Aiguille du Midi: how many bearings are there on this line to the peak?
With its breathtaking view of Mont Blanc and peaks more than 4,000 metres high on the Alpine range, the Aiguille du Midi (France) is one of the culminating points of tourism in Europe (3,842m). Half a million people visit this site every year. It takes less than 20 minutes to reach the peak from Chamonix in a cable car, which can accommodate 500 passengers per hour.
Divided into two sections, this upward link (2,747m of vertical drop) totals 22 kilometres of cables and some 440 bearings, all by NTN and SNR brands. The most numerous are ball bearings (series 6000), which are found on sheave trains and pylons. NTN-SNR also supplies spherical roller bearings (series 23000 and 22000), used for the equipment at the departure and arrival stations.
These references are designed to withstand extreme mountain conditions. Their sealing is enhanced. The bearings are also filled with special low temperature grease, which is resistant to condensation and whose low viscosity index reduces the operating torque.