Chamonix Mont Blanc

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Until the year of 1786, when Mont Blanc was first ascended by Balmat and Paccard, the town of Chamonix was small and isolated. The ascent of Mont Blanc soon made Chamonix a popular tourist location, and just over 200 years ago the railway arrived.
This facilitated the access to Chamonix for tourists, and the town grew quickly. In 1924 the first ever winter Olympics were held in the town, and Chamonix really established itself as the Alpine capital. Each year ski and climbing world cup events are held in the town, as well as many famous sporting events, such as the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail.
Many first time visitors are surprised how large the town is, as Chamonix is very different from 'twee' mountain resorts such as Zermatt and St Anton. You get the flavour that Chamonix is a working town, and there are as many visitors in the summer months as during the winter, which is rare in Alpine towns.
Click on image for the lift openings & status
There are roughly 10,000 permanent residents of Chamonix, though this figure can treble when tourist numbers are added. As a town catering for 30,000 people, Chamonix boasts a sports centre, swimming pools, ice rinks, climbing walls, schools, the national Guide and Ski Instructor school, and literally hundreds of shops and bars.



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