|photo by: Will Herrington|
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Monday, 10 October 2011
Sunday, 2 October 2011
The Indian summer that started about 4 weeks ago continues, if anything the days seem even warmer now. As of last Monday (26th September) the beautiful colours of autumn are starting to appear - the birch and larch are turning golden and the mountain ash red. To add to the autumnal feel the deer are beginning to rut and their belowing calls can be heard every evening.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Four fantastic days of yomping around the Monte Rosa massif with mad Tom, at speed. It was all his idea - so far he's tackled the tour of Mont Blanc, Corsica's GR20 and Chamonix-Zermatt by the summer haute route, all in a fraction of the normal time, not to mention the Everest marathon, and climbing Mont Blanc with his number 5 ice axe and teeing golf balls off the top.
The tour follows some of the ancient Walser trading routes. We took a handful of pictures with a phone (we travelled very light weight). The normal length of the trip is nine days, and to judge by the straight lines on the GPS routes recorded on the internet, everybody seems to use ski lifts where available, which is an odd way of going for a walk. We didn't.
- 4 days
- over 9200 meters of ascent and descent
- over 130 km's
- 1 blister
- highest point 3302m
- favourite part (day 2) Colle selle Cime Bianche to Fiery
Day 1 Grachen to Zermatt: along the Europaweg as far as the Europahutte, then on to Zermatt. A beautiful walk with Matterhorn and Weisshorn views, across suspension bridges and rocky slopes. The hut was great for lunch but after that we were forced down to the valley as the high path was closed.
Day 2 Zermatt to Staffal (Italy): up through the not very lovely-to-walk-through Zermatt ski area and over the glacier to the Theodule pass. We pulled on Kahtoola MiroSpikes to give us grip on the ice - these worked impeccably even on the steepest section. Once into Italy and the Cervina side we crossed the rocky moonscape terrain and dropped into the most beautiful valley that followed the Torrent de Courthoud down to Resy - then up and over the Bettaforca pass to Staffal.
|Penny crossing the glacier with Kahtoola MicroSpikes on Scott eRide running shoes|
|Tom running down from Col del Turlo|
|View back across Macugnaga to Monte Rosa|
Monday, 29 August 2011
Fabulous weather this weekend. The temperature is just perfect and the sky crystal blue. We are still in training for the tour of the Monte Rosa and have just got our new shoes - the eRide by Scott. They are light as feathers and give a terrific spring to your step.
We thought we'd put them to the test with a hike up to the Cabane du Grande Mountet. Its a long old way and 1330m of ascent, but you get wonderful views of the glaciers tumbling down from a cirque of mountains, including the 4000m Imperial Crown: Bishorn, Weisshorn, Zinalrothorn, Obergabelhorn and Dent Blanche
Saturday, 13 August 2011
It's a bumper year for redcurrants this year. All around the chalet bushes are strewn with strings of ruby's which glow in the sunlight. Although free and abundant, there's still a cost to picking them as the best bushes seem to be buried in fields of nettles. The other day we came back with 7.5 kgs of fruit. Having filled the freezer we started making jelly - can't wait for the next leg of lamb...
Tuesday, 9 August 2011
Col des Arpettes
Just getting a bit of training in for an early September tour of the Monte Rosa - normally an 8 day hike - which we're doing at a run with mad Tom, hoping to condense it into four 30-odd km stages. But it's the ascent and descent which will cause the trouble: the worst day is 2906m up and 3400m down. Here's a google earth track to the stunning Col des Arpettes above our house which we nipped up as a test-run which my phone miraculously recorded and which also tells me I can now eat an extra 6.7 Twixes. So it's not all bad.
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
Despite the mixed weather recently we were able to have a wonderful walk on Monday up the Grand Chavalard with some friends. Despite the cloud swirling around we still got some amazing views down onto the Rhone valley, a vertical drop of about 2400m. It brought back memories of a walk we did in the Langtang in Nepal a couple of years ago (left Switzerland, right Nepal). It's not the first time that we have been reminded of the Himalayas since being here - different cows though...
|Gd Chavalard, Switzerland (left), Eric in Langtang, Nepal (right)|
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Saturday, 2 April 2011
Monday, 28 February 2011
Friday, 25 February 2011
Thursday, 27 January 2011
It's been 2 weeks since it last snowed, but the cold temps have kept the north facing slopes in good condition. You now have to skin to find some fresh tracks but if you know where to go it's still there to be skied. It also gave us the perfect opportunity to try out our new ski touring kit. Eric has some Dalbello Virus and I've got some Scarpa Gea touring boots. Both of them are light weight but aimed at tourers who want to go down as well as up and they ski really well.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
However, it was warm enough to sit and have a picnic before skiing back down to Zinal.