After a gargantuan investment that totaled 110 million Euros, the reinvented Mont Blanc Cable Car is set to open in June. The changes to the former system are sweeping and result in a more streamlined system that highlights the scenery surrounding the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif.
First, the base station formerly located at Lapalud will be moved to Entrèves, allowing for easier access from the Mont Blanc tunnel. All the stations are renovated and rebuilt with the exception of the Torino Hut, which will be bypassed by the new telepherique system (the hut will remain a mountain refuge). Designed by Carlo Cillara Rossi and Guido Incarbone, the new buildings are all “Zero Energy” constructions that employ exceptional insulation as well as solar powered apparatus. The newly designed Helbronner station is a four-story construction that includes walls made out of specialized glass and offers visitors and skiers 360-degree views of the Mont Blanc Massif.
As far as the cable cars go—the newly designed, Doppelmayr telepherique cabins will accommodate up to 80 passengers compared to the previous 20. The cabins themselves will be equipped with audio visual appliances that deliver info as well as include spherical design elements that offer 360 degree views while ascending.
The total travel time from Entrèves to the first station at Le Pavilon will be four minutes and from there, the trip to Helbronner will last another 6. The trip, which gains 2,162m in elevation from Entrèves (1300m) to Helbronner (3,462m) will last a breath taking 10 minutes.