Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Road Trip!

Two years ago six men bought a van for £1000 and drove it to the Alps. The van, newly christened Firehorse burned almost as much oil as petrol  and was overtaken by HGVs on the slightest gradient, adding to the fun my ear exploded when some bacteria had their own private party, and two mates had a close call on the Third Spur of the Midi only surviving by hugging each other all night on a ledge the size of a small chair; apart from that it was an amazing trip.

The Firehorse at its watering hole, and the Chamonix Palace, about to be destroyed by a slight breeze.

It's time for round two unfortunately without the Firehorse. I find Alps trips exciting and somewhat scary. The scale of the mountains is so much bigger than in the UK, and their profile so much more aggressive. Angular and jagged the Alps are a mounting range under construction, young and full of life, our mountains are older, smaller and with the exuberance of youth worn off.

There are also the small issues of altitude, rockfall, avalanche, thunderstorms, and huge temperature gradients. Simple things become complicated, planning becomes crucial, and I become scared. An amazing adventure though.

Departure is scheduled for August, can't wait!  Hopefully the trip will include.

Target 1: Fontainbleau, because it's amazing.


Target 2; The Frendo

I've been inspired by the Frendo ever since I saw the view down the snow arete to the valley. The next pictures are taken by my friend and probable climbing partner George who has been on the route before. I'll say more about this closer to the time. 

High on the snow arete

The route weaves its way up the spur avoiding the giant seracs of death as helpful pointed out by George's DIY version of a Rockfax. The spur to the left is the Third (central) Spur of the Midi which according to my friend Dom is "Great if you like climbing a huge pile of choss".

The Triangle du Tacul

Target 3: Morzine, mountain biking heaven.

In summer the Morzine area convert all their lift to carry bikes. It's 80 Euros for a six day lift pass which gives you access to 100's of km of trails with almost no uphill. Hedonistic downhill heven!
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The hard work of sitting on a chair lift over, now it's just 12Km of downhill back to the campsite!

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I'll have some more of that.

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