It’s taken a while to catch up but here are a few pics to form a timeline of my favourite memories from May/June. I headed over to France at the end of May where the IAU world trail champs were hosted by Maxi Race in Annecy – 85km/5500m/73rd/10h43m. Despite a perfect buildup, not everything went to plan, but I learned a lot and met plenty of heroes. “Recovery” consisted of 4 weeks exploring all the little villages between the French Alps and the Italian Dolomites, scoping out their trails/lakes/mountains. Not the standard tourist fare but I loved it. Then 120km/6000m/21st/14h59m in Cortina for Lavaredo Ultra Trail at the end of June. Since I got back it’s been the season for rogaining/hiking/biking/xc skiing, and building up to the steep climbs of Hounslow 75km in October!
Annecy recce from Mt Baron. During this week leading up to World Champs, we stayed at the same hotel as the reps from the other countries – sharing meals and scoping out our favourite athletes in the hallway!
Sound of music at Semnoz summit (Mt Blanc massif in the background). The little ridge in the close background was the 2nd climb during world champs, and there was a section that was so steep+muddy that we had to climb up through the bushes beside the track because people were sliding backwards.
Selfies for the fans. Halfway up the 3rd climb of the MaxiRace course, near the lauchpad for paragliders.
Opening ceremony with Team Aus. The primary school girls were our flag bearers and kindly taught us a bit of french so that we could figure out how to order hot quiches at le boulangerie
on the road to Galibier
Climbing to Col du Galibier. The tour de France was scheduled to come through here in 2015 (during the Alp d’Huez stage) but was detoured due to a landslide near the pass! Thankfully it was solid while we drove through there a month earlier…
Briancon old town. We stayed with some awesome ski instructors who showed us the local trails (hey James and Eva!)
Our home in Cavalese next to the slanting wooden shack
Mt Cornon from Cavalese. Matt showed Gill and I the ropes in the La Sportiva valley.
God’s invitation to Summer (Jack Muirhead eat your heart out)
#chasingvert Feels like I’ve been on drugs (the good kind) since I got back. Even though my legs were sore, my heart/lungs seemed to benefit from the altitude and daily mountain running.
Mt Cornon in the Sportiva motherland
Scoping out the Stava mountain race course, only took us 3hrs for 15km
Looking up to Piz Boe. This is where the Dolomites skyrace comes up from Canazei. 1500m to 3300m in about 10km then straight back down again!
Menacing Dolomites – this was from the cable car heading towards Piz Boe. I thought I was car sick but apparently it was altitude sickness from ascending too fast then aggressive hiking as soon as we got out.
Piz Boe #mountaineering #nosebleed
La Sportiva models #soeuro We got a tour of the factory in Ziano de Fiemme where they hand make their climbing/mountineering boots. Had a family BBQ with Matheo from R+D to learn about new shoe designs as well as family life in the valley!
Scott dura ace demo bikes #noshortcuts – the German lady at this cafe was surprised when we told her we where Aussie… “oh Australie, but you’re so white!?!?”
Obligatory col pic. We’re in Italy but everyone speaks German because this region used to be part of Austria (pre-war).
Dolomites near Canazei
Dolomites near Canazei
Survived our first via ferrata. This one was pretty sketchy. Cables pulled taught so that if you fell, your carabiner would smash its spine on a metal bracket. Later we did one back in France that felt much safer.
It was time for Matt to head home after a crazy week. Gill and I headed back to France, with a quick adventure stopover. Standing in Italy, looking into Swizterland (near Lugano)
Froomey takes penultimate stage of Criterium du Dauphine at Le Bettex (St Gervais)
OGE boys ft. Gerrans at the start of the final stage of Criterium du Dauphine
Mt Blanc peaking out from Mt Joly. It doesn’t even look that big and menacing… just soft fluffy white snow!
View from our mountain home at Refugio Plan Glacier (2700m). This was the highest we could go without crampons+ice axes for acclimatising. It was snowing as we departed, but after 2hrs hiking downhill it was time for a swim in the summer valley. Crazy climate changes.
Looking across to Mt Joly from Plan Glacier Refugio. We had family dinners each night in the cosy hut. Someone would translate between German/French/English for us. Lots of carbs and digestive shots after dinner (apparently you sip them). The real mountaineers would get up at 330am the next morning to head out!
Argentier Glacier near Chamonix. Time to leave France and head back to the Dolomites for Lavaredo. Race time!
Scouting Lavaredo course. The race started at 11pm, which basically guaranteed a mental battle after only a few hours. On the bright side, I think this protected me from jetlag when I flew home to Aus the day after the race!
Lavaredo recce with Mark Lee and Gill
First time racing in capri’s #soeuro #fluentinitalian
Coming down from Tre Cime just after sunrise. Loving the downhill, especially after downing a red bull for brekky!
Back to home sweet Canberra. #bulking to get rid of those cheekbones and ribs that showed up in Europe!