Posted on 20 December 2013
Views of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain, and the stunning Chamonix Valley don’t get more exhilarating than those possible from a glass cage suspended over the face of the Aiguille du Midi mountain, which opened on December 21st.
Skiers and owners of property in the Savoie region of the French Alps who fancy a fun afternoon away from the slopes could do worse than venturing up the famous Aiguille peak and stepping into the glass box, known as the ‘Pas dans le Vide’. At an altitude of 3,842 metres and with nothing but 3.6cm of glass around you, the sensation of entering the box is like floating, while views of Mont Blanc are exceptional.
Chamonix Tourist Office press officer Cécile Gruffat, who was one of the first to test the see-through floor of Pas dans le Vide, commented: “It was amazing. It is completely transparent. You really think you are completely out in the open with nothing below you. I was really very surprised as I have vertigo but had no fear when I stepped out on to the glass.”
Pas dans le Vide was designed by Pierre-Yves Chays and the work started on 19th September 2013 – it’s a type of installation that is being used more and more across Europe and the US. It is said to have been inspired by the Skywalk glass walkway overlooking the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Reaching Pas dans le Vide is via the 20-minute cable car ride up the Aiguille du Midi, the summit of which is the closest you can get to Mont-Blanc without a pair of crampons. Aiguille is also the starting point for the ascent of Mont-Blanc via the Three-Mont-Blanc Route, as well as off-piste skiing, and trekking and paragliding outside of the winter season.