The best part about my job - on quiet days getting away to explore a new area! NEW for winter 2010 - visit the Jura!
Sitting on the border of both France and Switzerland, the Jura, a limestone plateau, lies very close to Geneva. Steeped in history, geology and gastronomy it also has mountains that go on for miles but unlike the jagged peaks of the Alps it's of the 'Nordic rolling' variety. Therefore being ideal for so many activities; walking, Nordic walking, biking, snowshoeing and of course cross country skiing! Consider this….175km of cross country skiing as a continuous journey! In 1978 the Grandes Traversees du Jura, GTJ, was completed and is a long distance trail for all these sports! Along the way you can travel by which ever means from hotel to hotel or auberge with a small pack covering 20km per day or more!
Cross country ski enthusiasts will always quite rightly recommend the Scandinavian countries multi-day journeys. The Jura, however, also has a great deal of ski potential to offer. So much so you can easily ski for 30km or more without seeing another soul! It’s all track skiing for both skates and classic styles. The holiday potential for exploration is endless, with hundreds of km’s of other track skiing along the way not to mention the snowshoe potential.
In February I completed the ‘Tranjurasienne’ 54km skate race – a great way of seeing some of the route! And my Mum (very apt nearly being Mother’s Day!) needs to be congratulated on her first ever ski event finishing 1st in her age group in the 10km classic!
The GTJ will soon feature on our ski pages for 2010 as both a Scheduled Departure, traversing the region in 7 days, or as a Bespoke holiday.
The week long snowshoe trip in the Valais region of Switzerland is in full swing. We have had the best week of the winter so far in terms of weather; absolutely scorching sunshine, blue skies, and very little wind. Our team have had some great days in the mountains with trips so far this week to Vicheres, Swiss Val Ferret, Mont de l'Arpille, and the Grand St Bernard Monastery. The Monastery was, as always, a wonderful experience and a real haven of peace and reflection in the mountains. For nearly a thousand years the monks of the world famous hospice have offered hospitality and respite to weary travellers, and our team was no exception! The sweet tea served by Brother Frederick on arrival was especially welcome after the long climb and the heat of the day. I think the views we have had this week have been just incredible with some wonderful ascents of Cols and summits offering Mont Blanc, Mont Velan, the Grand Combin, the Grand Jorasses, and the Gran Paradiso to name just a few. With a day still to go the team are already looking to return next year. If you are interested in joining us get in touch!