The snow continued overnight, the biggest fall of the season so far. We waited and waited, and now there is almost too much. The sudden snow depth has raised the avalanche risk, and the coming days will be dangerous in the mountains until it settles, so we continue to be patient and weigh our options. With the chains on the wheels, we were able to drive to the Jura. We broke trail up to the high cow pastures, gradual at first, but then zig-zagging steeper. We had a great climb in the Jura, making tracks in the untouched snow, and weaving our way back down through the trees.
After nearly four months of trying to keep my sanity without regular running, I finally visited a sports specialist and got the okay to resume running...although limited in distance, frequency, and elevation gain through the winter. He prescribed adding variety in my training, especially xc skiing and randonee. I'm not a huge fan of the stationary bike or swimming, so a little more snow would help me out with the winter sports.
I went for a run immediately from leaving the office.
I'll need to be patient to regain my speed and endurance, but for now it feels so good to go!
Derek, Xavi, and I headed out for Point d'Areu today from Le Reposoir. We didn't end up there since we missed a turn early in our skinning, but started climbing something a little bit steeper. We got to practice tight kick turns and eventually found ourselves in a thick fog that didn't seem like it would lift.
Conditions worsened as we steadily climbed a route that we hadn't intended. Around 2000meters, we made the decision to start back down.
This seemed like a good time to pack our skins and descend:
We had a steep, fresh, fun ski, dropping back below the clouds, and finishing our day in the sunshine.
After a late start, we were finally skinning up. We had a few peeks from the sun until the snow started to fall.
No great views from the top since a snowstorm had begun. The flakes were huge and beautiful. We skied beside our tracks back down, and hoped to start the drive home before too much accumulated...should make fresh conditions for tomorrow.
Our first summit, Point d'Andey from Brison. A popular beginners route barely an hour drive made this an ideal location to test ourselves within the timing of school drop-offs and pick-ups. Despite our gps, we made a few wrong turns getting started, but soon found the correct route, and the tracks of other skiers before us. A thick fog settled in the valley- so we couldn't see our destination above. We didn't climb long, though, before breaking through into a warm sunshine, and started shedding our layers.
We worked our way upwards until we saw the summit, and stopped to enjoy the panorama and sit in the snow.
Finally, the ride down, surfing over buttery powder before re-entering the fog. I don't think I've ever felt anything quite like it, even on the best ski days. Today we got our first real taste of this sport...a snowy, sunny appetizer making us want more and more mountain adventures.
Laura and I checked out another ski-rando route in Les Houches today. It was a lovely trail through the trees leading up to the top of the Prarion lift...where the view of Mt. Blanc is spectacular when it isn't foggy. Another day we will need to rest at the top with a beer before enjoying the descent.