Saturday, 23 June 2012

Chamonix Mountain Adventures - the rest of the story

Last post we'd just started a week of hiking and adventures in the Chamonix region, based on my new book Chamonix Mountain Adventures.
The group consisted of some regular Trekking in the Alps devotees, good friends amongst themselves and also with me.
We were lucky to have pretty good weather except Wednesday morning when we got caught out in rather a fierce storm and ended up Very Wet. But true to form with Trekking in the Alps, the sun came out, and by the end of the day all that lashing rain, crashing thunder and very steep hills was just a blurry memory.

After that excitement we headed back into the mountains for a 2 day trip with an overnight in a mountain hut. We did a foray onto the snow from the hut, taking in some local wildlife at the same time.
It's good sometimes to remind yourself how lucky you are to normally sleeep in your own bedroom, alone or with just one other person of choice, rather than 20 unknowns, to have electricity and hot water and showers....and slippers that fit! But we had a great evening as a storm raged outside and awoke next day to clearing weather and some fab views.

We had our last picnic watching then paragliders take off above Chamonix then a trip up the famous Aiguille du Midi cable car gave a spectacular and beautiful finale to a wonderful week of adventures.
Thanks to all for being such good company, such fervent advocates of my new book and for starting my summer season in such fine style.  

This is surely why we do it, isn't it?

Monday, 18 June 2012

Transhumance: the return of Trekking in the Alps to the Alps

Well it proved to be very difficult to make the move back from Provence to the Alps last weekend. We have fallen in love with our winter home and we left idyllic sunny early summer conditions to arrive in the Alps in extremely cold pouring rain, with the snow level heading steadily down towards our house! The cat couldn't understand why we'd returned. Nor could we really.

Bee orchid

Goodbye to the vultures for now but we'll be back
And the olive trees

But then the rain stopped, the sun came out and it all became clear. Provence has given us 6 months of wonderful weather and scenery and we'll be back in the autumn, but it will soon be too hot there and the vegetation will lose its splendour. Time to rediscover the joys of the Alps and they are certainly plentiful.

The alpenrose is just flowering at valley level

Hiking near Le Tour with the very snowy Argentière peaks as background

I am lucky to have a fabulous small group of regulars this week, here to launch my new book Chamonix Mountain Adventures. So we're enjoying some beautiful and exciting walks in the Chamonix Valley region. The conditions are excellent, with really hot temps and clear skies. The spring flowers are in bloom and above 2500m the mountains are still glistening from the latest top up of fresh snow. 
Near the Tête de Balme with the Aiguilles Rouges behind

Our first peak on the first day - 2 more were to follow.

More on this trip at the end of the week. Get Chamonix Mountain Adventures from Cicerone Press or (better) directly from me, signed.