A great week had in the French and Swiss Alps with two newcomers to snowshoeing Aline and Jose from Mexico City. Thanks guys for a fab week I really enjoyed spending time with you. Lindsay
Read Harriet Gordon's article on the walks every American should try. Well rather than keeping it just for our friends in the US take a look at Harriet's article for some worldwide hiking ideas this year.
Whether you are looking for have an adventurous weekend or cross something off of your bucket list, nature is, and probably should be, involved. One of the best ways to get back to it is to go on a hike. With literally thousands of trails taking anywhere from hours to months to complete, it can all be somewhat to very confusing. With little money and less time at stake for most hikers, what is the best way to get the biggest bang for your buck/minute?
Before I really get into the season I have been trying to do a little ski mountaineering for myself, and on New Year's Day celebrated my birthday with a great trip to Col San Carlo in Italy. It was also a chance to check out the area for snowshoeing and given the tracks to one of the summits in that area there is ample opportunity to snowshoe as well as ski! I hope you enjoy the film of a great day out on the 1st of January. A very Happy New Year to you all. Hope to see you soon in the snowy mountains! Lindsay
A great day out playing off piste with Kath Murphy, and Charles Scott. Lindsay
Opening of the season at the world famous Grands Montets ski area in Chamonix Valley. Excellent powder and sunshine - what more do you need!
A great day working with Oliver Ensor from Chalet Savoy in Les Houches. We had a bunch of fun guests to take snowshoeing up to Chalets de Chailloux above Coupeau which is a fantastic spot for a winter wonderland experience and views of Mont Blanc. Oliver's wife Elaine prepares the best cake ever! Lindsay
After heavy snowfall these past two days the run up to Christmas is providing excellent skiing conditions - and what's best is the pistes are quiet! 15/20 km's of tracks are open in Val Ferret and the coffee and cake reccommended!
Merry Christmas and happy skiing & snowshoeing. Julia & Lindsay
Today started off as a normal day in Chamonix - blue skies, sunshine and an hour or so out skating on the cross country ski tracks. (What a wonderful place to live!) But the afternoon was not quite so 'normal' - well not for me anyway. My husband had arranged an early birthday present for me a - tandom paraglide flight. For many years now I have watched people launch themselves off from the mountainside with a parachute in tow and wondered what it would feel like. It looks so graceful. So as a 'treat' this is how I spent my afternoon! We met with, Sean Potts, a Chamonix based instructor & pilot. His cool, calm and collected manner coupled with his 22 years of flying immediately made me feel totally safe under his wing!
It was -12 just in the carpark so I was well wrapped up for the 900m ride up a Chamonix cable car to Plan Praz at 2000m. Not wanting the cold to ruin the experience. We walked to the launch area and Sean gave me what seemed very few instructions as he unscrambled what he called 'spaggetti' - the glider and cords! I took a good look around - we were stood on the snowy mountainside with all the familiar but always impressive rocky spires all around with the sun on our faces. Within 10 minutes of leaving the lift we were both hooked up to the paraglider and began running together in what felt like slow motion off the mountain side above the trees. There was a slight moment of panic as you realise it's too late now!
I felt the wind lift us up and take the weight from beneath us and we were flying! It's a lovely sensation to be floating, bobbing and being buffeted by the air. As the warm air rises you gain lift and can hold your height giving you time to play on the thermals. Once the initial anxiety and excitment faded, there was plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and take in that you are actually flying! Half way down I was given the controls and made some turns as we joined other gliders in the sky, Sean took over for the last few swooping turns and made a very smooth landing. So if you've ever thought you'd like to have a go what better place than with fabulous views of Mont Blanc! For further details on planning a flight as part of your trip to the Alps then drop us a line and we'll make it happen. I can honestly say whether you are 8 or 80 you'd love it.
"What is it like to go out into Scotland's hills with little or no sight? Lindsay Cannon spends the day with a group of visually impaired walkers who rely on their four other senses." Blind Summit will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland, on Monday, 13 December at 1530 hrs, that is, of course, 1630 hrs in Chamonix! Lindsay recently spent a day out with visually impaired hillwalkers in the Cairngorms and recorded their experience for radio.
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. The expected date for the opening of the cross-country ski tracks is 4th December in most areas. And what with owning brand new XC skis i'm feeling a little impatient! In the meantime, i'm off out on my snowshoes as we don't need lifts to use those.