The Alpes Maritimes are so incredible easily accessible, beautiful that it has been a surprise to me that I did not visited them beforehand: you fly to Nice, take a bus (for 1 euro!!) and it brings you straight to where you want to be: in the mountains, in one of the many little characteristic villages where you can start skitouring. We go the idea of skitouring from a book of several guys who skitoured through the whole alpes. In the end we only did part of the trip we intended to do due to broken finger and bad weather, but the region has so much variety (nice villages to visit, Nice with some nice musea, possibility of public transport bringing you easily to a region with better weather) that we really enjoyed our time there.
The Alpes Maritimes is full of nice little villages. After flying to Nice you take the bus for 1 (!) Euro to the mountains. Here in Belvedere (next to Roquebilliere) we spent the first night and stayed with Jean-Charles. Since one restaurant of the village was closed and the other fully booked, his wife cooked us even a meal! After we had our breakfast in the morning and wanted to leave, they invited us for breakfast so we started our back country skiing with a very good filled stomach...
the lake is completely frozen and covered by snow
virgin snow with some animal traces, ready to leave my traces there as well...
Romance in the snow
View of the Alpes Maritimes (France)
Cime de Diable 2111m - First day from St Grat towards Refuge de Merveilles
From refuge de Nice we went to Pas de Mont Colomb (2548m)
walking up the last part towards the pas du Mt Colomb (2548m). It is too steep too skitour so we put the skis on the back
After Pas du Mont Colomb (2548m) I am walking down over a little field where there had been an avalanche (before we arrived). Just after that corner I started skiing down, fell and broke my finger. it was rather windy so next to this we lost a skin for the ski so we had to go down to the village unfortunately
St Martin de Vesubie. A lovely village where there was 1 hotel open and 1 restaurant...
To get a new skin for the ski and an x-ray for the hand we had to go to Nice. In the hospital 24 people have been occupied with me, incredible but true: inscribing, waiting, nurse 1 - nurse 6, doctor 1, doctor 2, co-assistants, etc etc. Weather was great so in March people were lying on the beach.
St Martin Vesubie
Since snow conditions and weather were perfect for back country skiing we decided to continue our back country trip. So just some pain killers, a mitella for the finger and there we went back on track
Bivak out in the open can actually be really nice. We had great weather (nice stars), found a spot where there was wood so we could make a fire and we found a spot well protected against the wind. After 11 hours, being it the first day back on track with broken finger and having never had a bivak out in the open in the snow, my nerves were not in best shape though ...
Breil sur Roya
What makes this picture a bit strange?
beautiful beautiful Saorge
We wanted to visit an old monastry at Saorge. We saw this beautiful olde tower and thought to be there. It appeared to be private property which was allowing tourists 2 afternoons per year... The actual monastry appeared to have been 'pimped' in heavy baroque style and looked rather kitch
look at those rocks, look at those mountains, the snow and one skier...
La Brigue is a mideaval small town, another cute village in Alpes Maritimes
The small chapel is full of quite impressive frescos in which the most horrifying scenes are presented. The hell is certainly not very attractive...
A Huskie trying (and managing) to escape his 'house' in Casterino at the very nice Auberge Marie Madeleine. His 5 fellow huskies were of course very jealous that he was walking freely and they were not. The huskie on the picture was of course very happy and proud... Even his boss was impressed how he managed to get over the fence.
The remainders of the beautiful fort de la Maguere on the French - Italian border
Enjoying a drink in Limone. Skis are resting aswell against the wall