Chamonix

Two years in a van…

It’s been two years that we’ve lived in that van. That small two metre squared house on wheels. A bed, a cooker, an oven, a fridge, lights, shelves for our clothes and boxes for our climbing, alpinism, cycling and camping gear. A solar panel allows us to charge our phones and to run the heater in winter. The height of luxury, we’ve got a library full of mountaineering guidebooks and maps from here to eternity. We repurpose three five litre containers that we fill up once a week with water. The membership at the climbing gym gives us the possibility of a shower during opening times. We need only walk two minutes to reach the public toilet. We try always to park where no one will be disturbed. Discretion, cleanliness, respect and politeness are our watchwords.

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Dolomites, Pizza, Landslides

Adam writes a couple of stories and the lessons learned from our bike tour to the Dolomites in Spring 2015.

LESSONS LEARNED/WHEN NOTHING GOES RIGHT

Being my first bike tour it was always going to be full of lessons.

We’d chosen a route from the French Alps, roughly crossing the Swiss and Italian Alps and then arriving in the Dolomites in North Western Italy.  I knew it would be a touch hilly, crossing many alpine cols that are apparently famous in the road cycling world, albeit this time with all our gear and not a centimetre of lycra in sight.  Perhaps foolishly I wasn’t concerned about the cycling, more the cars on the road.  I figured I was fit and always keen for adventure – enthusiasm is what I normally rely on to see these things through.  I also knew at the end we’d climb in the Dolomites, somewhere I’d been wanting to go for a while.  DollysDespite being limestone (a rock I say I don’t like because I’m not very good at climbing it) it’s an area famous in the climbing world for huge walls, some of the biggest in Europe.

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Video – Family Bike Trip

via rhona

Two days of cycling along the Rhône with family. 100km between Pont de Beauvoisin and Belley. Some hills, beautiful landscapes, nice wild camp, summery weather, successful bike tour for all.

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Mexican camping, fishing for dorado and a whale watching

This text is an extract of Noémie’s tale of her trip between Vancouver and Cancun in 2014. 70 A4 pages have been written to tell the story of 102 days spent on the road. The final read through is in process with the aim of sharing or publishing. It’s hard work so any comments or advice would be welcome.  Link below:

Mexican camping, fishing for dorado and whale watching

Video – Cassis to Isère, the return

Cassis to Bourgoin Jallieu, the return from our bike tour to climb in the Calanques. After climbing some disconcerting pudding stone and some great limestone we forge a path to the Rhone. Here we found our inner Knights, a new number plate, Christmas lights and a large number of chickens.

 

Video – The Mont Aiguille

We’ve had this montain on our minds for a while. We took advantage of some time off to take a look. The adventure lives up to our expectations. We chose the voie normale. Easy, interesting and fit with the forecasted weather in a grand setting. Just before summiting the weather took a turn for the worse, starting to snow. It quickly became clear that the descent was going to be more complicated than foreseen. In normal conditions, you follow steps of easy scrambling with some scree-strewn narrow couloirs between them.  When you have a couloir, you have an area typically sheltered from the sun and snow hangs around longer.  I’ll let you imagine. A steep slope, covered in 2 to 3 metres of hard snow/ice that we have to descend, in trainers, no gloves and improvising protection.  Instead of 30mins, we took 3 hours to get to the open scree at the foot of the mountain.