The cog railroad takes you to the foot of the Mer de Glace glacier. The Mer de Glace is the largest glacier in France: 7 km long, 40 km2 in area, 200 m thick, altitude 1913 m.
Soak up the high mountain atmosphere of the place, contemplating the Drus (3754m), and the Grandes Jorasses (4208m), mythical summits that have seen so many mountaineers illustrate themselves in their faces.
In 1741, the Englishmen Windham and Pocock, ignoring the local superstitions, visited the famous "glaciers" of the Chamonix valley, considered at the time as haunts of demons. Despite dire predictions, they came down alive and described for the first time what they called the Mer de Glace.
1880, the Grand Hôtel du Montenvers was inaugurated, the time when mules and sedan chairs brought the first tourists to the site, at an altitude of 1913m.
In 1892, the project to build a railroad to reach Montenvers was launched. It aroused fierce opposition from Chamonix residents who feared the alteration of their valley and wanted to protect the jobs of the guides and muleteers.
1908, on August 9th, the line opened up to the place called "Caillet".