TAKE a step into fresh air on Mont Blanc from this weekend by stepping into a glass cage that has been suspended over the sheer face of the Aiguille du Midi – with nothing below your feet except 3.6cm of glass and 1000m of space.
The “Pas dans le Vide” is a glass box jutting out from the side of the cliff at 3,842m that gives a close-up view of Europe’s highest mountain as well as the impression of floating thousands of metres above the Chamonix valley.
Tourists already get a 360-degree view from the Aiguille du Midi but the glass box that is a few hundred metres above them gives a breathtaking new panorama with an extra frisson with the feeling of complete isolation and floating in space.
Chamonix Tourist Office press officer Cécile Gruffat, who was one of the first to test the see-through floor of the glass cage, said: “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.”
The Pas dans le Vide (Step into the Void) is included as part of the Compagnie du Mont Blanc’s €55 ticket to take the cable cars to the top of the Aiguille du Midi – although not every visitor is expected to test it out as there is only room for four people in the box.
All users must take their shoes off and wear special anti-scratch slippers to protect the glass – and the illusion of floating in the air. No cameras are allowed for the same reason.
The cage is made of five sides of 3.6cm thick glass that is capable of withstanding temperatures from -40C to +20C and can take a weight of 1500kg – and withstand the raging winds that can reach well over 100mph.
Photo: Compagnie du Mont Blanc