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Feb 22nd, 2014, 08:46 AM
  #1
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Chamonix

Is one full day plenty of time to drive from Annecy to Chamonix area to visit Aiguille du midi and la met de glace, then return to Annecy that evening? Thank you.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 09:07 AM
  #2
 
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Yes, plenty of time. It only takes about an hour to drive from Annecy to Chamonix. Make sure you start in the morning on a pretty sunny day and the view will be spectacular.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 09:41 AM
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You can physically move yourself in one day. Whether it is plenty or not is a subjective matter.

The timing depends on the time of the year.

Annecy-Chamonix ~90min depending on the time of the year and how deeply in Annecy you are staying. Annecy can get quite congested in summer.
Aiguille du Midi gondola. First car departure depends on the season. If you are tight with time, you should reserve going up days before and coming down part once you get to the top. It is ~20min one way and you need to allocate ~2 hours round trip, provided you don’t get bogged down in queues going up/down. www.chamonix.com/aiguille-du-midi,80,en.html

Montenver. The train runs about every 30min, and the trip is about ~20min one way. Need to allocate ~2 hours minimum for a round trip. www.chamonix.com/montenvers,81,en.html.

However, there are several variables. If you walk down to the Mer de Glace, the latest report seems to be 420 steps down and then up. The number of steps increases every year for now as the glacier level goes down. This is AFTER you have taken a short gondola down the slope down closer the glacier from the Montenvers station. Whether this is a quick trip or not depends on how fit you are. I have seen many people give up even while going down and a lot more huffing and puffing on the way up. Also, there is a fine restaurant near the Montenvers station, Hôtel Restaurant du Montenvers, http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr/f...-du-montenvers

If you want to sit outside at a table overlooking the glacier, you need to reserve a table. This is a popular restaurant. If you want to get a seat without a reservation, be there at the opening time. Group tours use this restaurant.
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Feb 22nd, 2014, 11:50 AM
  #4
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The date will be June 14. Thank you so much for detailed info!

So my neighbor just said she wouldn't recommend mer de glacé with kids? Slippery? They will be 7 and 9.
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Feb 23rd, 2014, 10:43 PM
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Ask your neighbor why she does not recommend with kids. In fact, whenever someone recommends something, always ask why questions to see if the reasons are relevant to you.
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Feb 25th, 2014, 04:46 PM
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Thank you. She said she felt there were many steps that are very slippery. I should have clarified that earlier when I said slippery.
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Feb 25th, 2014, 07:45 PM
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For Mer de Glace, you can decide if the reasons are relevant to you based on what your children can do. There are over 420 steps down then up. The slippery portion is inside the tunnel inside the glacier, but they have laid mats to minimize the slipperiness. Your neighbor thinks these impact children more than adults. I think they impact adults more than the children. The ones I have seen huffing and puffing and seemed to in for a heart attack any time were unfit adults and older people. Children beyond pick me up stage were going up and down the stairs as if they did not exist. Same inside the ice cave. Adults with poor balance walked slowly, while children cherished the cool exhibits inside while dodging the glacier melt streams inside the cave. You might check at home who might have difficulty going down and up at least 420 steps. Do you live in a place impacted by heavy snow this winter? Who had difficulties walking on slippery paths, adults or the children?
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Feb 25th, 2014, 09:11 PM
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We took a day-trip to Chamonix from Annecy in July 2011 with our then 4 & 6 year old children. We took the Aiguille de Midi lift early and had no problem with crowds. It was VERY cold though! We also took the cog wheel train and hiked down to the Mer de Glace. None of us felt it was unsafe. We did need be bribe the kids with ice cream to get back up all those stairs! I also took the Brevent lift. We found a nice outdoor café for a reasonable dinner in the town of Chamonix. It was a very memorable day and we did not feel rushed.
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