CHAMONIX , MT BLANC SEPTEMBER 23RD 2016
There is a deep sense, at least in my mind, of peace to be found in a mountain environment, some places more than others. I experienced this to the highest degree, when I was fortunate enough to have lived in one of the most beautiful mountain massifs on earth, Chiles Torres del Paine National Park, deep in southern Patagonia, a place where the wind, snow, ice and rain have carved out a landscape in the rock that inspires a sense of awe.
Those years in that Patagonian paradise are now a memory, not a distant one, because places such as this become deeply etched into the mind, a place that forces you to remember it, the sheer granite spires, the glacial tongues that fork out from the mighty Southern Patagonian Icecap, a place so foreboding few venture onto it, the skies awash with surreal lenticular cloud formations that leave you in awe of the majesty of the natural world, it inspires one to venture further, the next valley, the next peak, it’s seemingly endless landscape, was made for dreamers, of which I am one, and so when I am asked how could I have lived in a tent through all the seasons in this vast wild place for so long, and how did I cope with the boredom, I pity them for assuming I was bored, boredom is not an option in Torres del Paine,even in foul weather, I loved it,which brings me to my current location, where I sit and write this 1st entry into my new blog about my forthcoming year in Chamonix, not much chance of being bored here either…..
The day >>>>>Lost out on a cool 2 bed apartment to rent in lovely quiet and very beautiful les Bois, as the landlady wants the new occupant (s) to sign for 2 years and the guy who was renting it could not commit, and the same goes for me, year max.
However found a cool little studio next to Brevent Ski Lift, good news , but only short tem till December 24th aaaarrrrhhhh, but plenty of time to find somewhere else for the rest of the winter or year if I am lucky. Commenced training in earnest for a couple of 50k mountain trail runs in summer 2017, in the hope of qualifying for the big ones the following year, lots and lots of training to do, really looking forward to it.
Weather these last 2 weeks, since I drove from the Pyrenees, has kept me grounded as far as filming the breeding vultures is concerned, but Sunday is looking promising, so a 5am drive and an early scrabble up the steep grass and later scree slope of the Grand Bargy Cirque, where the Bearded Vultures soar and the nest is located, will be a rewarding day if the weather holds. I have scoured the web and all the wildlife film footage libraries, and I have yet to find any high quality footage of them mating, and seeing as I witnessed it last year only a few hundred feet from where I sat observing them, I fully intend to make this my main goal this coming breeding season, I sadly had no camera last year on the day of my visit, and if truth be known, the last thing I expected was to see them land on a roosting spot across the far side of the cirque from the nest and mate, I won’t miss it his year.
The nesting area is well known by locals, and a small dedicated band of eagle eyed volunteers keep a keen eye on the nesting pair as they truly love the fact they have the priv of having such a rare and beautiful species living in the neighbourhood On my first visit I met an old lady walking her pooch on the slope close to the nest, who is a volunteer in among others in the local community , who keep an eye on the nest and the birds throughout the year, she was a great source of information and told me the place I saw them mating was a very regular spot for the pair to land and rest, and go about the business of procreating, just what this boy to hear…..