Thursday, 18 December 2008
Sunday, 30 November 2008
6 days: Meet 31 January; 7 February; 28 March.
For more info go to www.trekkinginthealps.com
Right, time for me to get my snowshoes out and go and make some tracks!
Monday, 24 November 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
The high sumits have a considerable layer of snow, with 80cms reported above 4000m. There are even photos of people ski touirng in fresh powder over in Austria!
The non-glaciated summits are just perfect right now, despite a powdering of snow in places.
The Arpelistock provided me with a good ascent last week and the views were superb.
Over on the other side of the Col de Sanetsch, the Cabane de Prarochet was also worth a visit, if only for the fantastic limestone pavement littered with deep blue pools - they looked great for a dip but I not that brave.
From tomorrow there is light snow forecast as low as 1200m but hopefully this will not signal the end if the high hiking and climbing - surely it will warm up again for some more good activites in October......
With a small and very fit group I had 6 excellent days of hiking. It was unseasonally hot - more like August temperatures than September, and unusually for Corsica it was also quite humid. But the upside of this was that we could hike at any altitude without being cold, and the swimming opportunities were a delight.
It hadn't rained for the whole summer though, and the rivers were amazingly low. The water supplies at the huts were also worryingly low and this led to problems on the GR20 - reports of illness were becoming more and more common, especially towards the middle of the trek.
It seems to me that anyone going on the GR should aim to filter or treat water supplies, especially later in the season.
I no longer offer the GR for several reasons, one of which is the number of people on this route. From what I saw it was pretty crowded this September, although the hut guardians told me it had been quiet all summer until then.
Friends doing the route whilst I was over there told me many people gave up at the midway point, having become ill and also having found it very tough going. I am told the huts were low on food supplies - probably because there were too many people there in September.
So I am very happy that we were not doing the GR. we touched on it a couple of times, and my group told me they were relieved not to be spending the week following the red and white waymarks with everyone else.
There is so much more to Corsica than that. We did several summits, none of them big names, but all giving great views and none crowded - in fact most days we saw no-one else on the trails!
We also spent a night at a gite on the beach, and took in a very remote hut far from any crowds at all.
Corsica is a brilliant place - if you go there take the time to discover all aspects of the island, and to get to know the people and the culture.
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Not to mention our annual trekking and wine tasting week which came up with the goods on both counts. We based in Italy's Aosta valley and after some days hiking there we made our way over the glaciated Theodule Glacier to reach Zermatt for a couple of fine days at the end of the trip.
So now I am off to Corsica with a group of regulars which should be excellent.
It's time to think about next winter so check out the Snowshoeing calendar on my website: http://www.trekkinginthealps.com/calendar.htm
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
So here's what's happening winter 2009:
SNOWSHOE PROGRAMME TREKKING IN THE ALPS 2009
NB on the version of this calendar sent to people on my mailing list I marked the wrong week as Easter week. It is now correct below - Easter is 11 April and our Easter week will meet 4 April and finish the following weekend.
NO hidden costs.
Small groups guaranteed.
All levels catered for including experienced snowshoers.
High summits and hikes
New destinations every year.
accommodation (bed, breakfast and dinner)
transport during the holiday,
rental of ALL gear: snowshoes, poles, avalanche transceivers, probes and shovels.
Travel to meeting place
Insurance - eg Snowcard £22
Prices are in € and £. The £ price has been reached on an exchange rate of £1 = 1.25€. In the event that this declines to less that 1.20€ I reserve the right to ask for payment on the € price.
Otherwise you can decide whether to pay in £ or € when you book - if the rate improves it will be advantageous to some people to choose the € price.
Holidays are graded 1 to 3, 1 being the easiest grade up to 3 which means a strenuous grade. However, it must be understood that these grades are only guidelines as the snow conditions dictate more than anything what we do.
6 day holidays £796 995€
Mont Blanc Region
Meet Vallorcine near Chamonix
17 January grade 1
31 January grade 2
6 day holidays £840 1050€
Aosta Valley Italy
7 February grade 2
EASTER WEEK: 4 April grade 3
21 February grade 2/3
Aravis massif France
Meet St Gervais
28 February grade 2
Dauphiné Alps France
14 March grade 2/3
Gran Paradiso Italy
28 March grade 3
4 day long weekends
Mont Blanc Region £556 695€
Meet Vallorcine near Chamonix
8 January grade 1
14 January grade 2
27 January grade 3
18 February grade 1
Aravis massif France £599 750€
Meet St Gervais
3 March grade 2
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
Monday, 19 May 2008
Thursday, 1 May 2008
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Friday, 21 March 2008
The road from Vallorcine to Chamonix is closed for avalanche risk and there is a muffled silence as everyone huddles indoors waiting for the storm to pass through.
Nevertheless we had a great day out today in the forest where the snow-laden trees and wind drifts reminded us more of deep dark December days than late March.
Once this latest snow has settled we can be sure to have excellent late season conditions. So all those people who since January have been wondering if the snow will last out - have faith, this is one of the best winter seasons we've known. We just need to take care now for a few days as the avalanche risk is going to be very high.
Saturday, 1 March 2008
The Aosta Snowshoe week went particularly well, with a full group and wide age range, but everyone being very fit and keen to get high up into the mountains. By the end of the week everyone was running down the slopes of powder. This group was quickly followed by a private booking, again in the Aosta Valley. This region offers excellent possibilities for snowshoeing, but any visit there should also include the opportunity to sample the region's specialities - notably the superb red wine, cheese and ham. We made sure we gave our full attention to this aspect of the trip too.
March seems set not to herald spring but the return of winter: two days of rain have not been kind to the snowpack at lower altitudes, but the forecast is for lower temperatures from next week and we expect considerable snowfall at all altitudes. So it's out with the woollies again and we can look forward to several more weeks of fun in the snow.