Slip Slidin’ Away

In advance of our Coast to Coast Walk, my Parkinson’s UK regalia arrived last week – just in time for this rather chilly photo-opportunity!

With all that is going on in the world today I confess to some feeling of privilege and indulgence for the opportunity of a week away skiing in the Alps this week with Alistair, my elder son. I am hugely grateful as it is not often in our busy lives, especially with the challenges of the last two years, that we get to spend so much quality time with those closest to us!

And of course there are the mountains! Notwithstanding my long walk last summer through northern England and Scotland, it has been a long while now since I have been amongst such topographic magnificence. As well as the inherent physical activity, I always find such timeless comfort in the hills – perhaps it’s partly awe, partly anonymity, but I seem to need a regular dose of mountains to put our complicated lives into some meaningful perspective.

The peaks above Val Thorens

Our base this week is Les Menuires, which one or two of you might know as part of Les Trois Vallées, in the department of Savoie of southeastern France, that also includes the resorts of Courchevel, Méribel and Val Thorens. Despite being, according to some, the largest ski area in Europe, and boasting an astonishing array of pistes for all abilities, there are also corners of this ski paradise where one can truly get away from the crowds in order to take in the spectacle of the mountains themselves. I will stop my musings there, and share some views.

A privilege indeed to spend some passing moments in this timeless snowscape.
Mont Vallon, at nearly 3,000 metres, towers over the upper slopes of Méribel and offers a scenic and challenging descent to any skier on an icy morning!
And did those feet . . ? This run is rated by many within the ‘Alpine Top 10’ of scenic runs, enjoyed today to a moody backdrop!
The Three Valleys actually has a fourth sibling, Orelle, whose domain boasts some wonderfully uncrowded pistes as well as the high point of the whole ski area, Le Sommet des Trois Vallées, at 3,230 metres above sea level. In the thin air I may appear somewhat contemplative here!
There are some ever-increasing and crazy ways of taking in the mountains!

Strictly speaking, my preparations for the Coast to Coast (C2C) Walk that Rob and I are embarking upon in a little over two weeks did not require this element of altitude training. Nevertheless, the full-on activity of my last few days can have done no harm in building up my physical and mental resilience. Home calls now, and a programme of daily walks, short and long, as our readying for the C2C enters its final furlong.

I’ve not been so far, far away for many moons!

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