Monday, 17 September 2012

There's a BIG snowy mounting

It's called Mt Blanc and we were very near it on our last walk.

First though, the staff were napping yesterday and quite forgot to include this picture of a furry friend.  As we walked up the hill near the refuge on the previous day we could hear lots of sharp high-pitched whistles.  I wanted to know who was making them, but the staff said I'd have to wait and see.  Now that's usually grown-up talk for, "That's for me to know."  But, no he was being truthful, I waited and I saw this chap,  close up. When we'd stopped at the cross for our pictures there was a furry object that let out a very loud whistle and then disappeared, whoosh. The staff chuckled when I jumped.  He said, "That's a marmot, and they usually run away when you get close."  That's not fair, 'cos I thought they'd be nice to play with.  Later on though this chap was much bolder and Alan got his photo.  Apparently the marmots eat lots and lots and lots at this time of year and then they sleep while it's cold. That sounds very sensible to me.  (I really don't think that you need to fatten up young bear.) S'not fair so it's not.  Just 'cos you only eat one meal on Mondays and Thursdays doesn't mean I have to. (You're alright bear, I want to lose 14 to 20lbs and this is a good way to do it and at the same time reduce all sorts of health things like cholesterol and growth hormone 1.  I'm quite enjoying it in a masochistic way and I've lost 6lbs already.)  Well, bully for you, but I enjoy my food.  Back to the story!!!

We started the walk at a later hour than before after we drove round through Chamonix and Argentiere before finally parking on a saddle at about 1400m.  In the car park we drew up beside a car which contained two English men and one partner.  The men seemed rather fragile and a bit threadbare. We reckoned at least in their late seventies or early eighties.  "Hello," the said, "Where are you off to?"  Alan explained and then he asked them the same question.  "Oh we're off climbing.  Enjoy your walk and don't get lost."  With that the picked up their hats and rucksacks and headed for the rock faces, closely following some much younger climbers.

The sun was shining and the path seemed smooth from my viewpoint (Not bad from mine either.)  First of all we climbed through the trees with only glimpses of the mountings and things.  Then we were out in the open and this was the view down the valley.  The big hill with the snow on it Mt Blanc the highest place in western Europe.  Himself would love to go up it if he could find another victim, masochist enthusiast to get up there with.

Up they puffed with great views and some scary drops to the left (Not really, though it was a bit airy I suppose.) At one point the path follows logs fixed to the mounting and he took a photo up what he called the stairway to heaven.  Somehow he and John started humming a tune, I don't know why.  He's threatening a photo show called just that.  Soon we reached the top and found a sign saying 2201m, that's 7220ft in old money. No wonder he was puffing like a steam train.

We really liked the views from up there.  After a little snackeral of bread, cheese and ham we took full advantage of the lovely weather to look in all directions.  Here I am enjoying the vista.  Just beyond the rock I'm sitting on you can see the tiny houses down in the valley a mere 1400m/4600ft down in only a few steps.  I was a very brave bear wasn't I sitting up there so close to the edge? (You certainly were.)

 This picture and the next show some of the very high mountings. He wanted to climb the one in the picture below.  It's called Mt Buet and it's 3096m/10157ft high, but with no Bill they thought it best left to another year. Whoopee, that means we can go back doesn't it?  (It certainly does.  We love the area and there's still lots of walking to be done.)

Soon enough we had to leave what John called, "The best lunch stop ever." He promised both John and me a blueberry tart in the refuge part of the way down.  We got there and his tongue was hanging out; he was fairly slavering, I can tell you.  (Was not!)  Were too! (Was I?) You were. (Oh dear, how undignified.) 
So we settled down for  our tart but there wasn't any!  We could have apple crumble (or crumbel as the French would have it,) so we did and it was not half bad if a bit pricy.

Highlight of the day was John getting a new hat.  I really like the strawberries on it.  It was a bit cumbersome in the wind but I think it suits him, don't you? Alan says something about the red matching his nose, but that's not fair is it?

And, just to prove that I'm not an incoholic I eschewed the beer and had a Coke instead.

We made our way back down to the car park only overtaken a couple of times on the way, and who should turn up at the car but our friends fro the morning.  They hadn't fallen off the rocks or fallen apart, but they had left Mrs Climber somewhere.  I think she got fed up and left them to it.

Well that was it for this year.  Just time for me to show a couple of photos of me in my snug walking compartment.  It's quite tight but, when he leaves the zip open a bit, I can get a great view out - and of course his right ear is just there for me to sing at. (And don't I know it.)

Back soon,




  1. Jock,

    Your hiking adventure makes for good reading, but all the interruptions from "you-know-who" is distracting. I can't imagine how annoying it is for you.


  2. Hi Jock,

    Thank you for sharing your adventure high up in the sky! How exciting! I love the photos. Your furry friend is cute too.

    I have to say it looked like quite a hike so I'm glad someone thought to bring refreshments. I'd like to do that hike myself though I might enjoy it best if I can ride in a backpack like you do.

    Tell your person that I am going to look for a strawberry hat just like that one. I want to be a fashion statement too!

    You're a trooper! Now you can honestly say you've earned a nap in the sun.

    hugs from your friend,

  3. *Gasp* he was threatening you with a diet?! And we thought LT was bad... And then no blueberry tart too, you need new staff!

    The Clan & Jack

  4. We enjoyed the duet sausages too ...Oh they were what? Ah Diot sausages . Sorry my French is terrible but they were good!

  5. That should have read " diet" not "duet". My typing is as bad as my French!!


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