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Former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, still recovering from wounds after being shot last year, travelled high up into the French Alps on Monday (July 23) with her astronaut husband Mark Kelly.
Giffords, who still uses a wheelchair much of the time, was on her first trip outside the United States since she was shot in the head by a gunman in January 2011 as she met local people outside a Tucson supermarket.
She rode the two-stage cable car to a station with spectacular views o f Mont Blanc and other peaks in France, Italy and Switzerland.
In bright sunshine but sub-zero temperatures at an altitude of 3,842 meters (12,605 feet) at the cable-car station on the Aiguille du Midi peak, Giffords smiled as she stood with her husband and their daughter Claire.
Giffords was a Democratic member of the House of Representatives but resigned her seat this January, saying her district deserved to have a representative "who can give 100 per cent to the job".
Six people were killed in last year's shooting, which was thought to have been an attempt to assassinate Giffords.
She is undergoing intensive therapy and her speech is impaired.