Sunday, August 10, 2008

Trip to Lacs Robert and Archard in Chamrouse

Today, I went to the Chamrousse mountains with a group of people from xrce. These are the same mountains that I can see from my apartment window. The place is a popular ski station in winter and in summer people usually hike around the lakes as we did today.

We took a bus to the top of the mountain ....yeah it is too high to hike all the way from down :) and there was a wood festival going on there...we could see men sharpening their axes and also people carving statues out of wood with a electric sawing machine...they were competing in the wood carving competition.

We then took a cable car to the very top of the mountain....(it is very high, we had to conserve some energy to hike around the lakes)

View of Grenoble far below...

Us marching on to lacs robert! I was trailing behind..
The snow had mostly melted, but there were a few patched in some crevices and also we could see a glacier in the distance...

The lakes..view from the top where we had a little picnic.

We stepped in the water for a bit and it was icy cold. I guess if we were brave we could have had a swim, but we were afraid that once we got out of the lake we would freeze because of the wind.

We then continued on to lake Archard...

Finally, we headed back to the bus.....phew...exhausted!
..The route we took was somewhat like this...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hike in the Chartreuse

Today after work, I went for a hike in the Chamrousse mountains with a French collegue, Gilbert. He was about to go on vacation...(he is going to India to trek in Lei :) ) and had promised to take me to the top of the mountain overlooking XRCE, so we went today. I did not have my camera, so no pics :(

But it was a wonderful hike. We drove to the valley and were surrounded by wonderful peaks on all sides. We then walked up a gentle slope for 2 kms, through fields and along the edge of the smaller hills, avoiding cow dung ( all over the place). The air was still and cool and the only sounds were that of insects. For most of the journey we were in the shadow of one of the peaks.

At first it seemed impossible that we would reach up the mountain but slowly climbing and chatting all the way, we finally did. The view from above was spectacular. It was nice to be on top of the mountains and not in the valleys below. We could see some snow capped mountain in the distance and got a good view of all the three mountain ranges surrounding Grenoble. Each of the peaks had a character of its own and Gilbert knew the names of so many of them. He was saying it helps to know cause sometimes one can get lost in the fog on the mountains.

The mountain overlooking XRCE is very strange. From down it looks like a vertical wall but when you get around it to the other side it is sloping and looks like a know sloping and leaping forwards at the top like it is about to drop down and then suddenly vertical on the other side.

We came across a few people at the top. There was a couple camping up in the mountain and another running across one of the trails and two guys mountain biking-i was a little scared walking there and they were biking down hill so easily!

This view gave me a whole new perspective to the place and made me think about how things look so different from above as compared to when you are down and looking up to the obstacle ahead and how things are never as tough as they seem at first.

We then traced our steps back to the car chatting away about India and France and soon we were back in the valley.....was very calming to go for a hike in the middle of the work week.