Monday, October 27, 2014

Paris Light

Just a picture of the Canal St. Martin in Paris. I walked along it the other day, going to the Gare du Nord to meet my fiancee. It's not touristy, it isn't famous but in many ways I prefer those bits of Paris (the 'real' bits) to the touristy parts.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Last Day of Summer Time

Even when I'm going for a long hike, I struggle to get out the door early - I like having a relaxed breakfast before heading out. So my hikes generally get a bit shorter in winter hours. Today was the last day of summer time, so I took fall advantage of the 'extra hour' and had a long hike along the Montagne de Chalufy (a ridge at around 2400m). Far below, I could see there were still sheep at one of the mountain cabanes, and I guess they must be going home in the next couple of days. 

Some pics.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Discretion versus Valour

At the col, looking East to the Lacs de Lignin
La Baisse du Detroit is a narrow, high (2500m) col on a hiking trail that can be crossed on a mountain bike. It's about 5 hours walk from any road. Today the temperature was just above freezing and the wind was very strong - I'd guess gusting to 100 km/h when I crossed the col. The route down is tricky and goes over huge boulders - if you fall, the only thing you'll hit will be rocks. I was by myself (though I had a SPOT locator and mobile phone) and fully aware the situation was as serious as soloing a climbing route in the Alps. 

If you fall from your bike and can't get up, you can't be rescued by helicopter (the wind is too strong). You'll have to wait at least 5 hours for assistance, and possibly overnight. If you're too injured to put on every layer of clothing, overnight survival is far from certain. Hmm...

Getting back on my bike after the tricky bit
Not a difficult choice. I walked my bike down the tricky part of the descent before resuming my ride.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Corradour Mountain Bike Ride

I'm slowly gaining competence on my mountain bike and going further into (and higher up) the local mountains. Sometimes this involves following an established mountain bike route, sometimes it means using existing paths and forest roads to make your own route. Sometimes it all works smoothly, sometimes you find yourself pushing the bike a lot. Today things went pretty smoothly - I was able to use a forest road to climb up to 2000m, then follow a relatively flat hiking trail to join the Transverdon (a long distance mountain bike route) for a ride through the mountains and a tricky descent back to valley level. 

Some pics