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Chamonix: Take a mountain train to Mer du Glace

Written by Fiona

August 21 2019

On a recent trip to Chamonix in the French Alps, Hubby G and I took the mountain train to Montenvers to visit the Mer du Glace. The train fare is covered by the summer lift pass or the pirce (2019) is €33.50.

The old-fashioned rack and pinion railway takes passengers to the Montenvers site at 1913m altitude. From here there are fantastic views of the Mer de Glace glacier, the Drus and the Grands Jorasses.

The Mer du Glace is France’s largest glacier stretching 7kms and 200m deep. 

The train ride up.
Hubby G on the train.

The train fare covers the cost of visiting the ice cave in the glacier, which is re-sculpted every year. The ice grotto is reached by a gondola descent and then some 480 steps from the arrival of the gondola lift to the entrance to the cave.

Views of the Mer du Glace.
What was once…
Image from the past: The glacier used to be far, far longer.
The gondola down to the glacier.

As you descend there are signs that reveal where the glacier once reached. It’s a very sobering walk down that shows you just how much climate change is affecting the world. The glacier is melting at a rate of 40m per year. This is very scary.

Ice cave.

You can also visit a glaciorium to see an exhibition centre at the Montenvers Mer de Glace. The creation and evolution of the glaciers over the centuries is explained in detail.

The trip is a great half-day outing and perfect for recovering from running and walking the trails of the area. See Trail running in Chamonix and the Mont Blanc region.

Se Chamonix for further details.

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