Since the 18th century there has been a real craze for the Alps, there was a great influx of travellers 'discovering the alps' from scientists and botanists making sense of the land, to alpinists making first ascents and the aristocracy seeking the fresh air. Haute-Savoie consists of a small but very important 'nook' of the French Alps , bordering Switzerland and Lake Geneva to the north, and Italy to the east and southeast. With the highest mountains in Western Europe as it's back drop and Annecy the "Venice of the Alps " as it's administrative centre, there's no doubt that Haute-Savoie is one of the most beautiful parts of Europe.
Winter is here! This week I have been running in fresh snow in Chamonix. The temperatures have been sub zero keeping it light and fluffy underfoot. Over the past few weeks the Alps have been receiving regular snowfalls which enabled the partial opening of the Swiss resort of Verbier to open and this weekend the Grand Montets Ski Area in Chamonix will also be partially open.
Lindsay and I were joined by a Nordic Walking group from Ashbourne, Derbyshire at the weekend. Working in conjunction with their local Instructor, Sam, we arranged for a group of 20 walkers to spend a relaxing weekend based in the Chamonix Valley. Using Argentiere as our base we enjoyed walking in 3 countries in 3 days.
Over last night and this morning we have had at least 2 feet of snow fall at our front door here in Finhaut, at 1340m. This added to an already good base. Today I woke to a very quiet, magical, snow drenched village.
It's only early October and the snow has already arrived!
I headed off to Swiss Val Ferret today for a very wintery walk with snow shoes. We were heading for Le Chantonet which is a wee summit near the Petit Col Ferret. It was very atmospheric as we headed up the first part of the climb with larch trees coated in fresh powder - really beautiful. I think my friend Barry and I got a bit of a shock when we realised how much snow had fallen overnight as we were up to our knees in places. The compass was out for the first time in ages with visibility down to about 20m.