.............not all those that wander are lost..............

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Four x-country days and a couple of snowshoes later............

Our week with John's friend passed very successfully. He and his wife introduced me to alpine skiing many years ago - so I was pleased to be able to return the favour and guide him on his quest to learn how to x-country ski. We visited four different places (Vallouise, Crevoux, Le Laus and Ceillac) and covered a few kilometres at each one getting his ski legs moving. He had a knee replacement a couple of years ago and although he hadn't skied for a quite a long time, was once an excellent downhill skier, working in Switzerland as he did. The stiffness of his knees proved a bit of an obstacle to doing more than the easy green runs but just being out of doors in a mountain environment was enjoyable enough for him to return home planning to try some more skiing days back home in Switzerland. The lunches were good too!

{The Two Amigos - more talking than skiing!}

This was the first time John had had a concentrated effort to finally conquer the ski de fond skating that he wants to be able to do. He found it very hard work but made a little progress. Sadly on the last day he tripped and fell. He staved his big toe as he went down and has spent this week hobbling about taking Ibuprofen and applying the arnica gel. He can't get his downhill ski boot on and even if he could the pressure on the inflamed big toe joint would be unbearable.

{Good snow conditions at Le Laus}

So I've had a chance to get out on my snowshoes a couple of times.

{Just animal tracks ahead}

I discovered that the snow on the tracks in the forest behind the house here is very variable - thin cover in places, icy from time to time and includes deepish drifts of powder sometimes with a breakable crust on the top.  Climbing up higher was hard work, but a good training session for my legs and lungs.  I explored as many of the alternative routes through the trees as I could and eventually returned to the house, following the Yeti prints of my own snowshoes.

{Yeti prints....................}

We are still experiencing extraordinarily cold temperatures (barely above minus 10 during the daytime in the ski areas) but the weather forecasts are promising a warmer period to come. Hopefully some new snow will arrive soon and once the toe has healed we'll be back on our skis.

This photo was taken a couple of weekends ago on our way down from Ceillac.

{OOOps! This one didn't make the corner - the car is perched precariously on a small bush!}

The Italian Job comes to mind.......................


Phreerunner said...

Excellent. The skiing here in Gatineau Park is a bit fraught just now. We need more snow, and we need your temperatures. It's almost raining here. Very unseasonable. But we are still managing some good outings. Have not yet had to resort to snowshoeing!
Hope the toe recovers quickly.

Alan R said...

I bet he or she had their brown corduroy's on. Scary.

Louise said...

Ouch! Bet that hurt! The snowshoeing sounds fun. So glad I wasn't in that car!

Laura said...

I've just managed to get a couple more photos uploaded to this post - while the gremlins were having their tea.....
The Toe is slowly getting better but can't be rushed so it'll be more snowshoeing or x-c tomorrow while HI sits in a sunny cafe with a book!