Monday, 18 March 2013

High winds almost stop play

After a foretaste of spring, winter returned with avengence this last week. The temperatures plumetted and everything went white again.
At first the snow fell without wind which created some classic Narnia conditions. Snow laden trees and snowy roofs made for a winter wonderland experience.

After this brief snowy interlude the sun came out again accompnied by glacial temps & strong winds. There is something wonderfully exhilarating about battling your way up to a high pass, buffeted by winds to gain a fabulous view, then running all the way back down, the wind on your back. At least that's what I thought.....

Not sure my friends fully shared my joy in these conditions, but nothing a beer and tart couldn't fix in the café afterwards.
 We finally escaped the winds which threatened to shutdown a very important cable car and had a final nice snowy walk with great views of chamois.

That's it for now. A few days in springtime Provence then off the Val Clarée for some fun in the sun and snow - Briançon boasts 300 days of sun a year so we should be okay.
Right now it's putting down the fresh white stuff throughout the Alps so we're good to the end of the season!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Sun and snow as conditions get a little changeable

This is full on busy season for Trekking in the Alps. I've just done two back to back trips which meant 12 days away from home. Far too much of course, but apart from missing my own bed, husband and pusscat, I certainly couldn't complain about anything else. Great groups and once again pretty good conditions prevailed.

First of all I was with a group of seasoned Trekking in the Alps snowshoers in Samoëns in the Giffre Valley not far from Morzine and Flaine. They had a great time in perfect powder. The sun came out, they had made an effort with their outfits and everything went wonderfully.

After this I had a group of beginngers (at least to Trekking in the Alps) who were based in Switzerland for a week of snowshoeing around Mont Blanc. We were very lucky with the weather as it broke early during the week, but luckily we went to the right places and had great hikes, even if the views were somewhat compromised the last two days. Snow in the forests can also be very pretty and after all if it didn't snow we'd just be "shoeing".

We've also had some good wildlife spotting - ibex, chamois and even an ermine. The new group took to snowshoeing really well and after a few minutes hesitation were launching themselves down the slopes like old timers.
Next stop Simplon and Gemmi Passes where it's forecast to be cold and snowy - just as I thought spring might be on the horizon. Here in Provence spring has definitely arrived as you can see here

Meanwhile getting back to the snowshoeing, the photos tell it far better than I can so here goes