"Is imminent the inauguration of the Glacier Cable Car, which completes the big bridge between Italy
and France, a bridge that will allow anyone in need and desire to move in just over an hour from Courmayeur to Chamonix."
(La Domenica del Corriere, 1958)
The idea of an international cable-car link between Italy and a neighbouring country had attracted the attention of the Count Lora Totino. His idea was to link the Italian side of the Matterhorn with Zermatt, but the Swiss authorities didn’t give him permission. The Count diverted his interest to an even more prestigious project, linking Courmayeur to Chamonix through the extraordinary massif of Mont Blanc.
The cable car history
This amazing piece of engineering is 5 km long and includes 3 sections.
The first one links La Palud to Rifugio Torino. This section was built during the war and as soon as it was opened the cables were destroyed by French fighter planes firing on them. The cable-car was then opened to the public in 1948.
The second section linking Chamonix to the Aiguille du Midi was opened to the public in 1956, and extends over 5416 m with a vertical climb of 2812 m . The first task was to link Chamonix (1030 m) and Plan des Aiguilles (2317 m), and then the following year the section reaching the Aiguille du Midi (3842 m) was built.
The third section linking Rifugio Torino to the Aigulle du Midì was opened in 1958, using the Gros Rognon as natural support for the cables.
The Glaciers cable-car begins at Punta Helbronner, and is undoubtedly the most interesting and spectacular section from both a technical and panoramic point of view.
The Count Lora Totino developed the idea of an aerial pylon to support the cables linking the Gros Rognon and Punta Helbronner as it was impossible to install a normal pylon on the glaciers.