Springtime France

Above the white cliffs of Dover with a bit of dog walking time before our ferry to France

We’re recently back from a couple of weeks in France, what an amazing (and weird?) series of spring weather conditions we had though…

Dover

Above the white cliffs of Dover with a bit of dog walking time before our ferry to France
Above the white cliffs of Dover (with Dover Castle in the background) with a bit of dog walking time before our ferry to France
Zac getting some air-time before the ferry to France
Zac getting some air-time before the ferry to France

Work

The first day in Chamonix was a work day – fitting a new dishwasher… 😯

Fitting a new dishwasher!
Fitting a new dishwasher!

Spring Powder

We had become more and more excited as we drove south towards the alps – there was a forecast for lots of powder snow during the week, accompanied by unseasonably cold weather so the powder would stay light and fluffy unlike the usual wet mush that is more common in spring. Not that spring snow is bad, it isn’t, it’s great, but proper powder is better! 😛

Wow, fresh powder in late April - time to get the ski gear back out and head up to Grand Montets
Wow, fresh powder in late April – time to get the ski gear back out and head up to Grand Montets
(Check out the new ski helmets! End of season bargains! I’m not a fan of ski helmets, and we certainly didn’t need them with the fresh snow, but to get used to them ready for next season we thought we’d wear them…)

We celebrated Laetitia’s birthday on the slopes too…

What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a slap-up-meal in a ski resort with powder snow in the spring!
What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a slap-up-meal in a ski resort with powder snow in the spring!
Desperados – yummy, and very alcoholic!
We're not kidding, the powder was like February.  Not all the lifts were running, but with a bit a sketchy traversing we could get to some awesome descents...
We’re not kidding, the powder was like February. Not all the lifts were running, but with a bit a sketchy traversing we could get to some awesome descents…
The birthday celebrations continue with tapas and champagne!
The birthday celebrations continued in to the evening with tapas and champagne!

Valleé Blanche

The next day there was still plenty of powder to enjoy a descent of the Valleé Blanche with mountain legend Gus Morton
The next day there was still plenty of powder to enjoy a descent of the Valleé Blanche with mountain legend Gus Morton
The customary picnic after all the difficulties of the Valleé Blanche
The customary picnic after all the difficulties of the Valleé Blanche

End of Season Party

The last day of the ski lifts running in most resorts is celebrated with a crazy party, and of course Chamonix does it big! Unfortunately the weather turned from cold blue skies above and cold fluffy powder below to thick cloud and zero visibility. Tough to ski in. But we enjoyed the fun and games, music, etc. to the full – well at least as much as we could before I started to feel sea-sick in the zero-viz. Especially good fun was the inflatable tyre toboggan run! Two-up and set off down the run with a violent spin! 😀 Neither of us were brave enough to risk the water skiing – imagining how cold we would have gotten without the sun to dry us out after the inevitable crash. Maybe on a sunny day? I’m sure I’d crash on my first attempt getting a feel for it…

The party at Grand Montets was mad - tyre toboggan run, water skiing, drums, music, fancy dress, craziness!
The party at Grand Montets was mad – tyre toboggan run, water skiing, drums, music, fancy dress, craziness!
The mania that is the end-of-season-party at Grand Montets...
The mania that is the end-of-season-party at Grand Montets…
The poor weather was a shame, but many had a go at the water skiing!
The poor weather was a shame, but many had a go at the water skiing!

Climbing

Of course the spring time weather also brought warm conditions for a little valley sport cragging, this time at La Frasse
Of course the spring time weather also brought warm conditions for a little valley sport cragging, this time at La Frasse

Fontainebleau

On our way back to the UK we stopped off at Fontainebleau to enjoy a few days of bouldering in the sure sunny and hot weather we found there. It’s such a beautiful place with the sunshine streaming through the fresh spring leaves on the trees. 🙂

Generally we don’t seek out hard problems, spending hours trying to unlock just one problem. Our preferred activity is to find easier circuits and spend our time continuously moving from boulder to boulder with no encumbering luggage or mats etc. Brilliant fun! 😛 Even Zac enjoyed running on the sand in between the boulders and barking at us.

On the way home we stopped off for a few days of bouldering at Fontainebleau
On the way home we stopped off for a few days of bouldering at Fontainebleau
We get the most fun at Fontainebleau when following easier circuits that involve all sorts of fun and games...
We get the most fun at Fontainebleau when following easier circuits that involve all sorts of fun and games…

8 thoughts on “Springtime France”

  1. Top work Chaps!

    I’m a little concerned that I’m the last one without a helmet for next season, but even more concerned that purchasing one might lead to a sense of (even more) invincability…

  2. Hey Jon, yeah next year’s skiing is already set to be awesome – we’ve got a whole series of plans for new adventures, based out of Chamonix, to places none (probably) of us have visited before… 😈

  3. Welcome back – both from your trip, and the resumption of the blog – I’ve missed it & thought you might have taken a break. As a mere ‘eavesdropper’ – if that’s the correct term for viewing – I do enjoy seeing other people’s exploits. Thanks!

  4. I wonder why your blog thinks that I’m of the ‘murican persuasion?

    Next year? Sounds good to me. Dave H was already talking about a trip next year too.

    I had a go on some all mountain skis in Zell am Zee after the Cham and La Tania trips earlier this year, and they were absolutely awesome in the powder compared to my carvers. I need to get a pair for next year, and when I do, you guys are toast!

    With the load spread a bit more under my boots, they float so much better, and the tips don’t dig in, which means that my technique works properly in the deep stuff. 😆

    1. Well Jon, I’m sure new skis would be great, but I stick by my earlier comments – new boots will make much more difference for you. Your current boots are shamefully bad. But hey, I’m probably better off if you stay with your old kit as I can only just keep up on piste with you as you are…

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