Lac Noir

Here in the Alps, it’s easy to climb up to about 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in around 2-3 miles on a direct way.  Great training and good challenge for anyone at any age.  The biggest reward on the top is the view, fantastic views no matter what condition.  The surrounding glaciers make it dramatic for new comers and even seasonal visitors like us.

It was a lingering cloudy day with some sun yesterday depending on where you are.  We planned to go up to Aguillettes de Houches but turned around early due to unforeseen circumstance.  I don’t want to get into the details but just as a caution, I had to go back down.  The last time I had the same issue, I continued climbing and it was a big mess.  Luckily, I was okay and we had a wonderful time running downhill.

The climb was nice and I used my poles to get some core and pull down workout.  I try to focus on smooth movement like climbing on cross country skiis on an uphill.  It’s a really good workout like an SFR on the bike.  The steeper, the better for more intense work but yesterday, I loved going in rhythm with the beat of tunes.  It’s also great step up work on big rocks and boulder on the path.  I love the feel of climbing that way.  We both got super sweaty!

There is a trail loop that we really enjoy in Les Houches.  Yesterday, it reminded us of the redwood trails in California.  It rained all day the day before so the ground was soft and so nice to run on.  Just like waiting for a powder run in the winter, we wait for those damp runs into the woods.  Most of it is runnable and not very technical.  The best  thing about it is there are hardly anyone on the trails and it’s so peaceful.

We saw a lot of mushrooms on the trails.  It catches your attention because of it’s bright color and stand out shape.  I keep stopping to take pictures, they are very cute.  We saw a couple hiking down at some point with a bag of mushrooms.  Mushroom foraging is very common in the French Alps.

The climb up to a small chalet took us a little over an hour.  The fog was starting to lift up to the top with some clearing and then back again.  The area is also used for sheep herding so we did see sheep watching us go by leaving us some nasty surprises on one section of the trail.  Kinda gross so don’t drink the creek water there!

We were very close to the top but it was still a very steep climb.  We turned around then headed back down the way we came but decided to go by Lac Noir (Black Lake).  We reached the small black lake and saw some salamanders in the water.  The water was so still and I hunted down turtles which I’ve seen there in the lake before.  Mushrooms popping up around the lake fron the days of rain and high humidity.

The run down was so nice with some single tracks.  We reached the Christ Roi tower which is a Jesus statue and it’s actually a small chapel.  The statue faces Les Houches and the bell rings on that chapel a few times a day.  We can hear it all the way from our apartment and it’s visible from Les Houches.  We saw two senior ladies setting up a picnic table with table cloths, silver ware and plates.  We greeted them and they smiled as we started to head down to the train station.

We often see people picnic and there are a few big picnic tables at the Christ Roi statue.  I noticed a couple of new tables this year.  It’s not a very long hike from Les Houches and it can be drive part ways.  It’s a nice picnic spot for families and friends that meet up while hiking as well.

I thought about eating our packed sandwich but it was only about 2 miles to our apartment so we ate our tuna sandwich at home.  It was a bit cool yesterday and I actually wore my light gloves the whole way.

It’s suppose to get warmer the next few days…

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