Having just landed in Scotland after my first of many trips to Chamonix this winter season, my early-morning travel-induced brain fog is making it tricky to recall everything I’ve been up to recently!
One thing I’ve really enjoyed was travelling with one, single, small, lightweight backpack. What a joy! Unless you travel on a regular basis it’s perhaps quite difficult to understand just how irritating it gets having to trawl loads and loads of luggage all over the place. And no matter how hard I try, I just can’t travel light – more than ten years of lugging luggage has definitely taken its toll. The second thing I really enjoyed today, was a Starbucks – white mocha with lashings of cream and caramel syrup. Divine. I’m clearly way too Americanised to ever live full time in France…
Anyway, back to the interesting stuff – what I’ve been up to recently! Well, the winter season in the Alps seems to be rather shy this year – we arrived in Chamonix just after New Year to really jus a few centimetres of snow, and the first decent snowfall didn’t come until almost two weeks later. To be honest, it was actually quite nice – it gave us time to unpack and settle in to our amazing new chalet – yes, chalet! Not a ‘the kitchen, is the bedroom, is the living room and the kit room’ studio – a real, bona fide chalet – it’s even got a yoga room and views of the Aiguille du Midi.
Of course, we didn’t waste all our time nesting – there was a good smattering of skiing too, sometimes on ice, but also on quite nice snow too. I had my first introduction to Alpine ski touring – skiing uphill and skiing back down – so much fun through the trees! There were a few slips going uphill on a black run, and a major moment of panic trying to action out a kick-turn on another equally steep slope, but I’m hooked and just wish I could do it from my front door for a few hours every day!
It hasn’t all been a bundle of laughs though, I’ve been doing some serious training as well – since I managed to get a place on the Trail VSB Traversee (61km) AND the UTMB OCC (53km) I’ve been knocked out of my Christmas food coma and onto the Nordic Ski trails – whatever the conditions! Initially scratching my way across ice and mud, but more recently swooshing through lovely fresh fluffy snow! Although I’m starting to get back into all, I’m definitely feeling the effects of not having been able to train as much as I would have liked to over the past couple of months – hopefully I’ll be back up to ultrarunner fitness in not too long, fingers and toes crossed!