Monday, 27 October 2008

Yesterday's hike - Cirque de Fer du Cheval

Fog across the lake and an invisible Switzerland encouraged a foray into the mountains towards Samoëns and Sixt. We thought it should be sunny further back into the Chablais and away from Lac Léman, the surface size of it holding the damp cloud close to the French shoreline, and the surrounding villages and up onto the plateau de Gavot. A picnic bought at La Croustillante and we were off...

The sunshine hit the high mountain tops and tree line above us although not often penetrating down into the Dranse valley below Morzine. Les Gets was quiet as we drove through and as we descended down towards the Tanninges/Cluses valley floor we were disappointed to see the mist filling the valley and away towards Samoëns and further on towards the mountains surrounding Chamonix.

The weather of late had meant warm autumn sunshine and over the past few weeks it had been dry mostly with little rain. This suggested the waterfalls in the park would be mostly dry but even then a peaceful almost empty valley in which to walk awaited us.

We met a parapentist who had hiked up to a Col and launched himself off. Once he'd landed and was packing his 'chute we asked if he'd had a good flight and he was almost speechless through the beauty and the wonder of it all.

"Grandiose" was all he could say, smiling and wishing us a good sunday walk.

We sat upon rocks in the midst of what at other times of the year would be a raging torrent, and too dangerous to attempt to cross, but today we sat, ate, greeted a cyclist who was carrying his bike to the end, the height of the valley before setting off to ride down. A few other hikers walked past; otherwise all was quiet. And very beautiful.

A few more still photos taken show one of the many waterfalls; this one still in action. We'll have to return next May or June to catch the splendour of the snow melt.

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