Saturday, 27 October 2012

It's snowing!

After a poor start, October has turned into a lovely month with lots of sunshine and evenn hot temps here in the Alps.
Until today things were looking like this


But as of today it's snowing and is forecast to continue for the next 24 hours, right down to valley level. So the winter is definitely on its way and it's time to start dusting off the raquettes and the skis and getting out the thermals! From January onwards I have lots of Snowshoe trips programmed - check out my website for details.
Of course the clocks are also going back which gives us the very shortlived pleasure of an extra hour asleep (never to be sniffed at I feel) but then months of long dark evenings. Here in the Alps (and down in Provence) those evenings are often not really so bad, often beginning with beautiful sunsets then clear nights and sparkling snow (well, hopefully not in Provence actually). But I do have memories of interminable greyness in the UK - maybe my memories are a bit screwed?   
Anyway looking out the window it looks a bit like this now

So it's time to hunker down in front of the woodstove and read a good book.
Before I sign off though, more thoughts on the Shewee that I introduced in my last post. Whilst carrying a very heavy sack last week it occured to me that this would be very useful when you need to go and don't want to take off your sack - and this does happen when you're hurrying along the trail or your sack is actually too heavy to pick up alone. Squatting down with 25kgs on your back is really not a Good Thing for those knees. So there's another reason to get one girls!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Back from holidays, snowshoeing and a new and essential trekking device

Snowshoeing - the very best way to get out in the hills in winter. Sign up now for next winter!
I don't usually blog my holidays but since it's the in between season here in the Alps there are no treks to blog so let's have some holidays news (including at the end of this blog some very important news about using a SheWee in the wilds, which I was able to do on this trip) - and some news about what's coming up for next winter. Please do read to the end.

The western USA was the venue for Trekking in the Alps to enjoy some great hiking and climbing, around Utah, Idaho and the California Sierra.

The western USA is extremely dry this year, partly the result of a very poor winter (no snow) and then hotter than usual conditions so far this autumn. Fires were burning in some parts of Idaho and it was sad to see much of the vegetation looking drier and more brittle than normal - some of the famous fall colours won't be happening this year due to lack of water.
Good for us to have no rainy days for our trip of course but I would gladly send them some of the rain falling in Vallorcine today.
Here's a few more shots

But now the party's over, it's time to think about serious matters! Who's up for snowshoeing this winter? Loads of trips on offer, take a look at my website or email me for details. Levels range from a lovely reasonably relaxed week in early January to full on racing around strenuous stuff in March. Something for everyone and everyone needs to sign up! Come on, you know you want to! Don't wait too long........

Beautiful walks with fabulous scenery, clear cold air, sunshine....what more could you want in the depths of winter?
Important news for my female clients
Finally I want to tell you about my experience using a device called a SheWee. This is for my female clients really, and I know there are lots of you who'll be interested. These devices have been around for a while and sometimes people do ask me if I have used one. Well finally I have. Now what's it all about?
Well it looks like this (didn't think we needed a shot of it in action!)

It enables us to wee without having to squat down and drop our pants. Now why would we want to do this? Well think about it - freezing cold winds, horizontal hail, crowded trails, vast snowfields with no trees or rocks in sight, bad knees....the reasons go on and on. It takes a bit of practise but once you get the hang of it it's amazingly convenient. I think it's going to find its place this winter snowshoeing. I am hoping to be able to write my name in then snow....sorry, just kidding, forget I said that....but I will keep you posted on how it performs in the snow.
Girls, you need this - go to SheWee's website or email me for the contact.