April 12, 2011 chartreusian

Lac Achard

On Saturday we went for a family hike with our friends the Pavey’s.  It was a beautiful sunny day for a hike to an alpine lake.  It was over 18 degrees up at the ski resort parking lot where we started –  so you would think that ski season was over..but nope. We had to dodge a few skiiers on our way up. I guess they feel obliged to keep the resort open for people who booked their ski holiday last summer, and drove all the way from Brussels for their one-week of skiing for the year. But really – there is a fine line between optimism and hallucinating – and looking at that hill and thinking that you can ski …

For the most part the trail was pretty clear, but up closer to the lake, in the shade there was a LOT of snow. There was a hard crust on top that you could usually stay on top of if you were careful.  But kids tend not to be that careful when they’re hiking with friends. There were a nubmer of times that the kids (and the adults) would sink through the top layer, into very wet, quite cold slushy snow up to you knee (plus we were all in shorts).  Or – if the combination of snow and leg-length was right – up to your waist. Of course as you sink through, that hard layer that was almost strong enough to hold you up now is more like a layer of broken glass that your bare calf is dragged against…

Anyway – it’s an amazing hike – not just because of the hike itself, and the veiws – but also because it seems so much nicer when it’s just 20min up the road to the traihead – and then just over an hour (or close to two hours with small children and snow) to get to an alpine lake.  The crocuses were blooming already even as high up as 1800m and above- in some places they were so thick it almost looks as if they have been planted there.

We ate our lunch by the (still frozen) lake – where apparently we got more sun than we thought (bright noon sun + no clouds + high altitude + snow to reflect = more sun) as somehow my right calf is all red up to my knee.