When we think of Mont Blanc, we think of excellent climbing, amazing views and incredible snow-capped peaks, but little know about the dark history of Mont Blanc and the once-thriving towns it destroyed in 1892 after the Mont Blanc Massif released a hidden lake within the Tête Rousse Glacier upon the town of Saint-Gervais-les-Bains and the small hamlet of Bionnay.
France, a country with glorious history, indulgent cuisines, unparalleled romance and a top-level mountaineering community; this is where we all want to go. If you’re here, you’re probably looking to do some climbing on Mont Blanc or somewhere in the Alps, which feature some of the best ice climbs during peak season. While you’re here, be sure to check out the cuisine, and this guide in our Travel & Culture column will prepare you for what you’ll encounter if you’ve never gone there before. (See our Explore/Europe column for more great articles about this region.)