Sunday, 28 November 2010
Saturday, 2 October 2010
After weeks of great trekking in the Alps it was nevertheless nice to have a change of scene, with the final trek of the season in Provence - notably the Verdon Gorge area. It had been 4 years since I had hiked down there so it was good to renew my acquaintance with both the walks and the hotel owners that I have known for years.
The weather was perfect, even the day it was supposed to rain. We enjoyed several summits, not seeing a soul all day, then we had a rather more social day hiking through the gorge itself.
The vultures are amazing there - the Griffin Vulture has been reintroduced and is clearly thriving. Evening is the best time to see them and I was trated to a wonderful display at the end of one day.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Friday, 27 August 2010
We did the longest day first, with a full 8+ hours of hiking in total, up the Trè-les-eaux valley to emerge after several hours above the Vieux Emosson lake. We visited the dinosaur tracks, which are wonderful, but expected to disappear in another 50 years or so with erosion, then headed up again into the Veudale Valley for a descent that was a bit longer than that defined by the Creaky Knees Specials. I shall adjust that itinerary for next year!
The second day we took the Brévent lifts which got us up to 2500m somewhat faster than the first day and then we had time to fully enjoy the Aiguillettes du Brévent and des Houches before returning to the lift. This day was much easier on the knees, despite starting with a descent - it was quite gentle and I think most Creaky Knees candidates will allow a short descent like that to give such amazing views.
Next up, the classic Tour of Mont Blanc. Forecast pretty good, once the rain stops.
Saturday, 14 August 2010
Thursday, 5 August 2010
Photo Steve Berry
So after all that sunshine mid June to mid July we knew we'd pay! The weather has been mixed since then, but with plenty of really nice days. The rain has been good for the gardens as it was somewhat odd to have brown desert like grass. We're lucky here, as further south there is a serious drought forming and the cattle are already eating their winter supplies. The rain has fallen as snow above 3000m which has improved the state of snow and ice routes which had turned to grey ice earlier in the season.
So although I prefer not to have to hike in the rain, it's all for the best really.
We had a great Chamonix Zermatt trek and saw everything we were meant to, except the grand Combin which did not grace us with its presence this time around. But the Matterhorn from the Col Riedmatten more than made up.
Next on the agenda is the Tour des Muverans, a new one for Trekking in the Alps, which should provide quite an adventure.
Monday, 5 July 2010
Summer is definitely here at last. We've had two weeks of hot sun and it's set to continue. This is making for excellent trekking conditions.
There is still a lot of snow on the cols above 2300m, especially on the shady sides, but it's melting fast.
Friday, 21 May 2010
The daily news is hardly inspiring though, is it? It seems to be there are many reasons why you might decide to stay home this summer and not come trekking in the Alps with me. Let's take a look:
The Economy: what a mess! Each day seems to bring more bad news, with the odd glimmer of hope when one world leader or another suggests a short-term solution to what are clearly long-term problems. But will this change in the next few years???
The Ash Cloud: quite where we are with this I don't know, they say that the planes can fly and that hopefully better legislation will be introduced so the flights are only cancelled if really necessary. And actually there are other very straight-forward ways of getting the Alps, at least from other European countries, notably the train, which is very efficient and not expensive if reserved in advance. Driving is also a good option, not difficult and actully pleasant if you make a journey out of it.
The Exchange Rate: Well after the last few months I'd like to say this can only get better - the Euro has certainly weakened these last weeks and the Dollar has gained strength. Sterling seems to be sitting on the fence with that one. Could get worse, could get better, but in the end it's just a holiday and the extra cost doesn't amount to that much, honest!!
Fitness - you're not fit enough for these hilly Alps! Nonsense, this is the perfect time to start an Alps trekking Fitness Programme.
It might be a sunny summer wherever you live - well there's a chance of course!!
I have 3 treks that still have places available:
Chamonix Zermatt Walker's Haute Route meet 21 July trek 9 days - amazing alpine journey with big mountain scenery.
Tour of the Grand Muveran meet 7 August trek 6 days - big adventure trek.
Tour of Mont Blanc meet 28 August trek 7 days. The classic Alps trek.
Take 5 minutes to click this link, sit back and dream: here are 50 reasons to come trekking with me this summer http://picasaweb.google.fr/Hilaryalp/SummerTrekking50ReasonsToCome?feat=directlink
Thursday, 13 May 2010
We did enjoy some beautiful spring flowers and the beech forests were delightful, all the leaves being pale green at this time. Birds were plentiful and we even spotted an ibex.
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Saturday, 27 March 2010
We've had sun - a lot of it! By last week the temperatures had risen so much that the snow in the valleys was melting fast, giving way to grassy slopes and primroses!
But walking in T shirts, picnicking in hot sun, enjoying fabulous views.....not really something to complain about!!