The Aiguilles Rouges ("Red Peaks") are a crystalline mountainous massif of the French Prealps, opposite the Mont Blanc Massif. The colour of the iron rich gneiss (metamorphique) mountains gives the range its name. The highest summit is the Aiguille du Belvédère at 2,965 metres (9,728 ft). At the southern end of the range, Le Brévent at 2,525 metres (8,284 ft) is accessible by a cable car in the Planpraz and the Brévent sections.
Unlike the massif of the Mont Blanc, the Aiguilles Rouges have no significant glaciers. The alpine stage begins around 2,000 metres (6,562 ft) with rough boulders, above which a series of broken needles spring from the Col des Montets to Le Brévent. The northwestern side of the massif has less vegetation because of its lack of exposure to the sun. The southwest face abounds in vegetation which developed from a multitude of biotopes. Amongst the typical flora hikers can discover include sundews, martagons and many varieties of orchids. In order to protect this biodiversity, the Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve (Réserve naturelle des aiguilles rouges) was created in 1974 covering 3,279 ha.
The Aiguilles Rouges offer a splendid view of all the peaks of Chamonix, the glaciers of Mont Blanc, and the roof of Europe. The French artist Samivel is known for his paintings of some of these splendid views. The highest point in this range is named Belvédère (literally "beautiful viewpoint" in French) because it offers a 360° panoramic view of all the mountains surrounding the Aiguilles Rouges. The mountain path running from Planpraz to the Col des Montets via La Flégère, just above the treeline of the Aiguilles Rouges, is called Le Grand Balcon Sud (Grand Southern Balcony).
The eastern part of the range has numerous mountain lakes, of which the most remarkable is Lac Blanc at the foot of the Aiguille Belvédère.
The range is home to the principal climbing crags of Chamonix, which ascend the pinnacles of Planpraz made famous by the mountaineer Gaston Rébuffat.
Ian Fleming, when writing the fictional biography of James Bond, mentioned that Bond's parents were killed in a mountain climbing accident in the Aiguilles Rouges near Chamonix, when the future secret agent was eleven years old. He also mentions them in his novel From Russia, with Love .
Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and Western Europe, rising 4,808 m (15,774 ft) above sea level. It is the second-highest and second-most prominent mountain in Europe, after Mount Elbrus, and it is the eleventh most prominent mountain summit in the world. The mountain stands between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Savoie and Haute-Savoie, France. It gives its name to the Mont Blanc massif, which itself forms part of a larger range referred to as the Graian Alps. The location of the summit of Mont Blanc is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the valleys of Montjoie, and Arve in France, on the border between the two countries. Ownership of the summit area has long been a subject of historical dispute between the two countries.
Savoie is a department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. Located in the French Alps, its prefecture is Chambéry. In 2017, Savoie had a population of 431,174.
Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, more commonly known as Chamonix, is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924. In 2017, it had a population of 8,611.
The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.
Les Houches is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Eastern France. In 2017, it had a population of 2,943.
ArgentièreFrench pronunciation: [aʁʒɑ̃tjɛʁ] is a picturesque skiing, alpine walking and mountaineering village in the French Alps, part of the commune of Chamonix Mont Blanc, at an altitude of 1,252 m (4,108 ft).
The Aiguille du Midi is a 3,842-metre-tall (12,605 ft) mountain in the Mont Blanc massif within the French Alps. It is a popular tourist destination and can be directly accessed by cable car from Chamonix that takes visitors close to Mont Blanc.
Les Contamines-Montjoie is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.
The Mont Blanc massif is a mountain range in the Alps, located mostly in France and Italy, but also straddling Switzerland at its northeastern end. It contains eleven major independent summits, each over 4,000 metres (13,123 ft) in height. It is named after Mont Blanc, the highest point in western Europe and the European Union. Because of its considerable overall altitude, a large proportion of the massif is covered by glaciers, which include the Mer de Glace and the Miage Glacier – the longest glaciers in France and Italy, respectively.
Les-Praz-de-Chamonix is a mountain village in the French Alps, part of the commune of Chamonix. Altitude: 1060 m (3477 ft.).
The Vanoise massif is a mountain range of the Graian Alps, located in the Western Alps. After the Mont Blanc Massif and the Massif des Écrins it is the third highest massif in France, reaching a height of 3,885 m at the summit of Grande Casse. It lies between Tarentaise Valley to the north and the Maurienne valley in the south. The range is the site of France's first National Park in 1963, the Vanoise National Park. The ski resorts of Tignes and Val-d'Isère and the 2,770-meter-high Col de l'Iseran are located in the eastern part of the range.
The Aiguilles Dorées are a multi-summited mountain of the Mont Blanc massif, overlooking the Plateau du Trient in the canton of Valais. They lie east of the Petite Fourche, on the range between the glaciers of Trient and Saleina.
Pointe Helbronner is a mountain in the Mont Blanc massif in the Graian Alps on the watershed between France and Italy.
The Argentière Hut is a refuge in the Mont Blanc massif in the Alps. Built in 1974 by the Club Alpin Français, it is located above the north bank of the Argentière Glacier in France at an altitude of 2,691 meters above sea level.
Aiguille du Belvédère is a mountain of Haute-Savoie, France. It is the highest peak in the Aiguilles Rouges range of the French Prealps and has an altitude of 2,965 metres (9,728 ft) above sea level.
The Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve is a nature reserve located in the Aiguilles Rouges mountain range in the Haute-Savoie department in southeastern France.
The Marathon du Mont Blanc is an annual marathon distance (42.195 km) alpine trail running event held in Chamonix, France. The Marathon du Mont Blanc race is the titular event but the name also refers to the group of longer and shorter distance races one or more of which competitors can compete in over a three-day period starting on the last Friday in June.
Venance Payot was a naturalist, glaciologist, alpine mountain-guide, scholar, author, and two-time mayor of Chamonix, France. He published a wide range of early scientific literature relating to the mountains of the Mont Blanc massif and undertook some of the earliest continued measurements of the movement of glaciers within that mountain range. He has been posthumously credited in mountaineering literature with being the youngest person to have climbed Mont Blanc, and would have been sixteen years old at the time; other sources have challenged this.
The Goûter Hut, is a mountain refuge in the French department of Haute-Savoie. It is located at a height of 3,835 metres (12,582 ft) on the Arete du Goûter in the municipality of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. It overlooks the Glacier de Bionnassay, and is the highest wardened mountain hut in France.