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Chamonix
 
Chamonix

Chamonix has recently become a popular skiing resort. The location at the foot of the Mont Blanc makes it one of the most attractive places to go for a winter holiday.
The best thing about Chamonix is that it really is a town. Many other French winter sport places are just a bunch of high rise buildings close to the skiing lifts, but here you find a cosy center with nice bars, restaurants and cafes.
The slope of the Mont Blanc is very spectacular. You get a lovely view over the valley and the glacier is of extraterrestrial beauty.
The bad thing about Chamonix is that the slopes are divide in three areas and you can't ski from one to the other. You need to take a bus which is a drag.
There are 7 major glaciers and several minor ones in the Chamonix valley. The Mer de Glace (sea of ice) is the second largest glacier in the Alps (the largest being the Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland). It is estimated to contain approx 4000 million cubic metres of frozen water; it is 12k long and varies in width from 700 - 1950m.
The average depth of the ice is 240m with a maximum 420m just down stream of the glacier du Geant . The Mer de Glace moves forward 90m per year, or 1cm per hour. During the 20th century all alpine glaciers receded. The Mer de Glace receded 7.5m every year on average.


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