Chamonix events: Fireworks with Les Commandos Percu

Chamonix has been in the global news because of the tragic avalanche that took 9 lives on Mont Maudit a couple of days ago.

The day after, we were bombarded with people asking if we were ok, what the news was.
Thankfully none of us, our friends or people we know were caught up in the tragedy.
Plus, luckily, it appears that no-one who lives in the valley was killed in the avalanche.

Events like that do serve to highlight how this beautiful valley can be deadly when you least expect it.
Our thoughts go out to those suffering loss as a result.

However life always moves on — and this week has held one of the highlights of the Chamonix calendar:  the annual World Cup Climbing competition here in Chamonix.

The “Best of the Best” climbers battle it out – head-to-head in the speed competition,  and also in the technical difficulty which is measured in metres up an over-hanging wall with ever increasing levels of difficulty….

Despite the rain, the final was last night and AGAIN, we are blown away by the sheer athleticism of these amazing individuals.
An aerial ballet – plus the delight when they fall OFF the wall as they reach the expression of the peak of their ability.

This was followed by a percussion band.  But no ordinary percussion band.

This was “Les Commandos Percu”!

6 guys.
Dressed as commandos.
Creating a trance-like almost tribal experience.
with fireworks!

very cool!

Les Commandos Percu – Chamonix 13th June 2012

 

Actually, in the immortal words of Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, “Frakking Awesome!”

Snow is falling…. Winter’s calling…

First off….   We have some opening dates for the season….

Yes… Grands Montets will be opening from the 3rd December, this year…
We are getting really excited about the possibility of some early skiing – only FIVE weeks to go!!

Brévent, La Flégère and La Tour are all set to open on the Saturday 17th December….

….and we are still waiting to hear about Les Houches.  Traditionally, it likes to give Grands Montets a run for its money in the early opening stakes… All we need is the snow!!

The other aspect which may affect the opening date for Les Houches is that the Compagnie du Mont Blanc will become the majority share holider (73%)  in the ownership of the Les Houches ski area at a cost of 4 million euros, on the 25th October.  After many years of petty (and not so petty) arguments between the two families that controlled the ski area, it is finally sorted and we can relax knowing the future of the best kept secret of the Chamonix valley is safe.  I am hoping they continue the tradition of opening Les Houches as early as possible though.

Grands Montets earlier today

After yesterdays heavy rainfall in the lower altitudes, it is already looking great for an early start to the season for higher up the mountain…

This was the view from Grands Montets mid-station earlier today…

As you can see there is already a nice covering of snow on the tracks… with five weeks to go!!

What else is NEW this year?

There will be a new boarder cross park being created in La Tour which will be open to everyone.

At Grands Montet, in the freestyle park, they are installing HD cameras to record all the action…

At Brevent, they are installing a giant airbag so wanna-be hot-doggers can practise their aerial moves and land safely on an air mattress – under the supervision of park instructors.

For the gastronophiles, there are new restaurants at the La Tour area and La Flégère area…

The pisteurs have already erected the safety fence on the lower section of the Kandahar world championship run, and they’ve been around and inspected the snow cannons down the piste des Aillouds outside the chalet….

All very exciting….  we CAN’T WAIT!!!

One thing I DO love about right now though… is the colours of Autumn as we go into Winter….

 

The Amazing Colours of Autumn

 

Lots going on in Chamonix in Summer 2011….

Busy summer here in Chamonix with lots of spectacular events going on in the area.

Firstly, in July there was the Climbing World Championships
Both the speed and the technical events were held in the place du Mont Blanc…

I love the speed events – I think it incredible how these athletes can climbing SO quickly up that vertical wall…. So, so impressive…

That coincides with the Bastille Day celebrations with spectacular fireworks in Les Houches and Chamonix.

Then, we enjoyed the free JAZZ of the 2nd Annual Cosmo Jazz festival.
There were some superb jazz musicians playing for free in the town centre and up the mountain. They would set up a short walk from some of the main lifts and play for everyones’ pleasure!

We sincerely hope they continue this event as it is one of the most enjoyable events of the Summer.
(shame I actually missed the above concert though – held at Lac Bleu above Plan d’Aiguille.)

There was the annual fête des Guides over last weekend – to raise money for the families of guides who have lost their lives or been seriously injured at work – finishing with its light show at Lac Gaillands on Monday.

Just starting today (Tuesday 16th August) is the Chamonix Adventure Film Festival showing films at the Majestic.

This culminates with a free film showing at the Lac du Chavants in Les Houches on Wednesday 24th August.

and finally at the end of the month, is the Ultratrail du Mont Blanc.

For those that have not heard of this, the UTMB is 2500 runners running 166km around the Tour du Mont Blanc – with the best winning time to beat of 20 hrs 5 mins set by Dawa Sherpa in 2003 (when of the 722 runners in the competition only 67 finished…).