Who said the French are …
Just recently I flew over the pond to Chamonix, France. It’s a one of a kind place, and if you’ve ever been, you most likely can relate. The moment you enter that valley, it feels as if you enter a different realm. The mountains best described, would be similar to those you draw as a kid. Sharp. Scary Steep! It’s powerful there. A lot of energy circulates in and around it.
The locals are as much a part of the mountains, as the mountains are a part of them. They take pride in the activities and tasks it requires to live in this environment. Weather it is cave spelunking 1000 meters up on shear cliff to hunt crystals, or skiing lines that require 5-6 repels to reach the bottom. Knowledge of these mountains is crucial for navigating and exploring them. Tragic consequences can linger around every corner if you stop respecting them. There are options to keep it mellow, or in this case, mellower, and there’s always the option to go as big you want. You grow as a person, as well as an athlete. I have always known the mountains teach you if your willing to learn, and these mountains taught me a lot, in a little amount of time.
The skiing was absolutely incredible; it was a constant 15-30 cm wherever we went. Traveling on glaciers, meandering around crevasse, and staring at serac. Paradise if you’re into this kind of thing. In one run you can easily bag 5000 vert. Since the start to my trip, I had my eyes on a famous run called Vallee Blanche off the Aiguille Du Midi, a world-renowned cable car that takes you to 3,842 meters. You’re basically dropped off on the side of a cliff to approach your descent, but fairly straight forward from there. Crampons and various bits of climbing apparatuses are advised. Unfortunately, the weather rolled in fast with white out conditions and gusty winds stopped our journey in its tracks. We had no guide, and decided it wouldn’t be smart to navigate into unfamiliar mountains. It was not a complete loss; we received a brief history lesson while moving throughout a mined tunnel, and were in complete shock at the architectural elements and efforts that it took to complete such a task. I would have to say one of the highlights to my trip. Crazy French…
Another thing that I absolutely loved was visiting the crystal museum. The crystals were all found locally, and it was one of the most extensive collections I had ever seen or could have imagined. This really intrigues me because I enjoy hunting crystals at home. These would really ad to the collection.
The food wasn’t too shabby as well. I mean, whenever your eating fine cheeses with fresh bread and a glass of wine, you’re not doing to bad. You can always appreciate a bowl of chips, olives and peanuts when you order a beer as well. “It really adds to the conversation”. I felt so blessed to finally make it to Italy to experience some authentic Italian living. Something I have wanted to do for sometime. The highlight of Italy was not only the food, but also this Day Spa we went to. The Disneyworld of rest and relaxation! Hot springs, saunas, footbaths, slats of granite you lay on while mineral water showers your body, underwater speakers, and a backdrop of the Italian Alps. This place was something else; waterbeds, fresh juices, moist toilettes, waterfalls, bubble baths. I felt like I was in Ancient Rome. I don’t have many pictures, it seemed really weird taking photos.
I had an awesome time. The skiing was great, the people were great, the food was great, and the experience was exceptional. I can’t wait to go back and experience it again. I now know the potential it has, and a better understanding of what this place entitles. You could explore those mountains for a lifetime, and never grasp it all. I want to thank my lovely girlfriend Iris for getting me there. Without here competing in the FWT, I wouldn’t have gotten to experience such a wonderful place so early in life. I feel blessed to travel the world with such a great friend and companion. It was also super nice to see friends I had previously meet all over the world in such a breath taking place. Thanks for the smiles!