Saturday, February 28, 2015

Let the hiking season begin: Orsière (1750m)

I have to admit it - I got a bit tired of skiing. Maybe not that much of the activity itself but rather the side effect that we didn't spend enough family time together. So this week we are taking a break from skiing, not from mountains though!
To inaugurate the hiking season I chose something easy, in any case, when we have a toddler on our back we're not able to climb hell rocks and devil pits. Pointe d'Orsière seemed like a good choise - with no technical difficulty and low altitudes. And it was, with one 'but'.

The weather was a bit unfortunate. We drove there in full sunshine and took off all the layers in our car. But as we entered the car park it got gloomy and with every minute it was only worse. Throughout the whole day we saw the sun only a couple of times on our way back.

Although the route was very easy, we did struggle with ourselves. When you look at this outing from the perspective of our past hiking routes, this should have been like a walk in a park. But it really wasn't! It's sad how fast we lose the stamina when we stop doing sports. On top of that, our son is really heavy now so the 550 m of elevation gain we did is the maximum for hikes with him.

The whole trip made us so tired that 100 m before the summit we even considered turning back. In the end we turned down that thought and continue to the top following ski tourers' trails. We spent only a couple of seconds at the top and descended by crossing the snowfields in the fresh powder snow. It's always the best fun, as it literally lifts you when you rush down the slope in snowshoes. By no means the best part of the day!

Stats: max altitude: 1750m; elevation gain: 568 m; length: 12 km; duration: 4h 10 min

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Skiing in Châtel

This weekend I went skiing in Châtel with my colleague from CERN office. Oliver is an experienced skier (CERN level 3.5 when I was 0.5) so skiing with him was a bit challenging. 

He convinced me to go down some black slopes and in the end I had a lot of fan what you can see in the attached pictures and the video ;-)

After this crazy tricks I deserved some yummy food.

This day was lots of fun even with mediocre weather and me feeling a bit sick. But what I am really waiting for is skiing together with Ania. Another 3 weeks and we will be able to do that.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weekend skiing: Les Contamines and Espace Diamant

CERN ski course has come to an end so now we enjoy more freedom when it comes to skiing. On Saturday I went with a couple of colleagues to Les Contamines. It was my favourite resort of the ones I had seen but unluckily, I had really bad conditions that day. No visibility, strong wind, rather cold temperature - it was a real challenge to me to ski there. But that's not all! I had to scale the heights of my skills as my companions were way more experienced and imposed a very fast pace on the pistes. I barely managed to keep up but it all gave me lots of satisfaction and fun (combined with a bit of terror too). To make the day brimful, I went down a black slope. How cool is that? Who would have thought that 2 months ago I even didn't know how to put the skis on :)

Radek had more luck this week. He went to a new place - Espace Diamant. Beautiful weather, endless pistes, no people whatsoever, breathtaking views and a relaxing lunch break on a patio with a mountain landscape - what to want more? The resort was so big that within a day they managed to see only a small part of it. Without any doubts, we will return there.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Skiing in Avoriaz

Our last outing with CERN Ski Club took place in Avoriaz. We skied to a beautiful, blue sky with almost no clouds, in abundance of snow and in good moods. It's amazing how much progress we did thanks to these five days with instructors. I mean, I put my skis for the first time this year and now I am able to go down a red piste without problems.

We both got into skiing but I have to admit I miss hiking. I feel like going snowshoeing soon, to have a bit more contact with mountains. With the skis everything is fast, there's not that much time to take in the vastness of mountains. I guess ski touring would be sport for us but that's maybe for the future :)

(That's Dents du Midi on the left - our biggest trophy so far):