Saturday, 7 June 2014

48 hours in Chamonix

This year definitely seems to be more about running and biking than climbing and that was what last weekend was all about in a mini 48 hour trip to Chamonix.  The thought of having no expedition or big climbing trip planned for the year was at first a bit of a blow but I'm pretty happy with it now and to be honest with you think its a good thing.  Physically my body needed time off to recover and mentally I also needed a break from expeditions.

Cooling off in Tré-le-Champ after a the run up from Chamonix through Argentière, La Planet and Montroc. From here we headed up to Flégère and along to Brévent before finally dropping back down to Chamonix.
The trip to Pakistan last year was a disaster for me and turns out to probably been down to some sort of post viral/chronic fatigue I already had but hadn't noticed until I really pushed myself.  That trip really knocked my confidence in my own abilities, I'd never felt so weak and small in the mountains.  Discovering there was maybe a reason for it (and not just the fact I'm two years into my thirties!) has also give me a light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

Josie heading down the long decent from Brévent
The local wildlife blocking the path
I still needed something to aim for this year and goals to help motivate me and gradually build up the fitness again.  I had already applied for a place in the CCC (one of the races that is part of The North Face Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc) but in my post Pakistan low had all but written it off, as well as been advised against it.  In the end I've gone for the opposite approach and entered a couple more races out in the alps to build up to it and just see how it goes.  More to act as markers for my fitness progress than anything else.  I've got the Mont Blanc Cross at the end of the month and then the 60km Tour des Fiz at the end of July before the CCC at the end of August.

Swapped the running shoes for the bikes on Sunday and headed off down the valley to explore Mont Salève, Geneva's local mountain. Josie heading up the nice and gentle climb from Cruseilles after having gone up and over the very steep climb from Collonges-sous-Salève. Lac d'Annecy in the background.
Originally I'd hoped to try and get a relatively decent time (relatively speaking for me!) in the CCC but that goal has definitely shifted to just completing it one way or another.  One thing is for sure with the way my legs felt after Saturdays run I definitely need to start getting the miles in but on the major plus side the massive fatigue I'd feel for days after a weekend like this seems to slowly be abating.

Josie looking out over Geneva from the top of Mont Salève. The views down to Annecy, across to the Mont Blanc massif and out over Geneva and the Jura Mountains are stunning from up here.