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Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix

France's insider take:

The world's highest cable car soars 12,600 feet up the Aiguille ("Needle") du Midi, providing staggering views of Mont Blanc—at 15,780 feet, Western Europe's loftiest peak. Vertigo sufferers should be aware that the cables are, at some points, suspended more than 1,640 feet above the ground. Expect a lengthy wait, both going up and coming down, and wear warm clothing. More intrepid types can return by skiing down the Vallée Blanche, though the run is not for the faint of heart. Those who just want to take a day trip to the summit can contemplate the snowy peaks over a chocolat chaud in the Aiguille du Midi's café, before descending the same way they came up.

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