I will be in Chamonix in August. I've read in Rick's tour book that I should purchase a ticket in advance for the gondola ride to Alguille du Midi. Is this true or can I get one the day I need if I get to the gondola office early.
Yes, you can buy your ticket the same day.
Joe, ask your hotel to make the advanced reservation; usually the Hotel will not charge you and you will be assured of a ticket. If the weather is good, you'll love it. Be sure and take the continuation ride on the Hellbronner!
We went in Mid September last year and walked right up and bought a ticket. We did not get on the first available tram up, but only had to wait 20 minutes or so to go up.
Don't forget to bring some warm clothes or layer up - it's cold at the top, even in August. You'll be up with the gods and it's breathtaking!!