Up in the clouds

So one week after our hike up Chamrousse there we were on the way up to another ski station with no snow. And where’s the interest in that? you ask… Mountains, mountains and yet more mountains? …  well actually, and contrary to Chamrousse – where there are so many people on the slopes you need traffic lights to regulate the flow, “Les 7 Laux is quite an interesting and active summer resort , offering walks, of varying difficulties, and mountain bike runs that range from pure hair-raising to “darn, where’s the parachute” …strong stuff.

…yes, yes, believe me! There we were going up the mountain side in a merrily swaying open ski chair lift with me trying to reassure and convince my beloved that she wouldn’t slip out of the chair and fall some 50 metres below into some very prickly looking fir trees, when we saw a guy come off his mountain bike then the helicopter drop in, pick him up and fly out.

Anyway once up there an amazing spectacle awaited us. We had started out at 1550 metres, just slightly above the cloud level, and rode up some 500 metres to end up at ± 2100 Metres. The panorama of the sea of clouds that covered Grenoble and region, right across to the Chartreuse massif some 30 or more miles to the west, was simply – superlative required – incredible.

After a phone call to my son (well its more original than calling from the local super store), a walk further up the mountain, to see how far we could go, and a picnic lunch at ± 2200 metres we had a walk around some amazing lunar like mountain scape. After some photos (see the photo album “Les 7 Laux”) we finally decided, with some regret, to start our walk back down the mountain side constantly on the alert for mountain bikers, hairing past us without a worry in the world. I don’t know who were the madder, them or us! Them for whizzing down some outrageous gradient at 40+kph, or us for being there!!! 

Anyway ±1 hour 1/2 later we finally got down, safe and sound and happy to have had the intelligence to be correctly equipped (mountain shoes and water being absolute musts and not simple afterthoughts).  I was also happy to be back at the station and see that the clouds that had been down in the valley in the morning where now up where we had stopped for lunch … Devonian that I consider myself to be thoughts of Dartmoor had been running though my mind …I most definitely did not wish to get lost 50 metres from the road in swirling cloud, phone for help and someone poke his head round a tree and ask if I was taking the proverbial!!!

Well that’s all for this time…03rd call for dinner!!!

PS. Talking of equipment this time I’d taken a compass, cellphone, food, water, warm clothing. Next time, with the way things are going, I’ll take a Sherpa!


About nickrichards38

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