|Chamonix in Summer 2008|
Aiguille du Midi is accessible via the Chamonix tram. It costs around 50 euros and it is well worth the visit. It will include a few rides. You need to get an unlimited pass.
This hike uses several rides from this. Most people will go to the top. Instead you can get some of the most spectacular sight-seeing as well as a moderate hike to Mont Enver. At the Mont Enver, you can see the most spectacular glacier formation.
I think buying this ticket entitles you to all that. The hike will take good four hours and trails are excellent. But there are some hard sections for beginners for the lack of conditioning and altitude.
You need a liter of water per person, snacks, a lunch, water proof jacket, or umbrella, a hat, sunscreen.
It is important to have good weather to maximize this trip and hike. In bad weather, you won't see or enjoy the hike. This is the Alps. You need to pay attention meteo.
Take a tram to Aig du Midi and take a sightseeing around the top. Take early tram like 9 AM.
Take a gondola to Helbronner. This takes you over Vallee Blanche next to Tacul, Noire to Italy. Once you are there, take a break. You could even walk down to the snow and walk around.
Take a gondola back to Aig du Midi and a tram down to mid station. Get off here and look for the trail head to Montenvers. It should be clearly marked. Many people do this hike and you won't miss it. It will take two hours to walk to Montenvers. Stop and take frequent breaks. There should be a lot to see; marmot, alpine flower, glaciers and mountains.
The last train in the summer runs late but you need to make sure you know it. Time yourself. Once you are at the Montenvers, you can go down to the glacier. It is a lot of downhill and uphill even with gondola rides. I don't recommend.
From Montenvers, you take a train back to Chamonix. You should be tired by now. You need to make sure you dial into Chamonix express train so that you can get back.