Winter at Courmayeur II
Mont Blanc (French) or Monte Bianco (Italian), meaning "White Mountain", is the highest mountain in the Alps, Western Europe and the European Union. It rises 4,810.45 m (15,782 ft) above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. It is also sometimes known as La Dame blanche (French for "the White Lady") or Il Bianco (Italian for "the White One").
The mountain lies between the regions of Aosta Valley, Italy, and Haute-Savoie, France and the location of the summit is on the watershed line between the valleys of Ferret and Veny in Italy and the Arve Valley in France.
The two most famous towns near Mont Blanc are Courmayeur in Aosta Valley, Italy, and Chamonix in Haute-Savoie, France—the site of the first Winter Olympics. A cable car ascends and crosses the mountain from Courmayeur to Chamonix.
Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 km (7¼ mi) Mont Blanc Tunnel runs beneath the mountain between these two countries and is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes.
The Mont Blanc massif is popular for mountaineering, hiking, skiing and snowboarding.
The summit of Mont Blanc is a thick, perennial ice and snow dome whose thickness varies, so no exact and permanent summit elevation can be determined. But accurate measurements have been made. For a long time its official elevation was 4,807 m (15,771 ft). Then in 2002, the IGN and expert surveyors, with the aid of GPS technology, measured it to be 4,810.40 m (15,782 ft 2 in).
Courmayeur is an Italian town and comune in the autonomous region of Aosta Valley, in northern Italy. It is located at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe, in the Graian Alps range, and is crossed by the Dora Baltea. Courmayeur shares the summit of Mont Blanc with its neighboring commune of Chamonix in France, and owns the title of highest commune in Italy.