Hello, we are finally back after a couple of weeks in the Alps.
We were very lucky with the weather as it was mainly sunny for our whole stay and I was able to do a fair bit of ski touring up on the glaciers in between getting E comfortable on skis.
This post is going to be more of a photo gallery as I thought I’d share with you some of the beautiful sights we saw along the way.
The first photos you can see here were taken on my outing up the Glacier de Gébroulaz in the Vanoise National Park. That day was seriously windy and so they shut the chairlift which normally takes you to near the top of Glacier leaving you an hour’s skinning up to start of your run. This meant that we had to walk up the piste too in order to get there. The wind kept us cool during the climb and deterred many others from joining us so we had a beautifully clear run down.
I loved looking at the spectacular ice pleats on the glacier. I had a Guide with me to make sure that we are safe and stayed well away from the crevasses but even in this image you can sense some of respect we had to treat the glacier with.
On our way down to our next climb: After the Gébroulaz we headed across to climb back up to 3153m and go down the Glacier du Borgne which you can see just the top of right in the middle.
That was my biggest hiking day but we did spend most of the time as high as we could as the valley was starting to look distinctly green.
Here is the Bouquetin statue up at the top of La Masse. The Bouquetin is a type of Ibex and is the logo of Les Menuires.
We went on another off piste adventure along the corniche by the Pointe de La Masse in order to do a descent down the Vallon du Lou.
Many people forget how stunning the mountains are in the summer too and most are pretty well sign posted for hiking. It always feels a bit odd though coming across a sign post up at the top of a mountain.
The snow was starting to melt fast towards the end of our stay and little streams started to spring up out of the rocks.
E’s confidence on skis grew as the week progressed and she very excitedly came on trips to restaurants in different valleys. We are very much gourmet skiers in Les 3 Vallées and lunch is as much a part of the experience as the skiing. My favourite restaurant in the world is based in Saint Marcel in the Belleville Valley. It is called La Bouitte and we have been going there for over 20 years. Originally it was a very simple but excellent Savoyard family restaurant but over the past 10 years or so the father and son duo have been working on more innovative and creative dishes. The little restaurant has been expanded and a hotel built and they now have 2 Michelin stars. They have kept the relaxed mountain charm though: the dress code is mountain wear and slippers and even my mad little girl was made very welcome.
Towards the end of the week the skies clouded but I did snap the giant Bulldog at the top of Courchevel for you before we left.
Unfortunately our week had to end on a sad note as we headed off to Haute Savoie. If you haven’t guessed my family is into skiing in a fairly major way. My grandparents were skiers and took my father and his little sister skiing from young age. My aunt passed away very suddenly at the end of last year and her wish was that her ashes be scattered at the top of Les Grands Montets in the Chamonix Valley.
It looked to be a miserable day for a sad task but as we got to the top the clouds parted and we found ourselves on a beautiful sea of cloud.
Once again we had a qualified mountain guide (also a family friend) to take us onto the Argentière Glacier to remain safe. The glacier changes daily and snow bridges formed can be deceptive.
I understand completely why she would want to be scattered in such a beautiful place.
The ice is stunning but frightening as you ski past huge cracks, pleats and shards.
It was a holiday filled with experiences and moments I will never forget.
I hope you have made yourselves some happy memories over the holidays and I look forward to our next adventures.