Those who know me (and those who have read my Mt Buller blogs) know I am not really built for skiing. I have tried in New Zealand, I have tried in Australia and I have tried in Japan. I have tried over a span of 25 years. No-one could say I haven’t given it a good crack. However, when my family affectionately call me ‘Bambi on Ice’ and I have hit ‘middle age’, I have decided it might be time to admit defeat and hang up the skis.
As the rest of the family love skiing and snow boarding, time in the French Alps was always on the agenda for this trip. I could not deny them. I decided on this visit to the mountains, I would have to find something else to do.
After a couple of false starts trying to book a group tour snowshoeing (apparently it isn’t that popular) I was feeling a little despondent. This morning, I decided to ask our reception for some advice. After a hilarious three way conversation of broken English and French, the activities organiser exclaimed ‘Ahhh I give you Racquets!’
From there, it was a quick trip to tourist information for a map and directions to a track. The lovely lady assured me I could not get lost (my biggest fear) and I was off on my solo adventure.
My goal was to reach a stone cottage on the Montagnettes path. Reaching the actual walking path turned out to be the hardest part. Once I had climbed through town and located the path, I was rewarded with a well marked track skirting along the edge of the mountains looking straight down into the valley of Val Thorens. Although the weather wasn’t too clear for photos, I jotted down some notes:
It’s so quiet. Peace. My head feels so clear.
Only sound is a squeak from my left ski pole as it plunges into the fresh snow.
Far off in the distance I can hear the odd cheer from a skier enjoying their best life.
Here come the dogs…..
And as I had a rest on a beautifully positioned bench, I was joined by a couple of dogs out for a walk with their owners. One, a husky, bounded up to me to say hello….. or bonjour I guess! After a quick head rub he proceeded to run excitedly through the lumps of fresh snow in front of me, literally hurtling himself into mounds. Clearly, he absolutely loves where he lives!
I did make it to the stone cottage without getting lost. I did also fall flat on my butt twice, but that is okay, it was worth it. I think I might have found my mountain ‘thing’! I am a snowshoer (not sure if that is an actual word)! I can’t wait to try another track tomorrow.