At the head of the Val d’Hérens, again only a 25 minute drive from our chalet, you will find the tiny village of Arolla. It’s a well known destination for mountaineers in the summer, who come here to climb some of the 3,500m to 4,000m plus peaks which dominate the valley. In the winter, it’s a very quiet ski resort (even at the weekends) with a very rugged and remote feel to it. There are 6 button lifts, the main 2 of which take you up from 2,000m to almost 2,900m. Thankfully, there’s a buvette at the top which serves drinks and snacks.
I often say that it’s difficult to take a bad photograph in Switzerland and that statement was very much put to the test today as the display on the back of my compact camera decided not to work. 😦 So it was very much a case of point and shoot and hope for the best!
Just a 30 minute drive from our chalet, at the northern end of the Val d’Hérens and overlooking the main Rhone valley, is the ski resort of Nax. It’s a favourite of ours as 3 of the 4 lifts are chairlifts and, although all the slopes are marked as red, the majority are wide with sweeping turns and not too steep. Also the lower runs go down between evergreen Arolla pines, which makes you feel like you’re in your own little ski world. Certainly today, there were very few other people around, as you can see from the pictures below.
The snow has been falling for the past few days, so our bird feeder has been very popular. In particular we’ve been pleased to see the return of the Crested Tits and Long Tailed Tits, though the Spotted Nutcrackers have been scaring a lot of the smaller birds away.
My apologies for the quality of these pictures, but they were taken with the zoom from inside the house through an open window.
There’s something about walking next to a cross country skiing piste – it just makes you want to have a go… Certainly it always looks much easier, as the skiers glide by while you struggle knee deep in the snow!
If you’ve never tried it you should give it a go. There are two types – the classic or traditional style, where your skis run along in pre-prepared grooves, and the skating style, which I’ve never tried, but I think it requires a little more practice, and effort, to get the technique right.
I believe this is my 100th post, so I’m raising my virtual bat (and a glass probably) to celebrate this momentous occasion. Who knows how many I’ll achieve during my retirement, but I hope it’s quite a few more !
We returned to Evolène on Friday, just in time to see the snow falling – for real this time I think. These pictures were taken yesterday, but we’ve had at least another 30 cm (or foot) of snow today. The downhill and cross-country skiers will be pleased. Also time to get the snowshoes out!
Jude and I went back to the UK last week to visit our families. We spent three days near the English/Welsh border and three days in Yorkshire.
The pictures below are of our walk along the lanes near Pant Glas. That is, except for the one of the blackboard, which was outside a pub in Shrewsbury. (All pubs should have a sign like that ! 🙂 )