La Forclaz to Les Haudères (Walk 6)

Yesterday morning, I went for a short (8k/5 mile) run to test out my ribs, with the intention of running at what Mastersmarathonrunner calls a ‘jokingly slow’ pace.  I like this expression as it makes me smile – triggering thoughts of a really easy, enjoyable run.  I guess it sits below ‘Easy’ in the pecking order of running pace terms.  In the event, my ribs were a little sore, but fine, and I ran at around my marathon pace.

It was a gorgeous, blue sky day, so in the afternoon, I also took off for an 11.5k/7 mile walk from the chalet up to La Forclaz (Valais) and then down to Les Haudères and back.  After the recent warm temperatures, I wasn’t expecting to see as much snow, especially on the south facing slopes.

8 thoughts on “La Forclaz to Les Haudères (Walk 6)

  1. That looks like a fantastic place to train, Paradise! I might just have to consider a training camp up there in summer. What altitude is that at? I don’t suppose there is much flat running there is there? It looks all either up or down. I reckon on those climbs it would be slower than “jokingly slow! 🙂

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    • It’s a beautiful place for walking/hiking – or if you like running up hills. But the only ‘flat’ route that I have is along the riverside track to Les Haudères and back, which is only around 9k in total, though there are 2 or 3 bridges to cross, which means you can do a few loops back and forth to increase the distance. The altitude is from just below 1400m in Evolène to just below 1500m in Les Haudères. Further up the valley is Arolla @2000m where there is a relatively flat track up towards the glaciers, but it would only be 2k or so, before the path went upwards.
      For my longer runs, I drive down to Sion in the Rhone valley (@500m altitude) and run along the cycle type path by the side of the river. It’s an out an back route so slightly boring (though there are mountains either side to add a little interest).
      If you like to run up hills, then there are quite a few off-road, 4 wheel drive type tracks, where the slope is not so steep, but the paths would be tough to run for any length of time I think. That said, we have a friend who lives down the road, who trains on these, so it is possible. I guess slower than ‘jokingly slow’ would be called a walk! 🙂

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        • I’ll look forward to meeting you then. But I would say that there are maybe better places than our valley for altitude training (i.e. with more varied running routes). And I’m not sure of the benefits… I think I must benefit from living here permanently (and running up here occasionally and walking quite a lot) but you’ll have to check with your coach about spending a week or two at altitude. We have many mountaineers who come to stay (mainly from the UK) and they certainly have to acclimatise, even for hiking/climbing to 3,000m+.

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  2. Great job Mikey and stunning pictures as always my friend…I did make it out for my 8 in the rain and you would have been well pleased ‘cos it pissed down the entire time. I mean there was a stream on the side of the trail where there really is no stream and a bloody great lake/pond/swamp where there shouldn’t be – it has been incredibly wet in and around Seattle for most of the past 3 months…decent run though, back out for 10 tomorrow, cheers!

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      • It’s not raining!! It’s arguably spring like, except for the temperatures, dry run today, possibly, maybe 🙂

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        • I have the opposite problem… Tomorrow will be 21 degrees (70 F) and blazing sunshine in Sion, so I’m deferring my (17-18 mile) long run until Tuesday, when it’s meant to be a little cooler and cloudier. I hate running in the heat. 😦

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