The magnificent experience for those who is not afraid of height.
Racing heartbeat, heavy breathing, nausea, trembling, chest pain, a sense of impending doom. These are the symptoms someone who’s afraid of heights might be struck with if we brought them to this spot.
Arrayed below and before him would be the snowy summits of the French Alps including, to the south, the mighty Mont Blanc – Europe’s highest mountain.
He might not want to look down, but if you were to direct his head that way he would see below his feet a sheer drop of 12,604ft. Just a thin sheet of reinforced glass stands between him and oblivion.
These breathtaking panoramic photographs were taken in a glass cage at the top of the Aiguille du Midi peak, part of the Mont Blanc Massif range near Chamonix, south-east France.
The snow-packed vista they capture shows the highest peaks in France, Italy and Switzerland, as well as the biggest glaciers on the continent.
The new attraction, dubbed ‘Pas Dans Le Vide’ (‘Step Into The Void’), is part of a refurbishment of the visitor centre at the summit of Aguille du Midi.
It is a glass box built around a metal frame which is suspended above the void, offering visitors a viewpoint previously only witnessed by Wile E Coyote just before he realises he’s stepped off the mountainside.
Access to the site is via a precarious cable car ride – the highest in Europe – that carries sightseers 8,858ft up the side of the mountain.
Then it’s onboard a second car which carries brave visitors vertically up the final 4,790ft to the magnificent views from the peak. There they can enjoy the peerless views of the Alpine landscape from what is being touted as Europe’s highest attraction.
A spokesman for the Compagnie du Mont Blanc, the firm which operates the ski lifts and attractions in the area, said: ‘Lovers of thrills will enjoy the new attraction of the site, Step Into The Void. This glass box, built around a metal frame will be suspended above the void.
‘Perfectly integrated in existing buildings which it is a natural extension, this new element will have very little impact on the overall perception of the building and site as a whole.
Accessible from the terrace, glass on five sides (three sides, ceiling, floor) it will allow visitors to understand the exceptionally empty and admire breathtaking views.’
The spokesman added: ‘Step Into The Void is a first at this altitude , a first in the materials used , a first in the techniques used, first in the extreme conditions that can live here all the year.
‘Exposed on the face of the Mont Blanc [Massif at] 3842m , this unique structure design represents a true technological innovation in glass and steel architecture, it can withstand winds of more than 220km/h and a temperature range of 60C