18 Feb 2014; le Praz de Lys to Sommand

18 Feb 2014; le Praz de Lys to Sommand
Walk descriptor France cross country Day 00
Date Tue 18 Feb 2014 Start to end time 06h 57m
Start point le Praz de Lys End point Sommand
Miles today 19.97 Cu miles 19.97
Ft today 3,776 Cu ft 3,776
Route miles left .00 Route ft left
Today’s weather Slightly hazy, but mostly sunny day. No wind, no rain or snowfall. Quite mild – about minus 2C at start much warmer in the sun later
IMG_4581 IMG_4584
Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“A really challenging full day’s cross country skiing from the bigger resort of Praz de Lys – Sommand. With nearly 4000 feet of climbing and 20 miles of skiing, to a talentless amateur like me this was roughly equivalent to running a marathon, climbing Ben Nevis with 7 foot planks of wood strapped your feet, and then coming down again on a racing bike with no brakes. Amazingly I only wiped out once.

Completed 2 black runs; all the rest were either red or blue. The pistes were a bit busier than yesterday, as it was a more popular resort, but still nothing like the crowds in a downhill ski centre. We were expertly guided by Tania Noakes, an excellent professional guide from Chamonix who really stretched us but kept us safe. I feel like I am at the bottom of a very steep, very long learning curve.

The weather wasn’t quite a spectacular as yesterday – there should have been views to Mont Blanc, but it was shrouded in haze. But elsewhere, good panoramas in all directions. The weather was totally calm and in the sun, very warm. Lots of Factor 30 sunscreen required! It was a real joy to be out in the sunshine and snow, after enduring so many months of rain and mud in the UK. Had lunch at a brilliant mountain cafe in Sommand, where the patron gave us schnapps on the house. Certainly helped ease the terror of the black runs in the afternoon!

Now enjoying a glass of red wine back at the chalet and contemplating tomorrow’s adventure!”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
IMG_4551 IMG_4553
Val receiving her day’s instructions! Skiing through the forest – serene!
IMG_4556 IMG_4561
Recent avalanche near col between Praz de lys and Sommand Heading out of Sommand towards Roche Pallud
IMG_4565a IMG_4578
Just to prove that I was on the holiday too! Ghosts of skiers past!
Val and our guide surveying the scene before setting out from Praz de Lys
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue