Well I was supposed to be finishing our bathroom today but unfortunately it’s a bank holiday here in France. It’s a difficult concept for Brits to comprehend but the DIY stores are closed here on Sundays and Bank Holidays – long may it continue. Well at a bit of a loose end and all on my own I decided a bit of excercise was in order so I decided to head for Lac de Peyre on the Bargy.
It’s a short sharp walk normally from the Col de Columbiere but as the road is still covered in snow I had to park just above Chinaillon and hike to the col. From the col the route is signposted and it’s an obvious track but because of this years fantastic amount of snow it was a little trickier today. Once I got above 1750m it was snow all the way to the lake (wish I’d brought my touring skis).
The weather was also starting to look dodgy so it was a race against time. I reached a small hump just above the lake at 2150m which would have been my lunch stop but one look at the sky to the south told me I should get down smartish. I took a couple of snaps of a Bearded Vulture but he was too far away and that was the only wildlife up there. Normally the Combes on the Bargy are full of Bouquetin and Chamois but as I later found out they prefer greener and grayer pastures.
The descent was a hoot – just running down the snow fields for at least 300m vertical – I was down before I knew it. Back on the road I bumped into the missing Bouquetin who were grazing happily below the snow line – see the pics below.
I could see the rain heading over from Annecy and a clap of thunder stopped the photography session – I legged it as fast as I could to the car and got there just as the first drops of rain started and then the heavens opened – hail/sleet/rain the lot. I’d call that perfect timing (or just plain good luck!!)
Last weekend saw the end of the ski season in the Aravis and with it the traditional endo of season “Defi Foly” madness here’s a Yoytube video of some of the highlights….
This weekend we decided to take a quick trip over the the Bauges to go walking below the snowline. This is a stunning area between Annecy and Chambery a large part of which is a national park.
We picked an easy circular route from Montagny (just above Arith) to the refuge de Creux de Lachat at about 9km and 600m height gain as it should be be pretty snow free by now.
Starting from the carpark above the pretty village of Montagny we set of up a forest trail through woods of mixed deciduous and confiers coming to life after the winter. The fresh green canopy filtering the warm spring sunshine was sublime.
After a couple of kms the gentle track gave out onto a clearing with views of the montagne de bange, Semnoz and la Tournette on the other side of lake Annecy.
The going from here gets quite a bit steeper back into the trees. After about 1.5 hours we reached the summit to be rewarded by a 360 degree panorama, to the south the glaciers of the Tarentaise, west over lac du Bourget and le dent du Chat. To the north Le Semnoz and east to the peaks of the Bauges national park and beyotnd to Mont Blanc. Unfortunately the air was pretty hazy so non of the photos came out that well.
Whilst we were enjoying a well earned butty in the sunshine we noticed one brave (foolish) paraglider pilot get a severe thrashing as he flew into the lee of a fresh northeasterly Bise – it just goes to show there’s always someone who knows nowt!!!!
Well we went the the Annecy Paragliding Expo, what can I say. The weather hasn’t been kind with strong south and easterly winds which meant flying at Montmin was mainly for the brave. It’s a shame because a flying festival isn’t unless there’s flying!!! This meant people stayed away so it hasn’t been the huge success the organisers were hoping for. It’s a shame because a lot of effor has been put in by lots of people and Annecy should have a show like this.
It didn’t help that some of the bigger schools and dealers in the area couldn’t be bothered! They know who they are and should really get behind this initiative.
There were some interesting exhibitions of new equipment and the launch of RIPAir X a new brand started by Bert at RIPAir. This new line up of lightweight flying and camping products is aimed at vol bivvy pilots and walkers looking for super lightweight kit. Check out www.ripair.com for more info.
Just a quick post to remind you pilots out there that this weekend will see the first Annecy Parapente EXPO (APX).
The idea of the Expo is similare to the coupe Icare but by holding it at the beginning of the Annecy flying season pilots can see and test this seasons latest products.
The event is on from the 11th to 13th April at the Doussard landing field from 10am to 7 pm.
- Free navette to Montmin take off
- 100 new demo wings
- Second hand glider sale
- Fancy dress flying a la St Hilaire
- Kids entertainment
- and plenty more…
We’ll be visiting this weekend and will post a report next week