Alternatives to downhill winter sports #4

<Picture of a cliff covered in icicles being climbed>Pictured here is Fabien, climbing a cliff face in Thônes. This is unusual in that the winters here normally aren’t cold enough for such a massive display of icicles to form in Thônes. Fabien, always keen to get his adrenaline pumping, climbed up last week when temperatures were still well below freezing.

You can get a feeling for how large each icicle is by checking the size of Fabien against those icicles to his right. He’s already climbed metres and the descent gets steeper as he icepicks his way higher. Thônes has a mini glacier! It might not be the Mer de Glace in Chamonix, but the locals here aren’t letting this temporary opportunity go to waste. I can only hope that someone is drilling out an ice cave and carving ice sculptures, and that the big placid St Bernard dog with a barrel around his neck is waiting with his owner while people pay a fiver to have their photo taken with the big guy.

If only. Anyway, back to reality. This is one alternative to downhill winter sports I’m not keen to try, but Fabien seems to have the big thumbs up from all his mates. I’ll leave it to the experts.


I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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3 comments on “Alternatives to downhill winter sports #4
  1. Steph says:

    Awesome, wow and yikes I think! What a fantastic sight those icicles are.

  2. Wendy says:

    I think they’ve now melted! Fast eh?

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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