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This outdoor life
29 May 2015
This week, my new friends at Alpine Action Adventures (Cassie and Simon) asked me out for two days of outdoor activity. The weather has been stunning, and perfect for enjoying what the mountains have to offer.

First, we hiked up Mount Evian and back for 12 km. It's not an enormous peak, but the steep bits further up gave our legs a real workout. When we 'summited' at 1763m we munched on the snacks we'd carried up of french pastries and cheese, german ham and brazil nuts, all washed down with a flask of steaming tea. Walking back down provided many amazing vistas and views of the surrounding valleys and ranges, and the clouds broke around Mont Blanc so we could get an eyeful of its unmistakable white dome. 

Day two was cycling. I'm relatively new to this sport as I only took it up as part of some weeny triathlons I did in Riyadh last year. But recently, I've invested in a road bike and I'm now rather in love with it and all things lycra; I feel dead sporty when wearing said gear and riding with my cleats!

Simon chose a climb of 800m to the Col de Joux Verte for our adventure, and my first ever hill climb. It starts in Morzine and ends 2km short of Avoriaz at 1396m, with some knee-trembling steeps and switch backs on the route up. We rode through Lindarets (also known as the Goat Village) - which I've seen before but only under tons of snow - so it was wonderful to see the incredible beauty that lies beneath. The greens are lush and almost luminous and, when set against the cobalt blue skies, it's a really impressive sight. Goats were standing in the village streets - looking for attention - and we had to nimbly navigate around one particularly large goat with rather pointy horns.

I needed a few short stops on the way up, but I found a cadence that worked and plodded up until making it to the coffee shop at the Col. What a feeling of immense satisfaction. It took 1hr and 53m up and we then zoomed down with the wind in our hair in under 30 minutes! It certainly brought to life the incredible fitness of professional cyclists (even those not on EPO) who attack climbs in the Alps during the Tour de France. A great day out and the first of many alpine rides, I hope.

Until next time...