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May so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member#: 6644
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Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1707

19th February 2019
Hiking - Walking: Col de la Faucille to Le Turet in France
Wind Direction:
Wind Stength:
Surf / Sea State:
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: sunny and mild
Max Speed:
Distance Covered: 4 miles (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)


Tuesday 19th February Ė Snow shoe ***** Col de la Faucille to Le Turet in France Ė sunny and mild.


3 hours 20 minutes out, 4 miles covered.


Our third and last night at the lovely Methieres and woke to yet another sunny and mild day, surely it will break soon but we hope not!!! The usual routine, lay-in read, Mag gets up to do her exercises while I pack the bed up and sort out bags for travelling, then after breakfast we move off. I ask in the ski hire shop if the back way to Lelex is open but am warned its icy and snow chains are required so we take the longer route back the way we came which adds about 10 km to the journey but is much safer and also very scenic with gorges, a high bridge over a river and impressive views of the Jura mountains looking all the better set against the clear blue sky:) As we expected Lelex was absolutely heaving with not a car parking space to be had, thatís half term for you. We think the French take half term over three weeks and that takes up most of February so itís a month probably best avoided but we seem to find the quiet places :) We continue to Mijoux another little ski resort we have stayed before and it didnít look anywhere near as busy:) I was looking for a walk shown on the area piste map so carried on up the mountain road to the Col de la Faucille. parking easily by the main col road. We then had to find the start of the walk, I was not sure we were even in the right spot? There was a map of walks at the nearby tourist centre, sadly closed but the boards outside didnít help, then on walking back to the van Hawkeye Mag spotted the start of the walk not 50m from the van in the other direction! While Mag sorted out the picnic, I sorted the snow shoes and we left the van at 1 oíclock with the sign post saying that the Le Turet walk takes 1.30 hours which would be prefect for an afternoon stroll in the forest. It was a very well-marked path climbing steeply up so we set the snow shoes in up hill mode and changed them up and down several times as the path wound its way up and down through beautiful pine woods. Yet another pinch yourself moment, we canít believe how lucky we are to be here! It was very quiet just the crunch of the Raquettes, the odd Raven honking plus a fleeting glimpse of some great tits but generally the bird life is a little disappointing! We only saw a few walkers heading down. I think we actually prefer snow shoeing to skiing as you can really get away from the crowds and to be honest a ski resort is hardly pleasing on the eye, expensive too and this is free:) We reached the end and got our first sight of the huge valley that contains Lac Lemon with the high Alps running as far as the eye can see. The path then descended to the end of the walk with a brilliantly positioned seat for our picnic and it took exactly an hour to get there. The valley view was disappointing poor due to pollution and Geneva was lost in a haze with only the huge fountain visible but Mont Blanc directly in front of us looked its usual magnificent self:) After taking pics from every angle we enjoyed our picnic in the peace and quiet. We were very lucky to have it all to ourselves, Mag even managed to ring our old friend Mary in Felixstowe as we had a 4G signal. I also managed to post a pic on Facebook of our feet in the snow shoes set against the Lac/Alps background. One other walker arrived while we were there but didnít stay long so we enjoyed relaxing here for ages, feeling even warmer than yesterday due to very little wind. All that was left now was the hour return which I went off piste at every opportunity just to make a different track on the GPS:) Back at the van we just chucked the gear in the van and drove back down to the icy carpark right by the piste just above Mijoux so we have ski in, ski out accommodation for tomorrow:) While the snow shoes were drying in the sun we had a cuppa and chocolate biscuits watching the skiers whiz past. I decided to walk down to the bottom of the ski lift to check out the score for tomorrow but Mag decided to stay behind. There is a coach parked near us and I discovered that a group of kids were staying at a hostel at the end of the carpark and were heading back after a days skiing as I passed Ė they had hot drinks waiting for them:) I found the ticket office and carried on to the river in the town and then back to the van. There were kids everywhere having fun on sledges, its nice to see youngsters away from a screen of some kind! I think there are four campers here for the night but we are all in a line so we canít see them:) Fingers crossed for another sunny day so we can get the skis out tomorrow, I think this will be a bit more money than Menthieres but hay we are only here a month!


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TSL snow shoe  Approach 226

 

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