Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bye for now

My last few days in Europe, I'm excited to head home and enjoying our last adventures.

Grammy and I are doing magic tricks...

She enjoyed her last few hikes and play time together before heading back to Quebec yesterday.

A last climb up to le prairon, this time I can do it all on my own.

Here's my little friend Leo, he's doing a good job too!

We picked some berries together at the summit.

Chamois and fox wanted to try too!

A last swing and jump on our trampoline...

Papa had a his last summit of Mt. Blanc and a final day working teaching climbing...

Mama had a last walk into the alpine...

Until next summer Les Houches, by then I'll be almost 5 years old! Au revoir...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Many Randonees

For the last month, I've had the gift of weekly walks on trails on the north and south side of the Chamonix Valley.

A bit behind in my mama walk blog, here are a few pictures from the last month of wonderful walks I enjoyed.

A few days ago, this is a walk just behind our house, up a steep gulley and onto a narrow ridge.

A fabulous climb from lush valley to larch and alpine terrain.

I was grateful I got to do one of my final hikes here with another mom who I've been getting to know, Kim.

Perhaps we'll get to hike again next summer when she comes to visit B.C!

Last week I have an afternoon of free mama time and enjoyed a quick lift into the alpine by telepherique.

In the background is Mer de Glace, one of the longest glaciers, from this side there are incredible views of the Mt.Blanc massive.

The hike traversed from one high lift to another via a fun ridge.

Of course lots of help along the way...

Two years ago when I walked this it was two feet under snow.

We've been blessed (and at times cursed) with incredibly clear and hot skies.

I decided to revisit a ridge that I had seen on a previous hike.

It was super workout, all up, starting in Servoz valley (below & behind the ridge)...

And finishing with a nice lift down from Brevant (look way in the distance).

David and Elias dropped me off, early morning so...

I got to enjoy a cool ascent and people free trails...

Try last evenings frozen & now sun warmed mtn berries...

And enjoy some unique perspectives of paraponters and Mt.Blanc...

I followed some mountain goats...

Feasted on succulent alpine flowers...

And retreated with some journalling time on this high porch refuge, a wonderful morning.

This hike was in a valley perpendicular to Chamonix, about 1/3 of the way on the Mt.Blanc "trek".

Definately one of my oddest hikes yet.

It wasn't the cows or powerline overhead...

Nor the incredible rock and trails going through high passess...

The steady uphill path and big terrain, that too was normal.

For me, it was my first experience of walking a portion of the "Mt.Blanc Trek" on a busy August day.

It was the hordes of people and realization that literally hundreds of people followed this classic route, a 185km trail that goes around the Mt.Blanc massif.

I still enjoyed the beauty of the place and inspired by the dedication of people from all over the world to hike in these unique mountains.

At times, it felt like a pilgrimage which for some ended at this simple church.

I had yet hike in Switzerland so one warm day I wandered past Vallorcine to follow signposts of a different design.

The gruelling ascent perhaps ensured I'd see few people.

And similar to France, I was lead the way...

Up to an incredible blue lake, not so different from what I'd see at home.

Except here I may be joined by folks who had gotten a quick train ride up to the dam.

Back across the border, a simple refuge and long descent.

Grateful to push my legs, lungs and free spirit.

Thanks to Papa, Pierre&Odette, Denise and Anne for gifting me time to be on the trails.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A day of playmates

This is Daniel, you may have met him before.

We're neighbors and sometimes hang out.

He just got a baby sister, I just got to see her, she's little and soft.

Here's Julian, he's French, we met him at the beach.

He liked hanging out with Grammy and my trucks.

We're building tunnels together, just like the long one we took to Italy.

This is Lac de Passy, it has great views of Mt.Blanc, Papa's up there right now.

After dodo I took granny to my other favorite beach spot its in a cool forest.

We found another french boy there, the same age, he shared "his" trucks with me.

We built some houses with wood.

Then used wood for making boats in the water and bridges to walk over.

A fun day!

And now we get to hang out with papa too.

Day on Rock

David and I were gifted some time to go explore together in the alpine.

We took a couple lifts up, unsure what to can just see the rock ridge in the distance that we climbed.

This is the top of Argentiere lift, super!

The last time I was here was 4 years ago when we skied the haute route, our lives quite different then.

We started our day as a descent on the glacier and some tricky walking on ice and rock.

For me it was nice to try out my crampons again and be up high.

Chamonix and Les Houches with Grammy & Elias are just below us.

David has been working most of the summer with not much off time. So many routes that are calling him.

Its been super busy with tourists in the valley so we picked a route we didn't expect to see anyone.

The flowers, terrain and quite made us think of home.

And the beginning of the climb was a wild garden too!

The route was stellar for the first four pitches then really challenged me as it was super exposed, I named that part "descent into hell".

I may be with a guide but that doesn't take away the intimidation factor sometimes.

It finished with a fun ridge and scramble.

A long return walk to descend back to the ski hill.

Fun to be on rock, it puts life right in the present.