Sunday, 23 October 2011

A fabulous autumn

What a wonderful autumn we've been having here in the Alps. I think it's also been pretty good weather elsewhere in Europe and further afield too looking at reports from Yosemite and the like.
But getting back to here, the temperatures are falling and the mornings are now very crisp, but once the sun's up it's a delight to be out hiking or climbing. 


A little cold for biking - the downhills have become an ordeal, but if you're ascending into the sun it's pretty warm. The mountains are snowy but not unduly so and whilst it must be cold at alittude there are doubtless a certain number of suitors on the slopes of Mont Blanc.

Many folk have headed south so it's quiet now on the trails and the paths. However, the French Toussaint holidays begin this weekend so there'll be a last blast of business for a few days before we settle into the extreme quiet that precedes the winter season.  A time to savour becore it all goes very chaotic and hectic!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

From heatwave to arctic in one fell swoop

Well this time last week it was hot, sunny, it looked like this:  

 Everyone was out hiking in shorts, the mountains were dry as a bone, too dry really, the glaciers were very grey and getting smaller by the day.
But it was great as you could sit out from early morning to evening, wear shorts every day, not think about which crag to climb on as they were all dry anyway. You could even climb at altitude without worrying about being cold. We never saw such conditions in July this year at all.
But of course all good things come to an end and this one had to. We saw those first wispy clouds on Thursday afternoon and by evening the massif was shrouded in thick ominous grey clouds. Friday and Saturday were truly appalling, shocking, the poor cat was stunned when she looked out the door and all her fur was instantly soaked and frozen stiff. The snow flakes came down lower and lower and last night it really settled.

 And now it looks like this: still very beautiful but somehow we'd got very attached to the Indian Summer and are not quite ready for Winter yet.
Luckily it's forecast to warm up again so those snowshoes and skis can stay put for a few more weeks.