Memories have been flooding back to me during this rather damp summer season of summers spent in Chamonix years ago. Rain lashing against the tent, hours spent mooching around town wondering what to do, hopeful forays through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to see if the sun was shining on The Other Side.
Unsettled weather used to be the norm in the Alps in the '80s and routes and hikes were grabbed whenever a good weather window presented itself.
Then came the '90s when every day was sunny and it was like living in California. We all became rather blasé.
This year we're back to normal and the raingear has certainly been out many days. But there's also been plenty of sun and, once out on the hill, what looked like a bad forecast has generally proved to be great trekking weather - not too hot, reasonable views, with just the odd shower or threat of.
The Tour of Mont Blanc last week proved to be as spectacular as ever, although each time I do it I am struck by the diminishing size of certain glaicers. Having taken photos of the views for the past 20 years I have an interesting record of the regression of the glaciers in this region.
Nonetheless the scenery remains fabulous, the flowers this year are incredible, and the changeable weather gives the high peaks a regular fresh coat of paint keeping them sparkly white and gleaming.