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Where to take-off in Chamonix
high altitude

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Where to take-off in Chamonix: high altitude

High Mountain Take Off Areas

Attention, the following take off areas are on high mountain glacier terrain. The areas are not marked or surveyed and have numerous dangerous crevasses nearby. Those not experienced in glaciers are strongly advised to employ the services of a high mountain guide before venturing to these areas.

Area Orientation Access & Ability Site Specifics Landing Area
Grands Montets
N 45° 56' 52"
E 006° 57' 36"
Direction: West
Altitude: 3100m
Vertical Drop: 2100m
Access: Cable car Lognan and Grands Montets (2 stages). 10 minute walk down from lift station and across glacier.
Ability: Qualified autonomous pilot with a basic knowledge of alpinism or the presence of a mountain guide.
Grands Montets is a fabulous flying site for the experienced pilot, yet surprisingly it is much less frequently flown than the previously mentioned areas. However, at 3100m, this is a high altitude take off area so you will need to be in good physical condition to fly here. Also be aware that take off is actually on the glacier so be very careful as crevasses are present close by. Best flown in the afternoon once the warm Chamonix air has been pushed up here by the valley wind, this site offers excellent potential for cross country flying. Bois du Bouchet (There is no landing area in Argentiere as all previous sites are now completely forbidden)
Aiguille du Midi
N 45° 52' 52"
E 006° 53' 50"
(North Take Off)
N 45° 52' 51"
E 006° 53' 48"
(South Take Off)
Direction: North and South
Altitude: 3800m
Vertical Drop: 2700m
Access: Aiguille du Midi cable car (2 stages). 30 minute descent down the arête (a knife edge ridge) necessitating the use of crampons preferably a rope. The take offs are both situated on high mountain glaciers with crevasses. Mountaineering experience or the presence of a mountain guide is absolutely essential!
Ability: Autonomous pilot with excellent take off technique and a sound knowledge of alpinism or the presence of a mountain guide.
With 2700m of vertical drop this is possibly the biggest flight in Europe! The southern take off sends you on an 18km journey above the fabulous Vallée Blanche – the views are amazing! However, as with Grands Montets, this is a high altitude take off area requiring good physical shape and snow conditions can make the take off very tricky. The area can be flown throughout the day although during the winter months; access to the take off area is made slightly easier once the fixed line is put in place for skiers doing the Vallée Blanche. It is not possible to fly in this area during July and August. Bois du Bouchet