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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New base camp: Annecy

We are finally “substantially” moved in to our digs in old Savoie (Savoy, for you rare non-French speakers out there…). Jana really went to town on the whole interior décor/furnishing/eternal-color-picking/buying-stuff-then returning-stuff-rebuying-other-stuff etc… Anyway after spending the better part of the last four months with contractors or in furniture stores, I have joined the French national uprising and also gone on strike, not so much against pension reform as in NO MORE HOUSE CHORES THIS SIDE OF THE DECADE! For the unaware few; we did not pick Annecy so that I may become some sort of domestic virtuoso but for the one and only reason anyone should move anywhere: The Mountains. This is the very watered down version, the only one that could make it through the heartless consorship authorities (Jana).


In any case, I have now been able to pick up where I left several months ago, and now finally get to spend some quality time in the mountains around here. My training hill in PC was Iron Mountain (reasonably flat and 2,000 ft el gain); well I have found a bloody perfect replacement here with Mont Veyrier (unreasonably steep and 2,400 ft el gain) on the east shore of the lake (about six min from home). I have done some skiing on the glacier in Tignes but still can’t wait for actual snow skiing as opposed to last season’s black ice skiing… I was quite jealous looking at Tyson's Snowbird pictures from his Oct 29th outing. Having said that, I am really grateful for Tignes (opened on Sep 25th) its only drawback being that it is a two hour drive from here.
My short workouts are Veyrier and my weekly “biggies” are at the center of the universe: Chamonix (about 50 min from here). There I gain 4,000 – 6,000 feet on the week-ends getting ready for the season. I typically will get up to the “Plan de l’Aiguille” and further up that side or around the Brevent on the other side of town (starting from the Brevent lift). This is the kind of mountain that won’t tolerate any sloppiness at all at any season for any reason, if I dress or equip even a tad bit light on a summer day, it’ll serve up some bloody snow and ice storm just three to four thousand feet up from where people go to the pool! I appreciate the warning, although last time it was very close to throw me down a really, really long and steep cliff band with a wind so powerful I had to fight back a lot plus use my hands just to keep from taking flight. As you can see, this mountain is an absolute blast!

Below are some pictures taken on my Mont Veyrier training rounds in Sept and October (sequentially in chronological order) and after that a little of Chamonix also in chronological order but starting in October.

Taken from Mont Veyrier (click to enlarge):







Taken in Chamonix:







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