice cave access to the glacier on the back side of the mountain with stern warnings for unprepared tourists to stay away.

Broken English warnings are always more intimidating. They convey the sentiment: "We don't care enough about you to check our grammar, so you KNOW we won't come save your sorry a$$ if you pass this point!"

I never had a feeling of vertigo like that, and I have done a lot of crazy stuff. Going up in altitude, the landscape looked like it was going the wrong direction. Totally dizzy. The structure you're on looks like it's not right. Even climbing the stairs on the structures, you had to seriously take a break to catch your breath. I kept feeling like I was going to faint. Didn't help much that everything was covered in slick ice and some of the stairs on the outside of the structure were just metal grates you could look straight down thousands of feet into whiteout. Freaking awesome!

It's impossible to get a sense of it through photographs. You can see the cables for the cable cars going almost straight up and down. Did I mention the lack of air?

There were teams of guys coming up there with ski gear and climbing gear. Some teams had both. Obviously going to do something way cooler than I was.

At one point a couple of climbers made their way from cliffs below onto our structure. "Oh look honey, there's a man out there past the guardrails on the 10,000 foot cliff." - "It's alright dear, they have universal health coverage over here. I'll get the camera."

There's a couple pictures of him emerging from the cliff if you look close (CIMG2265, CIMG2272). Then of one belaying his partner from the hand railing (CIMG2275). Don't be a hater. Cool thing was, after he anchored in, he asked some tourist to belay his partner in so he could get some video. Ten bucks says that was the last time the partner seconded his lead.