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Dr. Darren J. McAulay

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Le Chazelet, la Grave, Ecrins Alps, France

11/08/2009 12:03


Le Chazelet, La Grave, French Alps

By darrenmcaulay

Summer in the Alps (just an excuse to avoid the rain and midges in Skye?). At the end of June I returned to my summer retreat in Le Chazelet. The sun was shining on the Meije, the GR54 and the splendid Ecrins Massif. July 6th saw me off on a wee trip to Switzerland. Val D’Anniviers and Zermatt were the destination – trekking with Keith from Hillways. The busy streets and disneyland resemblance of Zermatt were no match for the tranquil Ecrin and I returned to the French hills on 16th. Much rock climbing, mountain walking and short paraglider outings were undertaken. In addition a 3 day visit to Orpierre (between Sisteron and Gap) to meet up with friends saw more rock climbing and heat avoiding swimming sessions in the campsite pool.

Back in Le Chazelet for the rest of August: My alpine chateau played host to many folk including Pachi from Chile (a mountain guide with whom I work in Antarctic logisitics) who came to sample the great rock climbing and glacier scenery around La Grave, baldy Robin for his annual sunbathing and walking sejourn and Neil and Trish from Mammoth Lakes. Neil is a UIAGM (USA) mountain guide who I know from working in California. He now runs Sierra Mountain Guides based in Bishop, Ca……..he was so impressed with La Grave that a return visit is already being planned!!

The sun is shining so some alpine activities beckon…….climbing? walking? mountain biking? via ferrata? paragliding? rafting? or just relaxing at the Creperie!!

 Summit of the Grand Pic (3983m) - La Meije.


 La Meije traverse (Grand Pic on the right).