Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fort l'Ecluse like a (go) Pro

Radek got a Go Pro camera as a CERN goodbye gift and he gave it a try on Fort l'Ecluse. How do you like it?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sixt Fer à Cheval one more (and last) time

Our friends were passing by the area while on holidays so we met them in Sixt Fer à Cheval - the place where we take all our visitors. A perfect day to stroll with children.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Refuge de Tête Rousse (3167 m)

It's official, we started preparations to Mont Blanc trip. The idea hatched for a long time but now it materialized and we're very happy about this. My friend introduced us to Jacek who had the same dream and we started planning it together. So if everything goes well, next year we will set foot on the highest peak of Europe. Meanwhile... We're doing preparations. We decided to follow the Mont Blanc route as far as possible without any special gear and got as high as  Refuge de Tête Rousse - the refuge we will be staying in during our next year trip. I'm so excited! Also, it's symbolic. This will be our final hike in the area, we won't have time for anything else, so we will close the season with  Tête Rousse, and open it the next year with the same route (only extended).

As you can see, we didn't have inviting conditions, but we decided to give it a try anyway. We're all experienced in mountains and Jacek is also a runner so we weren't afraid of the challenges. We continued in a super fast pace (it was Jacek who led and he clearly was fitter than us - I guess running marathons gives you a good deal of stamina - I must try this!). So in nearly no time we reached Barrack Forrestiere from where it was already quite close to the refuge. And where the snow began.

We went past a couple of daredevils willing to claim Mont Blanc. Not the best idea taking into consideration that the Gouter Couloir was closed due to heavy rock falls and there have been a number of deaths recently. I guess some people can't argue with their call for adventure. But that's not us. We reached Tête Rousse, warmed up considerbaly there and went down to the base using the same route. Radek got stomach upset yet again so it was a bit of a challenge for him to get down but eventually he made it. We didn't see Blanc that day, but we will see it next year! Au revoir!

Stats: max elevation: 3127m, Elevation gain: 1370m, Distance: 14,3km, Time: 6h 15min (+45 min break in the refuge).

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Goodbye Jura

Finally, the heat is over! Isn't that great news? Although, I must admit, the change is huge as in Jura it was around 4 dg. C today. Only 30 less than a couple of days ago :) Anyway, not much time left for us so we're saying farewell to Jura. It's the chain that we saw every day from our windows, where Radek took his first ski lessons, where I made my first hiking trips back in 2010. We're taking lots of memories with us. Jura, we will miss you greatly!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Les Via Ferrata du Rochers de la Chaux

Yet another Via Ferrata. We called this one: "A VF on a vertical rock" because indeed, it was vertical :) There were two possible routes to follow, we chose an easier one and I think it was a good decision. Not that the easier route was challenging or anything, but the other one looked super difficult from where we were standing. Or better say: from where we were hanging :)

For sure, this one is not for people with vertigo. There is no place to recover, once you're there, you need to hide your fears, tiredness and continue up. A look back down gives you this nice panorama on a town in mountain valley. Have a look at the movie we made there:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Refuge Albert 1er (2706 m)

We're really having a proper ending of our stay near the Alps. Each hike brings us to more and more beautiful places. Theoretically, we know them all - we've seen Galcier du Tour a couple of times earlier but never in a close up like today.

Although... we were very close to resign from a todays hike and I think it was only a matter of reason that we continued. I don't know, it never happened to me earlier that I really considered turning back on a trail, but that particular day, in temperatures exceeding 35 dg. C, it felt like a real ordeal to me do these first metres up. But eventually we made it (with lots of stops) and I don't regret after all.

I love glaciers, I really do! It was worth every doubt, every moment of hesitance to reach it.

I can't believe it's over - our last hikes in this area. I have so many mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I understand that our move will bring us lots of good and that we wanted it, but on the other hand we'll be living in the plains, so far from any mountains... So sad.

Stats: Max altitude: 2706 m, elevation gain: 1240m, duration: 5h 45min, distance: 11km

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

VF Le regardoir / Lac de Vouglans

What can I say, really... Simply WOW! By no means this is the most beautiful Via Ferrata we did. It wasn't too difficult, nor to easy -just fine for our level. We had little luck though... Holidays season is in full bloom and we arrived just a couple of minutes after a huge group of beginners, so, believe it or not, there was a queue on the rock :) It's a strange sensation to be hanging vertically and being forced to wait.

The beauty of this place was based on Vouglans lake that was side by side with the rock we were climbing. We had a panoramic view on the area almost all the time. On top of that, the route itself was interesting. It had various options that could be followed, bridges, ladders etc. I really enjoyed it and I guess after this day I may finally say - I'm into via ferratas.