Mont Blanc: The Eighth Wonder of the World

Mont Blanc: The Eighth Wonder of the World
Among mountaineering enthusiasts, Mont Blanc has a special reputation. And not only because it is one of the highest mountain systems. Located on the border between France and Italy, this crystalline massif has witnessed many historical events.

What are the peculiarities

The Western Alps have a mountain-glacial relief and are deeply dissected by stone furrows. One of the peaks of the massif, Mont Blanc, is the highest point in Europe. Its name comes from the Italian Monte Bianco and the French Mont Blan, which means "white mountain". With a height of 4,810 m, the massif stretches for 50 km and has a glaciated area of about 200 km2. One of the larger glaciers, the Mer de Glas, boasts an ice thickness of 400 meters. It is above this that the exotic suspension road stretches across the Aiguille du Midi, a peak 3,842 m high.

Popular with tourists are such extraordinary places on Mont Blanc as:

  • road tunnel from France to Italy, the length of which is 11.6 km;
  • Chamonix ski resort - western foothill, on the French side;
  • The Italian town of Courmayeur, which has had the reputation of a quality thermal spa since the 18th century.

The slopes of Mont Blanc are a real pleasure for mountain climbers, snowboarders, and skiers. The area is also interesting for hikers on the Tour du Mont Blanc route.

Historical background

Historical facts about the conquest of the summit of Mont Blanc date back to the second half of the eighteenth century. O.B. Sossur established a cash prize for whoever discovered a way to climb it. On August 8, 1786, Jacques Balme and Dr. Michel Packard did just that. U.S. president T. Roosevelt also left his mark on the summit. He was at the head of the expedition in 1886, on his honeymoon. Women also did not stay away from climbing the highest point of Europe. In the history of mountaineering such a mark was left by Maria Paradis in 1808.

What the Mont Blanc routes are valuable for

Mont Blanc is not just a paradise for professional climbers and skiers. Anyone who wants to reconnect with mountain nature, under the guidance of a guide, can experience a rich range of sensations while climbing to altitude. Whichever side, Italian or French, the emotions and adrenaline in the blood are guaranteed.

After getting to know the peculiarities of the rocky peaks, the most original European botanical garden in Courmayeur will be a real gift for tourists. Its beauty lies in its natural mountain location, in the possibility to feel the character of the rocky vegetation, to contemplate the endless expanses of the surrounding mountains. The peaks around the city even have a special name - "four-thousanders", the ski season here begins in December and ends at the end of April.

A few minutes' walk from town brings you to the Forum Sports Center, where you can go dog sledding, stretch your legs on cross-country skis or ice skates. There is no shortage of places to eat and relax. Local cuisine and Italian wines are known all over the world. In spring it's time for the Carnival of Masks, and in December the Congress Center welcomes the Courmayeur Noir in Festival.

For those who prefer museum tours, the House of Guides (Duke of Abruzzo Museum) has an exhibition. This is a collection of relics, mountaineering equipment, personal belongings of those whose names are associated with the conquest of Mont Blanc.

On your own, you can reach the highlight of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur, in two ways: from Italy through the Val d'Aosta motorway and from France through the Mont Blanc Tunnel.

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