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.

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