snow day

We awoke this morning to several inches of fluffy snow, and large flakes continued to fall throughout the day. It's been thirteen months since the last accumulation at our elevation, so I was super excited to get out in my snowshoes. First, a cozy morning with wool and thermal, coffee, a warm kitty and a sewing project (but more on that later).

Time to get out and enjoy the snowy day. 

I walked just a few hundred meters before reaching a trail where I could stap on my snowshoes and start trekking the unmarked snow.

I headed toward the river and turned onto a narrow wooded trail. 

All the trees were weighted with the new snowfall and everything was white.

Coming out of this first trail, under huge mistletoe clusters.


I spent a little time in the open fields. 

Then made my way to the vineyards.

Crossing the border.

Onto another wooded trail

As I looped back towards home, 3 hours later, house lights were turning on across the valley and the snow had stopped falling. I'm hoping with the predicted cooler temperatures, the snow will stay for a little while. It's been great to finish January with a wintery blast- I haven't had quite enough wintery weather, and now, it won't be too long before we start looking forward to spring.  


pretty package

Hurray for winter sales! I saw these oxford poincons in Barcelona in the fall, and waited patiently for the sale price at the end of January. I was so excited to get this nice delivery today, and took my time unwrapping a beautiful box with new shoes and necklace. I get really excited over shoes- they are my main mode of transportation. I can't wait to have an excuse to wear them and be fancy...when I'm not traipsing through muddy fields or up a mountain trail. Happy Monday to you too!


not a ski sunday

It's a dreary Sunday, we need to sleep-in a bit, so we're taking a day of rest from an all day ski outing. It's one of those days-you just don't want to leave the house. It looks cold, damp, and the branches are shivering outside the window. Brrr. But our tired legs could use some stretching, so after much deliberation, and the promise of a reward at the end, we decide to get out and try the Sentier du Rhone walk between La Plaine and Geneva. This 20k walk is estimated to be an easy 5 hour stroll along the river. So with a few snacks, camera, and just enough remaining daylight hours, we are on our way.

Wanderland.myswitzerland.com has really great walking maps. So we took a peek at the general route and generally followed this set trail with a few variations as well as continuing into the city center.

Most of the walk was warm and cozy on the wooded river trails, except for a few open stretches in the wind.

Colorful mushrooms and moss.

We were guided by some friendly robins along the way.

4 hours down. We're a little ahead of pace, but with lots of dips and climbs, the estimate is pretty good. 

Getting close to the city.

We were out of the trees and onto city streets just as the street lights turned on and we walked the final stretch along the lake, ending our adventure at a quiet table with a platter of a hot, mushy, Ethiopian dinner at Mosaique. Sometimes I need a little motivation to get moving on gray days, Ethiopian food will do the trick. It was a nice walk to go out for dinner- then a quick train ride home. 


ski: la clusaz

Today we skied at La Clusaz, our first time at this station. But first, we had to catch the bus. For the first time, we nearly missed an outing by oversleeping- we didn't hear the alarm and awoke later than we typically leave the house. We decided to try to make it to the bus, and arrived, half dressed, just before the bus pulled away. Yea! We made it, pulled our socks up, buttoned our ski pants, and munched some dry cereal on the bus ride through narrow mountain passes to the beautiful peaks of La Clusaz (home of Reblochon cheese).

Morning lift.

After another gray, foggy week, we were surprised by the blue sky and sunshine.

The week's rain in the valley also means new snow in the mountains, so conditions were fantastic, soft and light.

Some afternoon clouds settled on the slopes and visibility decreased. But any chance to be in the mountains makes my day.

Derek's off-piste group enjoys being away from the crowds.

This was already the 4th of 5 CERN ski club lessons...another season passing too quickly. 

La Clusaz village:

After a long day, we gather back at the buses for the journey home (our bus had a donkey in the window).

Photo credits: Derek Strom. Thanks for taking great pictures again on the slopes and letting me use them.


ski: avoriaz

Skiing tires you out, but it's so much fun. Another double ski weekend, we headed to Avoriaz with friends for fun in the snow. The girls took lessons while the big kids adventured higher up. It was gusty (gale force winds as the forecast said), major drifts across the pistes, heavier snow and low clouds mixed with little moments of sunshine. But that's not complaining- we had a fun day skiing. I really like that each time presents new challenges in different snow and conditions.  

After the morning skiing together- the guys took on the Swiss Wall.

We split for our final runs after a late lunch. Derek and I ascended for a great long run in a rare bit of clear sky and finished down at the parking lot. Another great ski day, and headed home to top it off with homemade pot pie! 


ski: les contamines

Fresh snow! Over a foot and a half fell yesterday and it snowed most of the day today...yeah for powder. Todays conditions: limited visibility but fantastic snow. Contamines is one of the ski stations I've enjoyed most of from the club outings, with long, wide runs and fantastic views, when there is visibility. I like the deeper, slower snow, but it's a major leg workout. Besides fun skiing, the new snow also initiates snowball fights and goofing around. Bon ski!


ski: le gets

We decided to chase yesterday's great outing with a trip again today. A double ski weekend.

Le Gets is a little closer than some of the other lift stations, so we went there for another day of sunshine.  Todays conditions: icy and crowded, but the sun was still fantastic...and the views.

Ooops, I realized I forgot my ski pants when we were halfway there. Since it was a dry day, I layered both Derek and my under-layers and we both were okay. 

We took a late afternoon cafe before starting our final runs and starting the drive into the sunset.