Scenic wonders around Chamonix

Pointe Helbronner
Skirting the glaciers near Pointe Helbronner

I’m a bit snowed under with work at the moment – well, a bit is somewhat of an understatement in truth. So for this post all I’m going to do is my usual half-arsed effort for a trip report. I’ll let the pictures and a few words do the talking.

What I will say before I go any further is this – the French Alps were impressive. I got to see and savour some abso-bloody-lutely awesome sights while filming and taking pictures for Force Ten who are having a big revamp of the brand and it’s products next year.

I didn’t find much of it overwhelming in truth. As lovely as much of the area I saw was, I couldn’t help but think how similar some of the landscapes were to places in the UK – albeit on a larger scale of course! And if I’m honest, despite some picture postcard French villages, the valleys that I got to explore weren’t as ‘pretty’ as you’ll find in other parts of France. Even so, my favourite experiences were up high on the Mont Blanc massif. The glaciers, the snow, the jagged peaks – that appeared similar to an up-turned jaws of a dinosaur – were out of this world!

Observing the Mont Blanc massif from afar at a camp one night, you couldn’t really appreciate it’s scale among the wider landscape. From where I sat by my tent, it looked much like a dried up Christmas pudding!

Dealing with the altitude was a struggle for a couple of days, thereafter I was OK – except when kneeling with a camera after some frantic activity followed by suddenly standing upright which made me feel like I had just stepped out of a hot bath too quickly and about to faint.

At one point I even fell a few feet into what transpired to be a large and deep crevasse! My immediate concern was for my camera equipment. Foolishly I’d let myself loose off the ropes beforehand – I didn’t make that mistake again let me tell you. More so as only minutes later three Italian gentleman walked nearby and one fell straight through! Luckily for him he was roped to his colleagues at the time. Being told to stay back, one of the F10 team rushed over to help and thankfully after a few minutes the gentleman was pulled from the darkness below in the snow. Bit of a nerve-wrecking day that was!

All said and done, I’m keen to head on back. I’m looking to heading a little further south though. Transport links are excellent in the area. I’m toying with the idea of visiting the French Alps again via train which will be somewhat quicker than the drive we had from England (having to lug about all the kit needed for the shoots) as I’m not keen on flying in commercial aircraft.

We’ll see. Top trip, top part of the world and with great company too.

Most of the following pics were taken on my compact camera. Much of the work I did on my usual gear was for Force Ten I’m afraid (much of which will be on display at the OTS Outdoor Trade Show in a week or so). So, no pics of camp or anything really. No matter, there’s still some nice scenes to share!

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