Le Chardon are part of the Mantis Group, who “preserve a vanishing way of life,” and here they preserve an authentic Alpine chalet experience. Privately owned, designed and managed, the chalets have a wonderful homely feel, romantic background story and attention to detail that you just don’t find with tour operators. Each room in the flagship chalet is made of a different wood – I was in the walnut-appointed Ardgay – and everything one could expect from a luxury stay was in place, all the way down to bath tonic for soothing weary muscles after a hard day on the mountain before dinner and, of course, more champagne!
I found all through my journey that if I had a destination in which, upon arrival, I could spend some time seeing the local sights and meeting people, then returning to the solitude and grind of endless days on the bike was not so bad. In fact, after a few days resting in a place I was usually ready and motivated for the next step of the journey.
It’s hard to explain exactly the appeal of spending 3 and a half months alone riding a bicycle through various types of tortuous terrain, and I’m not sure exactly why I decided to do it.
There is a niche of people in this world, albeit a small one, who are rising up against conformity and taking their lives into their own steady hands. Jon Gupta, Nick Valentine and photographer Alexandre Buisse are a trio who have adopted this stance. In July of 2012, these three mountaineers they will attempt to win the prestigious Snow Leopard… Read more →
In last month’s daring raid into the realms of a regular column, I talked about my beginnings in skiing: why I initially made the pro-life choice for Freeskiing over racing; and how I managed to fund this self-indulgent exercise. This month the pros and cons of professional skier-dom will battle it out, despite the obviously predetermined decision. While last month… Read more →