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Chamonix - What can we do below 9000 ft elevation


My family will be visiting Chamonix for two nights and we'd like to take a cable car or train into the mountains to see the amazing views; however, my husband's cardiologist has limited him to about 8-9,000 feet elevation. He had quintuple bypass surgery about 2 years ago and ocassionally gets out of breath if he exerts himself too much. He is 72.

He really wanted to go to the top of Mont Blanc, but that won't be possible.

Then I saw Aiguille du Midi and Mer de Glace, but I'm not sure if those would be doable. As for Mer de Glace, I hear there are a lot of steps to get to the Ice Cave, even after the addition of the new gondola from the station. Once in the cave, I can't figure out how far you walk?

Can anyone weigh in and give me ideas for something nice to do from Chamonix that won't kill my husband; lol!

We are not adventure/thrill seekers. We just want to see the beautiful views; we don't need to do any hiking, climbing, etc...

Posted by
7063 posts

Aiguille du Midi is well above that threshold, I would not go.
However, the Brévent is at 8,200 ft and has an amazing view of the Mont Blanc massif. I highly recommend it.
Mer de Glace is much lower, but indeed I am not sure about the current steps situation and I am not sure if it is worth going without using the steps - I went so long ago that the ice was much higher.

Posted by
2495 posts

There is a train from Chamonix up to the Mer de Glacé. There is a nice open air cafe near the train station where you can have a drink and something to eat and enjoy the view of the glacier. There are way too many steps down to the glacier for him. We did this 9 years ago and I remember the very long slog back up those stairs to get to the gondola from the glacier. It will be even worse now as the glacier is still receding which will necessitate more stairs to reach it.