About the Lift System in Chamonix
There are six separate lift systems spread throughout the Chamonix Valley, all offering a wide variety of activities. Familiarise yourself with the lift system by taking a look at our articles on the lifts themselves, access and restrictions, and the current status of the lifts. Ski, piste and activity maps can also be found here.
The comprehensive lift system in the Chamonix valley consists of cable cars, gondolas, trains, trams and chairlifts (and a couple of drag lifts at Le Tour and in the beginner's areas). The granddaddy of them all is the Aiguille du Midi cable car, which whisks you up to 3842 m from Chamonix town in around 20 minutes. The Vallee Blanche starts at the top of this lift, and it is also a starting point for mountaineers ascending Mont Blanc. The Flegere and the Grand Montets areas are also accessed by cable car, whilst Brevent and Domaine de Balme (Le Tour & Vallorcine) are served by gondolas. Included in the Mont Blanc Unlimited ski pass, is the Montenvers train, which takes you past the Mer de Glace to the Montenvers site at 1913 m, and the Mont Blanc Tramway, that takes you from Le Fayet or Saint Gervais (further down the valley), to the Nid d'Aigle at 2372 m.
Aiguille du Midi Lift in Chamonix
At 3842 m the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix offers a 360 degree viewpoint over the French, Swiss and Italian Alps and is the highest point accessible by cable-car in the Chamonix valley. This high mountain area is fully equipped for your safety and comfort and offers breath-taking views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding massif. Access is by two cable car journeys, each taking 10 minutes. The Aiguille du Midi is well known as the start of the famous Vallee Blanche off-piste ski run over the glaciers; and is also one of the access routes to climbing Mont Blanc (4811m).
Brevent & Flegere Lifts in Chamonix
The Brevent gondola was replaced in 2008 with a fabulous high speed 8-10 person gondola. It takes you from Chamonix itself up to Plan Praz (2000 m) from where you have direct access the pistes or can set off on a number of beautiful hikes (Grand Balcon Sud, Lac Cornu, Lac Noir). Plan Praz is also where you catch the cable car up to the very top of Brevent at 2525 m, where you will be treated to 360 degrees of breath-taking views including Mont-Blanc, the Aiguille du Midi and most of the Chamonix valley.
Domaine de Balme Lifts in Le Tour & Vallorcine
The Domaine de Balme area is situated at the top end of the Chamonix Valley where a gondola based in the village of Le Tour brings you to Charamillon at 1856 m and a new cable car from the Vallorcine side brings you up to the Tete de Balme at 2770m.
Les Grands Montets Lifts in Argentiere
Access to the Grand Montets area is from the town of Argentiere, about a 15 minute drive past Chamonix (regular buses and trains also serve this route - free with a Carte d'Hôte guest card).
Mont-Blanc Tramway from Le Fayet
The Mont-Blanc Tramway runs from the bottom of the valley in Le Fayet all the way up to the Nid d'Aigle at 2372 metres.
Montenvers Cog Railway Train from Chamonix
The little red Montenvers train takes you up to the Mer de Glace and the ice caves via an old rack and pinion railway track, first constructed in 1909. The main interest here is the high alpine environment, the scenery and the glacier.