Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Friday, 30 November 2012
Monday, 1 October 2012
|Last night's hunter's moon rising behind the trees|
|Now on all the local restaurant menus|
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Just over the road is Le Mazot - to some it's not more than a garden shed but this late 18th, early 19th century wooden chalet is full of charm and potential.
|Le Mazot interior - on the left is before - on the right is now...|
Monday, 10 September 2012
|The chapel dates from 1774|
|The fete took place in the centre of Mottec in front of the hamlet's other chapel|
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
- 3 pylons
- the 3rd longest cable way in Switzerland
- 2 cable cars carrying up to 125 people each
- 7 minutes and 20 seconds
web-cam so you can check progress). So even this winter one will start to get a feel of how things will be.
The new linked area will have over 120km's of piste and will mean that some of our favourite off piste routes will be repeatable more quickly. We also hope that most people will start their day in Grimentz where bigger carparks are being made for day-trippers, thus reducing the numbers coming up to Zinal. What changes it will actually bring are still 16 months away and only time will tell ...
Thursday, 19 July 2012
The Val d'Anniviers is dotted with lakes - from the enormous man-made Lac de Moiry, to small pools that evaporate as the summer goes on, either way they make for great lunch spots on a walk.
Here are a few of the other lakes in the Val d'Anniviers that are great to walk to...
Friday, 22 June 2012
|Meadow of flowers above Mottec at about 2300m|
- Lousewort (long-beaked or Ascending)
- Primrose (Birdseye or Long Flowered)
- Trumpet Gentian
- Geranium/Cranesbill with insect
- Alpine Pasque Flower
- Alpine Birdsfoot Trefoil
- Black Vanilla Orchid
Wednesday, 20 June 2012
- Bladder Campion
- Sweet Briar Rose
- Rhaetian Rampion
- Large Speedwell - to name just the above
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
To end our winter we joined a Mountain Tracks ski tour in the Gran Paradiso, Italy - just a couple of hours away from home. A fantastic week despite the weather - fresh snow and high winds changed the usual moving on journey through the mountains into a two centre base for some great day tours. The 'ups' of the week were summiting Punta (Bazel) Calabre (3445m), Tresenta (3609m), and the Gran Paradiso (4061m); the 'downs' included skiing great powder, tricky crust and porridge...
|Benevolo and Victor Emmanuel huts|
|Skining and skiing through fresh snow|
|Summits of Tresenta and Gran Paradiso|
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
With less than 3 weeks left of lift accessed skiing I thought it was time to look back on some of the fantastic ski days we've had here in the Val d'Anniviers this winter... But it ain't over yet.
|December: Storms brought record amounts of snow and we were cut off for 2 days|
|January: Heli ski conditions for everyone including our Mountain Tracks off piste week.|
|February: Freezing temperatures and fabulous powder.|
|March: Still finding powder within the domain or with just a short skin to hidden spots.|
Saturday, 31 March 2012
In this part of the alps we have some of the highest peaks and some of the most spectacular heli landing spots. Last week we spent two unforgetable days, starting with a classic heli-drop on the Pigne d'Arolla, skiing and skinning into Italy for some fantastic snow, scenery and food.
We were guided by Dominique Fellay of Alpine Dreams, and flown by Heli Alps.
Sunday, 19 February 2012
Skiing downhill is wonderful but not the best for keeping in shape. The answer during the winter months is to do a bit of skate skiing - a fast, dynamic version of cross country skiing. Just an hour and a half from us in Zinal is a mecca for the sport - Goms in the upper Valais.
|Damian teaching some tricks to skate skiing.|
between Oberwald and Niederwald the shortest route is 22km, a journey taking you through ancient villages, across meadows and past chapels. There are lots of alternative trails, twisting and climbing above the valley floor into the forest. But don't forget that what goes up must come down, which is no joke on these skis... There are also plenty of restaurants and bars - some serving the unlikely sounding dish 'cholera' (a sort of Swiss Cornish pastie with onion and apple); and you're never far from a railway station, so when you've had enough (cholera or skate-skiing) you can jump onto a warm train and trundle home. We stayed in the lovely Hotel Tenne, where they serve award winning food and have very comfy beds - perfect after a day's skating.
Monday, 6 February 2012
Winter has finally arrived across the whole of Europe. Here the temperatures were -20 at the house this morning, rising to -10 by lunch-time. Swiss rail tracks have snapped in the cold and there are wonderful frost patterns on the window, but it's beautiful. The sun is out, the sky blue, snow clings to the trees and there's no wind.
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Storms hit Switzerland and much of Europe at the beginning of the month.
We went over to St Bernard area to explore some of the little know resorts of La Fouly, Vicheres and Champex Lac, and found some interesting stuff, both resorts and snow. Over there the wind had reached speeds of 270km/per hour. Too strong to form any cornices, it left the tops of the mountains scoured back to rock in places, the snow having been shifted and dropped several meters along where it lay up to 4m deep.
Saturday, 7 January 2012
After all the snow storms, last night was still and clear - perfect for a snowshoe trip by the light of the full moon. We just went up into the forest behind Mottec, and saw fresh snow hare and fox tracks, everything was beautifully quiet and the snow sparkled just like the stars.
Coming back into the village everything looked magical and certainly worthy of a picture or two.
Sunday, 1 January 2012
After one of the driest autumn in the Alps for (some say) 150 years, the weather finally turned and from the 14th December we've had more snow than we could at times cope with. So much fell on the 16th that they closed the road for 1.5 days as a precaution against avalanche. Things have settled down now and since Christmas we've had more snow but some good skiing too in deep deep powder.
Once dug out, our new outdoor fireplace has made a great venue for some pre dinner vin chaud.