Friday, 1 April 2016

Heading to Spring in St Jean d’Aulps

Husky dogs with their sledges returning from an outing

Since the last entry and commenting about blue skies they have mostly left us, we had a lot of rain a few days ago which was meant to be snow at higher levels, and indeed fell on us as snow when we went for a quick skin up a slope where all the dog sleds go, though when we went looking the following day there was no sign of fresh snow, just heavy, lumpy old snow, less lumpy than before as the rain had smoothed some of them out, but even so. 

Friendly black cat comes over for some fuss
Skiing has slightly lost its edge, not completely, but cloudy slopes with heavy snow and, over Easter, lots of people are not our favourite. We went out yesterday to Bellevaux to look at some via ferratta, new since we were last here. We popped in to the tourist info where she gave us some useful info, but did tell us they weren't open till the 15th April. Having spent a few minutes talking to the friendly black cat who came trotting up for some fuss we walked up to have a look. 

Reading about the Via Ferrata, the start with staples and wire just to the right
The waterfall Via Ferrata
We could see why they are closed for the next couple of weeks, one was dripping, one criss crosses a very full waterfall, the other may have been OK and even had people on it! They look very exciting though, so we will be heading back. 

Here's one of the information boards. Can you see the left hand picture of two people crossing a rope bridge over the waterfall? There are apparently seven crossings as you ascend. Looks fabulous!
The 'Torchon' ski lift heading up towards our resort
Having driven as far as the village we thought we'd better go a little bit further to find the ski lift where you can join our local circuit half way round, just because. It was very strange seeing it from the other end, suddenly becoming aware of the absolute lack of snow except on the pistes, and that looking a bit tired. We then set off to do the 45 minute return journey round the mountain, knowing that if on skis the direct route would have taken no more than 20 mins!

A skiing day out. This is from the Pointe de Nyon and looks down into the Valley de la Manche and the ski tour day we did in February. I've marked our route of ascent (right) up to the Col de Cou and our ski descent from the Fornet Col on the left in a thin red line
Spring flowers poking through the cold earth
Our focus has changed slightly as you can see, we still expect to ski a bit more, we've done a little skinning for exercise, so there may be a little more of that, if it would just brighten up we would be climbing at the crag. In the meantime B has spent a long time playing with the blog, enabling easier searching, apparently, though I think he's spent a long time reminiscing which is OK too! 

Warmer weather means windows open...
He's done some drawings for Rob and Alex and their new extension, we haven't done as much Spanish as we should have, I've spent loads of time feeding cats and fussing Groucho who likes the warmer weather as with the door and window open she feels quite entitled to wander in and have a look around till one of us moves too quickly! Both Callico and Whitey look very heavy with kit, in fact haven't seen either of them today, if they get a move on we may have whole families coming down for biscuits before we leave!

Are we still loving it? Yes.
And doors open....
This is just about OK....
But this isn't!!
Happy cat gets a treat
Little Gizmo paid us a visit


  1. Very much like the very efficient new look blog- I too had a good reminisce as I looked around. It will be good when finished- well done! X

  2. Having a catch up on your posts. The cat situation seems to have come on leaps and bounds! And the food you cook in that shed (most recent blog 11th April), sounds amazing.... xx