Saturday, April 21, 2012

Looking forward to the trekking season

Although the winter is far from finished here in the Chamonix valley and snow over the past two weeks has crept back down to 1500 meters summer is very much on the forefront of our minds.

Both guided & self-guided Tour du Mont Blanc & Walkers Haute Route so far has been equally as popular from end of June to mid September. Self-guided has proved popular where independent groups want the freedom to got at a time to suit and to tailor a route and timescale to suit their needs.

Accommodation has so far proved a challenge in particular on the Tour du Mont Blanc where accommodation options are at a minimum. Hotel Mont Joly in Contamines is not operating this summer which has put an extra load on the other hotels resulting in limited spaces at busy times. Auberge de la Nova in Chapieux always poses a problem, as it is the only accommodation available in the village so becomes fully booked very quickly from June through to the end of the trekking season. When that is the case we opt for alternative route over the Col du Fours, resting at Refuge Les Mottets.

So we are looking forward to the first multi day trek of the season Tour du Mont Blanc on June 23rd, lets hope we get some warm weather before then to clear the snow away from the cols & high level traverses.

Until then we continue with the office work in organising logistics and sorting accommodation. 

Have a look at what Mont Blanc Treks has to offer this summer at

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The season that was...

As the snowshoeing season comes to a close & the snow retreats upwards and onwards it's time to reflect on this seasons snowshoeing here in the French Alps.

A good season? Well we have had it all... The season started with bang! After a long & dry Autumn the Chamonix Valley was snowless until the last minute. Mid December saw a massive amount of snow which continued right through January. Record snowfall overnight brought the valley to a standstill one Saturday morning as we tried to clear 1 meter of fresh snow from the valley floor.

February brought another wintery facet with temperatures as low as -23 and the lowest Chamonix had seen for many years. The cold spell continued through February barely rising above -15 for 3 weeks.

And then a rapid rise from the dearest of winter to temperatures to +19 rising 40 degrees in two weeks for the start of March. It felt more like summer than spring!

4 weeks of high temperatures, sun & clear blue skies stripped the valley of snow and made skiing a knee breaking experience.

And what now, well just when you were getting used to the warm & dry conditions we have been given a stark reminder that its not over yet with more snow and rain at valley level.

The unsettled weather is set to continue for the time being so in the meantime we will wait for the next chapter of life in the valley.