Day 5 Friday 17th July 2015
Secret Lake, 1000m up, near Lac Blanc
What an action packed day! Our last full day hike. Very sad to be saying farewell to one of our group members, Chris, who is going back to London today. He shared some great stories with us, had a fantastic (albeit pretty dirty) sense of humour and was responsible for the ‘doing an Emma’ jokes – cheers Chris, so glad that caught on!
Although I was very sad to see him go, it did mean I could move in to his penthouse suite upstairs, after sleeping on a single bed for the last few days I was pretty excited to spread out like a star fish tonight! Not only that, but I would have my very own balcony, hot tub and throne – luxury!
We had our circuit class in the morning like clockwork at 8am. CHX Geoff beasted us again – pull ups and press ups on the TRX, push press with logs, med ball slams and those blooming loop holds that I still can’t do 🙁 < grumpy face!
After the usual all important breakfast, we set off. Today we were headed towards a secret lake near Lac Blanc, we would be climbing 1000m up to get there. We started up through the forest at a nice leisurely pace. We had a few niggles in the group – knees, ankles, so we took it pretty easy which was nice as it was a very hot day and we were all pretty tired from the previous few days.
I absolutely loved this climb. We got to a section where there were lots of rock climbers and we had about 200 metres of ladders to climb up, it was pretty daunting for some of us, to the left of us was a pretty sheer drop, but what a rush.
Half way up we witnessed a mountain helicopter rescue! CHX Ali fell on her knee and split it open right down to the bone. Ouch. Ali is a very experienced competitive trail runner and just had an unlucky tumble, it made us realise it could happen to anyone. We saw her getting helicoptered off which was pretty cool, the helicopter got there in about 20 minutes which is pretty impressive considering there are only 2 helicopters for rescue in Chamonix during season.
Damien joined Ali in the helicopter and the rest of us carried on up a steep off piste section wading through long grass. Francois had promised he was taking us on a secret route to a secret lake, and boy did he deliver! We stopped in awe looking down on to this gorgeous lake surrounded by mountains. It was amazing. We climbed down and found a spot to settle for lunch. We were the only ones around.
Some of us were a bit wary about the temperature of the water, while Mark just dived straight in. Eventually we all got in and splashed around for a bit, the water wasn’t as cold as I expected it to be but it still wasn’t warm enough to stay in too long, plus we were all starving! We climbed out and prepared lunch. Francois had organised a lovely picnic for us, bread, so many different types of cheese, ham, saucisson and….red wine! It was funny how none of us were really in the mood for red wine when we first arrived at the lake because we were so hot and sweaty. But after the swim in the lake we were all a little cold and suddenly the idea of a nice glass of red was quite appealing! The picnic was fantastic and we couldn’t have asked for a nicer setting.
We chilled at the lake for about an hour and then set off ready to make our descent, Mark went for a ‘technical stop’ so I took this opportunity to put some rocks in his bag, just for a laugh. He didn’t notice the weight difference, in fact he didn’t notice until he unpacked his bag when we got back to the chalet. Of course he instantly assumed it was me.
– Emma Cox, Physio4Life Clinic Manager