Friday, 27 August 2010

A superb weekend!

It was rainy and cold pretty much all last weekend until Friday night when it started to clear up. I had a couple of clients and friends coming out for the weekend to test out two of my "Creaky Knee Special" walks and they always bring the good weather. And true to form they did so this time - Saturday and Sunday were hot and sunny, not a cloud in the sky, perfect hiking days.

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.

Monday saw the rain return as Jane and Charles went home!
Next up, the classic Tour of Mont Blanc. Forecast pretty good, once the rain stops.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Summits, remote scenery and wildlife - Great New Trek!

Just back from the Tour of the Grand Muveran, a new trek for me which proved to be just as exciting and remote as I had hoped. We enjoyed good weather for the first four days and on the fifth day the rain just made it easier for us to leave this spectacular area. A very convivial group obviously really added to the enjoyment too.

We all summitted the Dent de Morcles, despite brooding weather conditions, which was a highlight, as were ibex on several sections of the trail.

The accommodation was "traditional" - none of these luxury huts with showers and nice rooms on this trek - but it was worth a bit of "basic" to be in such stunning places and we appreciated our creature comforts all the more afterwards!
So all in all definitely a trek to repeat in the future for those who want a challenge and some memorable hiking.

August is shaping up to be a mixed month for weather, with snow frequently falling below 2500m, but this is good for the high mountains and I am counting on an Indian Summer in the Alps!
Next up, a weekend to try out my Creaky Knees Specials walks planned for next summer - watch this space!!

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Normal summer alpine weather!

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.