Today was a highly productive day for the Gombert family on the road. Stacie and I woke up early as usual and started talking about a plan for the day. We both wanted to get in a good workout, but since it had not snowed in a while we were not looking forward to a big downhill day. Instead we were hoping to get out on a ski tour. We decided to get out early so if Peter wanted to go skiing in the afternoon we would still have time. Since we are walking distance from Grand Montets we decided to hike up the main run there. The climb would be about 2400 vertical feet and would take about two hours.
We packed up and headed out. We were only on the run for about 2 minutes when we noticed the sign for the Randonee Trail. Randonee is means hike in French and it is used in the winter to describe the Ski Touring trail. We knew this trail was supposed to be there, however, despite going past it probably 20 times in the past 3 weeks, we had never noticed this starting point.
We decided to give it a try because it would mean the peace and quiet of a trail rather than the bustle of a ski run. We were rewarded with a difficult, but peaceful and very quiet climb straight up the mountain face. The trail was small, but well marked and switchbacked up the mountain in a dense pine forest. Some of the turns on the switchback were particularly difficult in skis, but we would just pop our skis off and walk up them. After a while we were in the groove and enjoying every minute of the strenuous climb.
We reached an opening in the forrest and were looking down on the small town on Argentiere. We could see where we started at the apartment and were pretty pleased with our progress.
We made it to the top almost exactly two hours after we had started. It was a great workout, and we were pretty exhausted. So we headed back down via a lift and made it back to the apartment just in time for lunch.
The remainder of the day was dedicated to getting things done. There were several nagging items we needed to take care of and since everything takes longer on the road we needed a solid afternoon. Peter woke up with a sore knee from all the skiing and jumping he has been doing and decided to take the day off from skiing. This was his first day off since we arrived in Chamonix. 21 straight days of skiing will take it's toll on anyone - even a 15 year old. It turned out to be a great decision because as we were heading off to bed we looked outside and noticed it had been snowing for a while and was still coming down, he would likely need fresh legs in the morning for a powder day!