Everything you Need to Know for Winter in Cloud Citadel
September 21, 2020

When nature comes back to life

There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.

― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

After a couple of years living in the deep mountains, we grew to appreciate the transition period when nature comes vigorously back to life. This cycle of life has always been a wonder of unexplainable beauty. Nothing ever seems impossible in spring.

Living a location-independent lifestyle gives one the chance to be more or less wherever they want and whenever they want, but somehow it still seems that many us are still associating travelling with “summer holidays” or “winter holidays”, but what about in between? One of the luxuries of leading such a life is that we can choose which season or which state of the nature we want to surround ourselves with depending on what resonates with us at the moment. Do we want to travel north or south, higher up in the mountains or down to the sea level, do we want to experience warmer or fresher air?

Spring here is unlike anywhere else. Once the winter is finally over and the temperature rises, the wind becomes pleasantly fresh, the air is crisp and we can see distant mountains picks that are usually hidden in the fog. The melted snow fills up the rivers with milky water, the Alpine meadows starts to slowly come back to life, then comes the bushes and the trees, filling up the landscape with a lush flashy almost unreel green on south faces, while the still snowy north faces lack a bit behind, creating sometimes a very binary feel. The air is fresh, green and delicate. First to appear is wild garlic and soon followed by spring mushrooms, pine trees and several flowers that were only waiting the right temperature rise to show reveal themselves to the world in a colorful explosion. During a few weeks, between mid-May and mid-June, Alpine meadows become flower fields. This is something you do not want to miss.

As the snow melts, certain mountain wonders, difficult to reach during winter become easily accessible again. High routes that were closed, reopen. Numerous great hiking passes, climbing sites or via ferratas are again reachable. This time of the year is also the best to see mountain fauna, which also seems to celebrate this new beginning. Marmots, wild goats, deers, chamois, foxes, wild pigs, squirrels, wolfs (only a few), eagles, and many other birds. The Ecrins National Parc, the oldest French national park, feels like a zoo sometimes.

And you know what is actually the best about Spring: NO TOURISTS. The most popular places, which can be rather crowded, during summer are empty. The “Vallée de la Clarée”, which is our local Dolomites, is one of the place where we always go to during Spring. There is such a cute camping spot there called Fontcouverte. Another great spot, paradise for climbers, is Ailefroide, aka the French Yosemite. Such clear water there. We also do have our secrets favorite spots for barbecue, 30-40 minutes from the coliving, one next to the “Lac de l’orcyerette”, and another one next to the “Torrent des bans” at the end of a small valley close to Vallouise. There is also a great refuge there a bit higher up.

Or you fancy a lunch break dip in the river canyon just a few minutes walk from the house? It will clear up your mind in an instant. Best replacement for a coffee :D.

Be here and experience the mountain nature waking up, it is as wonderful as it sounds.