Mark took the boys up to the Aiguille de Midi, and then later I went up with the 14yo as my guide.
You get on the cable car, a big bin that holds twenty-five or thirty people or more. It lifts off and pulls you swiftly up the side of the mountain, and lets you off at the Plan de l'Aiguille, a flat tundra littered with boulders and rocks and crisscrossed with trails marked by many-armed directional signs.
But you aren't done yet. There is a second cable car that takes you up to the visitors center on the Aiguille itself, tunneled into and wrapping around the rock. You can see all around.
My son pointed out the features that his dad had pointed out to him.
Looking out, I shuddered. The features are immense, much farther away than you think they might be, and you don't realize it until you see the tiny human figures making their way across the glacier.
But I can see why he likes coming out here. It really does resemble an immense playground.
That bridge there --Mark rappelled off it earlier this year. to get down into the Cunningham Couloir.
We descended back to the Plan, where there is a cute little bar. My son's ears hurt from the descent, so I bought him a soda and had a cappucino. I kept saying, "Your dad is insane." But really I can see why it is so appealing to come up here.