Chamonix seemed like an entirely different place since I left it for Nepal at the end of May, suddenly it’s t-shirt and shorts weather and gradually the town is getting busier again.
I’ve been crazy busy since getting back too, so I welcomed the chance to spend a few days exploring the tranquility of nearby Vallorcine, with its perfect granite rock climbing and hiking on the threshold of the Aiguilles Rouges Natural Reserve.
Although just a 15 minute drive away, Vallorcine is quite a contrast to the lively Chamonix and is the typical ‘alpine dream’ setting. I stayed with Brit couple Mandy and Mike at the Bellevue Alpine Lodge who prepared us packed lunches and hearty dinners to keep us going.
Whilst still jet lagged, I enjoyed a gentle hike up to the mountain hut, Loriaz where local guide, Xavier Dun explained the history of the valley, its architecture and flora and fauna.
There was still a lot of snow around, unusual for this time of year, so not much joy in Marmot spotting, but stunning views nonetheless.
Although just a gentle hike, I could feel my legs were in no way recovered from my Everest Base camp trek, so opted for a leg massage and sauna at the Vallorcine Mont-Blanc residence & Spa. Just 4 years old, I had no idea any kind of facility like this was in Vallorcine, despite skiing past it several times! Will certainly be back! (+33 (0)450547520 /firstname.lastname@example.org)
The next day I had my first feel of real rock this year in Barberine , with local guide, Fanny Devillaz, who runs climbing courses for local kids, Vallogrimp. It was a gloriously sunny day and I was happy to do an easy, but pleasant new multi pitch route called Cacoa Girl, at 6a+ and just enjoy the airy views.
It gave me a good opportunity to eye up the route next door- Autoroute Blanche- for future reference. We also took a look at another nearby ‘learners’ crag- Rocher d’Escalade, where kids from the local school where having lessons- oh, if only I’d learned to climb when I was at school! . I’m totally unfamiliar with climbing around Vallorcine but have now bought all the guidebooks and will return soon. There’s more about the climbing in Vallorcine HERE.
It was then back to Bellevue for a panache and an alfresco late lunch in the sunshine- the perfect way to return home after a few weeks away!
Do you want to try climbing, hiking or canyoning in Vallorcine too? You can easily get there from Geneva Airport. Book your cheap Geneva transfers with Alps2Alps.