Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tour de Suisse 2012

There goes Andy Schleck past my banner in Fontenelle-Dessus!
He wasn't the first to get to the top, but that doesn't make his ride any less impressive to me!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Alpine Flowers Waking up!

It is wacked out flower time again! What a wonderful surprise to get on the trail above Fully - Martigny to find a gazzzilllion wild orchids and Paradise Lilies & butterflies & lizards & more flowers to turn our heads!
There is even an entire area of cacti to discover. No wonder the area is called the 'crazy earth' = les Follatères!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Altoona Ridge Lodge Montana

Brrrr! Just a bit of a change of scenery & weather! It was duuuumping at the Altoona Lodge! Minus 15 degrees, what a perfect time to strap on snowshoes & see if the bears were hibernating - apparently they were having hot chocolates back at the lodge! Smart animals, only humans would go out in weather like this!
Denison & Andrea von Maur are the happy proud outdoor owners of this paradise! And they sure know how to run the place like pros! This place is a 'must visit' for everyone, no matter what level of activity you enjoy. It is amazing, comfortable, beautiful beyond words & just all around wow!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hiking in Montana

Vive l'Amérique!
So amazing to be in the wilderness in Montana. It is very different from the Alps. First of all you hike around with something called 'bear spray'. Which you are supposed to spray the entire bottle at a bear that wants to get a little too friendly with you.... hope that never happens...
The alpine flowers were all bursting at the time and it was interesting to see how different the same variety of plant was. Their arnica is a bit different to ours, but still recognizable. And the trees are amazing! The areas that have had fires are fascinating too. I still think the sky is different to ours, somehow it is not the same color...any ideas??

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring in the Swiss Alps

Still lots of snow to walk around on! It can be worthwhile to take snowshoes in some places.
But what is fun is walking in the snow and going down to the valleys below where the flowers are bursting! In between you may find a few marmots fattening up for the winter to come...and sunning themselves on the rare limestone of Verbier.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Orchis fields above Martigny

After a few days of rain we went out and got the perfect day to wander around in wild orchid fields! Simply amazing & beautiful!

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We saw lots of lizards & even the shy green lizard was out. The walk through the grapevines was pretty & it is interesting to feel the changes in heat in this region.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cinque Terre Italia

A hike in the Cinque Terre region of Italy - ahhhh, nothing better for a beautiful getaway! The scenery is ever changing, passing from cliffs to olive groves with organic honey bees to pine forests & perched villages with vineyards & gelatto!

I could spend hours telling you all about the amazing plantlife & geological formations...

Absolutely fabulous & worth seeing. Unfortunately it was raining so we did not go for a swim - just another reason to go back!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Première cocinelle!

Youpiiiie! Trop beau! Sans les arrêts picnics on peut beaucoup louper!

Monday, April 2, 2012


I have never seen so much lichen in my life as this winter.

I do not know if it is due to the super cold spell we had for so long in February (minus 37!!) or if it is because of the massive storms we had in Dec & Jan that broke & uprooted so many trees.

If anyone wants to find out about the fascinating story behind lichen, this is the time!
Contact me for a walk any time!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring in the Alpes

Hepatica (sounds like a disease! poor flower!) popping up through the ground wherever it can. And the trees are starting to bud, the willows are already pollinating! Spring can be so much fun to watch happen.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Grand Saint Bernard Snowshoe

Fantastic outing to the Grand Saint Bernard.

As usual there was wind...but the sun came out to keep us warm! There is lots of winded snow in some places, making the walk up a bit sideways in your boots, and other spots where there is barely any snow. Very odd.
This is a fun outing for first time snowshoers because the walk can be easily adapted.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

trails today


It is going to be an interesting spring walking around with tree trunks in the middle of the trails! Last night went for an evening nightshoe up to Chez Dany and we spent more time climbing over trees than on snow - or so it seemed!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Evening snowshoe!

Fantastic idea from the girls! We took off at 7:30pm (which was the time they had reserved dinner at Chez Dany)

Little did they know it was going to take us an hour to get there because we had to stop in awe at all the squirrel trails, and leftover meals, as well as wild chevreuil tracks. By the time we got to the restaurant it was glowing in the setting sun and we were ready for the fondue!

Night time snowshoe

Nothing better to see than watch the sunset from the forest! Luckily we took the snowshoes! The way up was up & over trees in residual slippery snow, and the way down was in very hard packed piste! Essential to have them!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grand Saint Bernard

Little ski tour to the Hospice of the Saint Bernard.

Do you actually know who he is & what he did? Well I re-read his story....and was less than impressed, so I think I will go back to the pagan name for this place which was Mount Jupiter!
I still can't believe Napoleon came up here with 40'000 troops in the 1800s in the middle of winter - what a lunatic idea!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

En raquettes sur le bisse Verbier

So much snow that little Miss Valais is under all of it! We had to give her a little snowy friend to play with until she defrosts! I hope this hot spell ends soon so we can walk around

with less fear of huge wet avalanches coming down on us.
Enjoy the sun, but be careful!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Snowshoeing near Martigny

Yeehaw! This was an awesome day outside of Verbier! The sun was so hot we managed to strip down to t-shirts! But the snow was fluffy & light at times as well as wet & sticky. We saw tons of animal tracks, but did not see any of the wild things. Probably because of the heat from the sun. This does make it tricky for determining the changes in the snowpack as the day goes on.

Just half an hour away from Verbier and one feels back in touch with nature and fresh air. I think everyone needs this at least once a season!

We had alot of snow in December & early January as well as rain up high and massive winds that knocked down lots of trees. We were on a trail with lots of uprooted or broken trees that we had to climb over or under, depending on the branches and near-death-precipices! Just kidding, but they do look like that every now and then!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Raquettes - Neige - Soleil!

Ahhh, le pure bonheur de la montagne!

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Y'a vraiment rien de mieux, en plein février les stations sont blindées de monde et voilà qu'on arrive à trouver un super spot tranquille pour créer un petit bonhomme de neige entre les épicéas.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Raquetttes à Verbier

Super conditions de neige cette année! On a vu plein d'activité de pic dans les bois, entre les traces de chamois dans la neige. Vraiment trop beau. Et la vue sur le val de Bagnes ne peut jamais me lasser. Magnifique sortie en raquettes sans rencontrer de skieurs ou snowboarders. Ahhh, le rêve!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Snowshoeing new places

This is not so far from Verbier & a perfect place for a half day or full day outing. The animal tracks are abundant! We saw lots of chamoix eating through the snow cover where the snow was warmer and easier to get through for them. There were also lots of tiny birds in the spruce trees singing beautifully.
Although it was artically cold out it was worth checking out. With the cold weather these days it is hard to know how to dress. Different layers is the best, so you can change what you have on as you sweat going uphill.
Hope to be back here again soon - with you?!?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Snowshoeing Marchairuz


Absolutely beautiful day before the sub-zero degree weather started! There is so much snow out there that the stone walls are totally covered up and it can be quite disorienting. We saw lots of wild squirel, hare and a few chamois tracks!

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lots of powder in the Jura!

Can you believe this?! I went ski touring in the Jura in massive powder! It was amazing! Then the sunset and the sky turned purple! Yippeee!