Chamonix, France

Sometimes you go hiking on an obscure trail in the French Alps and you run into friends from home! We came across a Hoka photoshoot, and the photographer was my friend from Deckers. We had sat next to each other for a year during BT.

We hiked the Swiss Alps so we thought to give the French Alps a try too and maybe see the Italian Alps while we were at it. Chamonix is the gateway to Mont Blanc and home of the race UTMB. We were there a week before the race so we got to see all the setup for the event.

Our day hike from the valley to the peak to the valley behind it was a punishing set of climbs and descents. A cable car can take you from the first valley to peak, but it felt like cheating so we hiked. While Switzerland afforded us gorgeous vistas throughout the hike, Chamonix was thick with fog so we had no distractions from the treacherous trail at our feet. It was a bit disheartening to hike 15 miles and see nothing at all. I looked up our trail online after the hike, and it showed me that the views would have been spectacular. That made me feel worse.

Our second day was just as foggy with forecasted rain all day. We opted for a valley walk to town and a day at the library while we waited for our evening bus. I love libraries, but when all of the books are in French it is less fun. I tried to read a book on glaciers using my year of high school French and the pictures as guides. I felt like a child reading a book that was too far beyond it’s reading comprehension ability. I tried a few more books and then I took a nap.