Last week we were joined out snowshoeing by journalist Tamsin Omond writing for the Guardian Newspaper. Today her article was published in the Guardian Travel section and also at Guardian online (http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/series/green-list-2010). Not only were we selected for this piece but also now feature in the Guardian Green Travel List for 2010.
The piece, featuring eco-friendly travel companies wanted an insight into accessing the 'back country' with little impact to the environment. Click here to read Tamsin's review on her day out with me.
What a weekend of glorious weather! I am just back from running our Snowshoe Safari in Switzerland where we had a group making the journey from Leysin to Chateau d'Oex. We were blessed with blue skies and sunshine and some wonderful snow conditions with light fluffy powder shimmering in the air as we walked. The weekend, which involves a three day journey, is a great introduction to snowshoeing and we make it very easy with all luggage being transported by taxi between our accommodation so only a light day sack is required. It's always great fun to introduce guests to a new activity and it was really satisfying to see everyone taking to this ancient form of winter travel. Thanks to Angela, Christopher, Alun, Marion and Katie for the great company! PS girls you really were the 'luge' stars - excellent technique!
I'm just back to the Chamonix Valley after another great ski trip to the Jura mountains where the snow continues to fall and the temperature is staying low - keeping the tracks in excellent condition. Our 'extreme team' (The Mackenzies and Janet) have just completed approximately 100km on skis in just four days. We began our ski in Mouthe, at the source of the Doubs river, and enjoyed skiing on pressed tracks all the way to Giron which sits just north of Geneva, making it easy to depart for their late flight home. Our journey took us through a variety of mountain villages, farms & pastures used for grazing in the summer months, hilly forested areas and flat valley bottoms. Travelling with only a small backpack enabled us to enjoy skiing both the ups(!) and the downs along the way. The accommodation we use is in a mixture of rustic farm houses and small family hotels where you can enjoy local dishes, cheese and wine. The trail is also close to many wonderful coffee and cake stops! To add to the ambience of our journey we even caught up with skiers training for one of France's longest cross country ski races, the Transjurassienne which was also held over the weekend.
Just in from a fabulous blue sky day with Megan, Ali and Louise. A great girly day out with lots of banter and things to catch up on. I last saw Megan two years ago when she was 5 months pregnant ....when we snowshoed and cross country skied in and around Chamonix ...she didn't allow her pregnancy to stop her from getting into the mountains that's for sure. So today, with Dad babysitting, we made the most of the clear skies, still air and masses of sunshine. We made our way up Mont de l'Arpille on snowshoes which sits at 2085m just over the Swiss border from France. With 360 degree views we were spoilt for choice as to where to look for our lunch stop. Tomorrow we are off to Italy for some xc skiing where 2 year old Freyer will get a chance to ride in style in a Norwegian 'pulk' / sledge.
Ok, we can't get all of you squeezed on the blog tonight, but to keep the family happy here is your chance to see Mum in a blizzard while crossing the Jura mountains on her cross country skis! On the whole we had excellent weather and conditions but we did have the occasional snowy flurry which did ensure we had plenty of the white stuff to ski on while doing the GTJ. Jenny was great fun to be with and there was always a smile on her face, apart from when she plummeted between the bunk beds last night - anyway, dont worry she's still in one piece and will be home tomorrow. She tells us that the 'kids' will be returning with her to the Jura to make their own epic journey. Take care Jenny and hope to see you again some day.
So here we are in Giron after 8 days of crossing the Jura mountains on the GTJ. 175 km and more later and 'N' has stuck with it, improved his technique and on the last day was leading the pack to the finish line. The team have been great fun this week and eight stalwarts gritted their teeth in the face of a blizzard this morning and followed Julia through the silent snow covered forests as they completed the final 30 km. A quick stop at the Grange de l'Errance for afternoon vin chaud and excellent chocolate cake and the GTJ was in the can! Well done to all who joined us for this adventurous journey across one of regions best kept secrets!
We are having a fantastic week traversing the Jura mountains on the French/Swiss border. The snow conditions really are wonderful with a great cover providing us with a landscape of silent forests and sparkling snowflakes. We have eight clients who are embracing the challenge of the Grand Traverse du Jura or GTJ, which is a truly classic long distance cross country ski covering just over 170 km. With the luggage being transferred daily to the next accommodation it means light rucksacks and the chance to really enjoying the skiing without carrying too much weight. Each day we are skiing around 25 km, and the team are doing well with muscles settling into the rhythm of skiing. Some team members have demonstrated one or two interesting 'acrobatic' movements which have impressed the Guide!! However, all is well, and there seem to be smiling faces at the end of each day with any aches soon forgotten over a 'vin chaud'. Tonight there may be a bit of a party as we reach the 100 km mark today! We are currently on day four of our journey, and aim to reach Giron on saturday night.