Skiing, Paragliding and outdoor stuff

Out and about in the Aravis – skiing, paragliding and other stuff

Lac de Peyre

Wildlife on a walk in the Aravis

Wildlife on a walk in the Aravis

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!!)



May 8, 2009 Posted by | Walking | Leave a comment

Defi Foly – La Clusaz

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….

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Events | , | Leave a comment

Walking this weekend in the Bauges

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.

Refuge du Lachat

Refuge du Lachat

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!!!!

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Summer, Walking | Leave a comment

APX Weekend

martin3-032Well 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 for more info.

April 13, 2009 Posted by | Events, Paragliding | | 1 Comment

Last Skiing Weekend of the season

Well it’s been a great season for snow but it’s finally got a bit too warm.

We had a great day out in the Grand Massif today with some great spring snow off piste and lots of slushy bumps on piste. I love em but people think I’m wierd!! Still feeling a bit stiff now so must’ve over done it.

Looks like the weather is set to stay warm so I tink we’ll be ski touring and paragliding from here on in,

Happy Easter…

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Skiing, Winter | | Leave a comment

Annecy Parapente Expo Weekend

Paragliding over lake Annecy

Paragliding over lake Annecy

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.

Whats there:

  • Free navette to Montmin take off
  • 100 new demo wings
  • Second hand glider sale
  • Fancy dress flying a la St Hilaire
  • Kids entertainment
  • Paramotoring
  • Kites
  • and plenty more…

We’ll be visiting this weekend and will post a report next week


April 8, 2009 Posted by | Events, Paragliding, Summer | | Leave a comment

Ski touring – col de la Cicle

Well there we were baking in spring sunshine trying to decide whether to go flying or skiing – it’s a hard life!

Weekend ski touring near Mont Blanc

Weekend ski touring near Mont Blanc

Well why go for the easy option, we decided to walk up a mountain and ski down it. None of us were feeling too sharp Si and Lizzie having arrived from blighty late the previous day and Ian and I had a couple of beers too many.

Se decided to try a route we’d seen the previous weekend whist skiing at les Contamines. The Col de la Cicle which has the huge advantage of a ski lift to save a 1000m climb leaving us only 250 vertical metres of skinning. A quick jaunt over the col des Aravis and we met up with Pete and Jane from Geneva at the Gorge telecabine.

Top tip buy the “Randonneur” ski pass which give you access to the Col du Joly.

We dropped over the col and began the long traverse under the col de la Fenetre where we donned our skins and “undonned” our clothes as it was starting to warm up. The climb is a nice gentle slope from beneath the col de la Fenetre around the Tete de la Cicle. An easy 3.5km which we knocked off in less than an hour.

Once on the col we were greeted by a stunning view of the Mont Blanc massif in one direction and the whole of the Beaufortain to the south.

Looking down toward Contamines we knew we were in for a treat a huge north facing bowl with 600 vertical metres of wide open offpiste! On y va! Pete was first off through some pretty hacked up s****e (HUSH) which he cope with manfully and Si followed. Rid of the two BASI instructors I decided to traverse off to the right to see if there was anything better to be had and sure enough nestled in the shade was perfect slope with 30cm of untracked snow. The look of envy on thier faces was fantastic.

Soon after this the snow got heavier so we hacked down to the chalets at La Balme where we stop for a well earned lunch. The final stretch back to the cars is a bit of a pole and combat ski down a track but can be good fun. I jokingly pointed out that the guide book said this was the most dangerous part of the route. This got a few rude comments and strange looks from the rest of team. But the guide book was right – it was like a cross btween the Cresta run and Tescos on pension day. We clattered down the ice dodging walkers, skiers, dogs grannies you name it!

Still we all got down unscathed to enjoy a beer in the sunshine and plan our next sortie.

April 4, 2009 Posted by | Mundane Drivel, Ski touring, Skiing, Winter | , , | Leave a comment