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Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc, in the Alps, is the highest mountain peak in Western Europe; its height is 4,810 metres.

Mont Blanc lies between France and Italy, but the precise border line has been a subject of discussion since the 17th century. The two most famous cities near Mont Blanc are Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, (France) and Courmayeur[?], Valle d'Aosta[?], (Italy).

Begun in 1957 and completed in 1965, the 11.6 kilometer (7.25 mile) Mont Blanc Tunnel runs beneath the mountain between these two cities. It is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes particularly for Italy who rely on the tunnel for shipping as much as one-third of their freight to northern Europe.

The Mont Blanc massif is very popular for mountaineering, hiking, and skiing. The first time Mont Blanc was climbed was in 1786 by J. Balmat and M. Paccard; the first woman to reach the summit, in 1808, was Marie Paradis.

Mont Blanc was traditionally considered to be 4807 m high. However, some GPS measurements made in September 2001 revealed it was 3 meters higher.

Mont Blanc is also the name of an Italian cake, with cream and meringue.

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