The Alps are imposing, demanding, unique, perhaps the first dream-goal of every climber! The famous White Mountain, commonly known as Mont Blanc, is one of the world’s most remarkable mountains. It is located in the Alps’ heart and at 4,808m is the highest mountain in western Europe. Endless routes of every level, secluded peaks, glaciers, gorges, rushing rivers, and vast forests, compose stunning beauty images.
Mont Blanc (White Mountain) is an extensive mountain range in the Western Alps.
There is the highest peak in Europe with an altitude of 4,810 m. The peak is located on French soil, while the whole mountain is located on the border of three countries: France, Switzerland, and Italy.
It has an orientation from south-west to north-east and is separated by deep and steep ravines. Due to this mountain mass’s high altitude, most of it is covered by snow and ice. The mountain’s shape looks like a table with a length of 50 km and an average width of 15 km.
The three cities that surround Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley in Italy, and Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and Chamonix in the Haute-Savoie region of France.
The first recorded ascent of Mont Blanc was on August 8, 1786, by Jacques Balmat and physician Michel Paccard. This ascent (inspired by Horace-Benedict de Saussure, who also rewarded the summit’s conquerors) marked the beginning of modern mountaineering. In 1808, Marie Paradis was the first woman to reach the top of the mountain. Today, an average of 20,000 climbers-tourists climb to the top each year. It could be considered an easy but long, accessible climb for someone in the right physical condition and familiar with high altitudes.
The famous Mont Blanc Tunnel began in 1957 and was completed in 1965. It covers a road distance of 11.6 km below the mountain and connects Chamonix and Courmayeur. It is considered the essential transport route in the Alps.
Under Mont Blanc, at 1,224 m., stands the secret path of Courmayeur. It is a city in northern Italy, in the Autonomous Community of the Aosta Valley.
The picturesque mountain landscape of Courmayeur makes it an attractive destination all year round. It is one of the most famous ski locations in Europe, as it is located at the foot of Mont Blanc at a distance of 4,810m from the highest point of the Alps. It has access to the famous glacier and slopes of Vallee Blanche and Chamonix’s French city, which is located on the other side of the mountain peak known as Aiguille du Midi.
The Courmayeur is 220 km from Milan and the White Mountain Tunnel, 11.6 km long, connects the region with France, Lyon is 240 km away and can be reached in a few hours, as well as Geneva, Switzerland, which is only 100 km away. Regular road transport is available to Courmayeur and from Geneva.
The nearby village of La Paloud is a cable car base to the Pointe Helbronner connected by Vallee Blanche and Dolonne, a city of hotels and a large ski resort. Another mountain surrounding Courmayeur is Mont Chetif, with an altitude of 2,343m. On foot, one reaches the top of this mountain where there dominates a statue of the Virgin Mary overlooking the city! This statue can be seen from almost anywhere in Courmayeur.
The Italian Courmayeur ski resort is popular with skiers worldwide.
The streets of this traditional town are full of life, with small shops, impressive old buildings, while the view of the snowy Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Europe, dominates. The village offers a warm atmosphere, narrow alleys, small bars, and exquisite restaurants. As in all Italian towns, in the afternoon, there is the social “walk,” meaning the stroll around the streets before dinner and night drink.
Courmayeur became a top ski resort after the tunnel’s opening, offering easy access from Chamonix and Geneva. According to European standards, the ski area is small, only 100 km of slopes, but there are countless routes for beginners and intermediate skiers.
There are two main ski areas in Courmayeur. The first one, or moderate and novice skiers, is the Checrouit-Val Veny (just above the resort). There is a right track, Dolonne, for those who are entirely unrelated to the sport. The second central ski area is Mont Blanc, and it’s for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
The resort has a wide variety of winter-summer activities. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, here you can go ice skating, dog sledding, snowmobile rides, mountaineering, up to squash, and tennis. During summer you can go paragliding, mountain biking, or fishing.