Sunday, March 30, 2014

ski: grands montets


This weekend was our last hurrah for the ski season, and it was a great one with the the Cern Ski Club at Grands Montets. Last week turned cold and dreary, and we were both worn down from miserable head colds, boo. We even saw snow falling outside our window mixing with the little white blossoms. The nearby ski areas reported 40-60cm of fresh snow, so we were lucky to have perfect spring ski conditions this weekend and the return of the sunshine. 


With an early start, we met the group in Argentière. I wore an ARVA for the first time to tag along with a group off-piste. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we went to some pretty interesting spots. By interesting I mean steep, rocky, through the trees, constantly changing snow, and really really beautiful. I was using all my energy trying to keep up - no time for photos (besides the first 3 below).  
    

After a full day, we made our way to Chamonix to walk around town and enjoy a dinner before finally turning-in for the night and hoping not to oversleep with the time change to daylight savings.

We were a rough looking bunch at breakfast. I took down three double espressos to get moving, but once we made it to the lifts, it was another fantastic day of skiing. This was the first time Derek and I rode all the way up to the top of Grand Montets, 3275m. The view was unbelievable, and the snow was soft and fresh. Unfortunately my camera battery died up at the top. We skied all the way back down, a 2000m descent to the the base to grab the spare, had some lunch halfway up, and then did it all again.


After the springy weather, I have to admit, I had checked-out from skiing until next year, but the weekend outing was worth piling on the snow pants, goggles, and gloves. Skiing should be possible for a few more weeks, but I'm quitting while I'm ahead. Had lots of fun, no injuries, and ready to hike after this awesome weekend. Bring on the spring!




Thursday, March 20, 2014

yippee, spring!


Although it has been a mild winter here, I am so excited to see blue sky and feel some sunshine. We've enjoyed two weeks of nearly perfect spring-y weather that has made the blossoms start and melted most of the snow from the Jura. Lots of little flowers in every color are pushing through the ground and covering the bare tree branches. Tomorrow the wind may shift and it looks like we might switch back to winter, but it won't last long. The fist day of spring is here and it is lovely. 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

xc ski: la vattay


We are having some beautiful sunny days as the temperatures are starting to rise. I rode up to La Vattay with a friend for an afternoon of cross country skiing in the Jura. She was able to rent a sled to pull her napping kiddo behind us for a hilly 8k loop. This takes care of my at least-once-a-year cross country ski requirement before the snow melts...so bring on the springtime. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

choully picnic


Hooray for early springtime! Today we gathered with friends and kids and dogs for a picnic and playing in the grass, complete with Cerdon, roasting sausages over a fire, and doing our very best to bask in every minute of sunshine.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

ski: chamonix

Saturday- we are back to the slopes, starting the spring ski conditions at Chamonix. With a low snow base and an early warm-up, it seems like we will get to hiking season a little early this year. It's sunny and toasty, not a cloud to be seen, and everyone seems to have the same idea as we do: ski as much as we can before the snow melts. We waited nearly two hours for the gondola up Flégère to start the day. I suppose we've been exceptionally spoiled this year with no lines, but this morning made up for that. Surprisingly, the slopes weren't crowded and there was no waiting at the lifts after the first ascent. Yippee! Even with a later start, we had a long day of skiing and came back with some nice goggle tans.


Picnic break with a view.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

my birthday in megève


After eight weeks of skiing, we took a break this weekend, but since it's my birthday, we must celebrate with mountains. Every winter, I am hesitant to ski during the school holidays, and figured this weekend would be especially crowded. We wanted to avoid the slopes but still get out, and somehow we ended up in Megève. The slopes seemed pretty quiet, (should have brought the skis) maybe because everyone was busy walking around town in their furs. Even though it has been mild this year, I have to admit, I'm just ready to be done with winter. 


We found a trail and went for a snowshoe hike.


We had the cocoa thermos and a little picnic in the snow. It was too cold to stop long, so back to it.


I was afraid we left the sunshine back in the valley while chasing the mountains, but luckily it caught up to us by the end of the day. We dropped everything and ran up a little hill to play in the snow with a great view on Mt. Blanc. It was fun to make snow angels and have a snowball fight...maybe for the last time until next winter.