Autumn in the Alps
Category: Locations > Les Houches | 07th Nov, 2014
Autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Those of us lucky enough to live or have second homes in the Alps are able to enjoy this less celebrated season in a different but no less enjoyable way. In September the tourists disappear and the kids go back to school leaving us to enjoy the remainder of the sunshine. At the start of September it is often still hot enough to swim outdoors, indeed the water in the lakes is at it's warmest after months of sunshine.The road cycling season is definitely still in full flow even if the lifts are shut for mountain biking. Conditions are still fantastic for roadies before the cold, rain and snow put off all but the hardiest of cyclists.
By October all the fruit trees are bursting with plums and apples all ripe for picking. Wild raspberries, strawberries and bilberries can also be found in the mountains and make delicious snacks whilst out hiking. It is a great month to explore the mountains on foot. Temperatures are pleasant for walking and the bright colours of Autumn are spectacular, particularly the deciduous trees on the lower slopes. My favourite walk at this time of year is up to the Col de la Balme above Seytroux. From the Col you can turn left for a steep climb up to the Pointe de la Gay from where you may well hear the sounds of the cerfs, the local deer who congregate in the bowl beyond at this time of year. If you continue the circuit you can see them too. A right turn at the Col takes you on a more leisurely circuit, culminating in the pretty Culees d'en Haut, a collection of old chalets surrounded by fruit trees.
The rain is turning to snow outside as I write this in early November and inevitably thoughts turn to skiing. By the end of this month last year, the 21st to be precise, I was skiing powder at Avoriaz. The same again would be nice! In the meantime a sunny weekend forecast might mean a last outing on the bike enjoying the snow topped surroundings. Ah yes and I must collect the remaining apples in the garden. Happy days.
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