Day 4 – Thursday 16th July 2015
Chamonix 1040m – Plan Lachat 1570m – Sentier des Gardes
Wow…sore legs this morning! Apparently day 4 is always the hardest on your legs – aint that the truth! My room mate arrived last night. A lovely girl called Liz, she’s a boxer and a sleepwalker and she is strong enough to rip radiators off walls… We all had a pretty early night last night as we were all exhausted, so we were nice and fresh this morning. I have to admit I was pretty relieved that we were only doing half a days hike though! After breakfast we set off for Plan Lachat at 1570m. We had a 100m warm up before we started our climb of 400m, which we did in 25 minutes, up to Sentier des Gardes, we all did that in great time! It was the hottest day this week; it would reach around 35c.
It was pretty clear to see, in comparison to day 1, that we were all improving hugely in terms of our speed, endurance and stamina. I could definitely feel my fitness improving, I was adapting to the altitude, I felt faster and lighter on my feet and it felt great. We split in to two groups again, some of us wanted to climb down and some wanted to carry on up to Plan Praz, the mid station at Le Brevent, and get the lift down.
I had done an extra climb up to Le Brevent yesterday, so I was pretty keen to go down on foot from this point. My ankle felt OK, I had changed from my Scarpa boots to my Asics trainers which had been working out pretty well as they weren’t rubbing my bad ankle at all. It was a lovely descent. Mark, Ali, Liz and I jogged down the entire way. I actually find jogging down a lot easier than taking it slow. You can get in to a really nice rhythm. It can be mentally more tiring as you really have to pay attention to your footwork, weaving in and out of the rocks, stones and tree roots that stick out along the trail, and of course be careful not to completely tumble off the mountain!
When we got to the bottom we settled in to a café, had a nice cold drink and waited for the others. When they arrived Jen was pumped! She had challenged herself massively. She is so much more comfortable coming down the mountain and she made it up even higher today, which is fantastic and you could see how much it meant to her.
We headed back to the chalet for lunch, good food as always – salmon and lots of salad, pasta and rice. Perfect post hike food.
Today was the day we had all been waiting for – it was massage day! All I can say is thank you Iona! An hour long full body massage was exactly what my body needed, especially my lower back, calves and hammies– amazing. Most of us missed the circuit class because we didn’t want to ‘undo’ Ionas hard work by abusing our bodies again (great excuse)! Liz is Pilates trained so she put on a nice stretch based Pilates class before dinner.
Ali and Damien joined us for a Thai chicken curry dinner on the balcony which was lovely. After dinner we headed out to see a 16 piece Brazilian band play in Chamonix Centre. We ended up in Elevation bar sitting outside and looking up at the beautiful mountains around us. Damien brought to our attention that we had climbed a 1000m ascent and descent in 3 hours today which is like climbing Mount Snowdon, and we had done it before lunch – good work!
-Emma Cox, Physio4Life Clinic Manager