Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mama's Sunday Walks

Today is Mama's morning off!

She's going to go for a big hike over a mtn pass with out me!

I get to stay with Pierre and Odette while...

Papa gives mama a lift in our trusty car.

Its kinda cheating but I don't mind cause she'll probably be home sooner.

Yes its true, Sundays are becoming mama walk time, I feel pretty lucky...

Looking up the valley towards Italy.

The hikes often start in farmer's fields.

In just under an hour I arrive at a small village, perhaps 10 houses.

Some of them are summer homes, orginally to care for sheep and cows.

Notice how much rock is used to build with.

This is the "refuge" or hut which accomodates travellers for the night.

Of course I take a cafe au lait before ascending more.

The trail winds up to the little Col du Tricot.

The trail system is incredibly well set up.

Signs at every crossing with pretty accurate estimates of walking in times.

I wander by local fauna.

I'm on the lookout for sheep.

Finding familiar flora I'm reminded of home.

Higher in the alpine, desert plants thriving in this mix of hot sun and rain.

On the west side of the pass it is incredibly dry and open.

You can see the numerous heads of people bobbing down or up the trail.

Many are following a classic route that tours completely "around" Mt. Blanc.

In the distance the trail continues just left of the small ridge and into the mountains.

At the pass I found all sorts of folks.

Private groups with a guide, families and languages ranging from Italian, Dutch, French and UK English...

This route is a popluar one.

It reminds me of Nepal the deeply cut path.

As I descend I approach the glacier.

In the next hour the path changes in vegetation and style.

Entering lush deciduous zone.

Crossing the rapid Bionassay River....

The water is fed by this ice and snow. Just beyond this peak is Mt.Blanc massif.

Glacial morraine.

The pass I just came over is in the middle between the high ride and wee peak.

I enter wet cedar zone...

Cross some side slopes.

When it gets tricky I find great ropes to secure my descent.

Just past the "wildlife" gate I find the mt.blanc tramway train tracks.

Within 10 minutes I am heading down fast by a gondala and await 5 minutes for the bus.

I return home to David and Elias (having a big nap).

My little tour took just 3.5 hours now we have the afternoon to play together.

Pierre and Odette seriously contemplating the wine for our dinner.

We were gifted a super french meal at a cozy, classy restaurant.

Happy little frenchman!

We've all had a glorious day.

Until next week...

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