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July so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Member Details Session Description
Toys Used
Owner: squiz

Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1742

24th September 2015
Windsurfing: Lac de Montynard
Wind Direction:
Wind Stength: 15/20
Surf / Sea State: lumpy
Air Temperature: 20
Sea Temperature:
Weather: sunny
Max Speed: 26.78 (knots - unless stated otherwise)
Distance Covered: 14 (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Wednesday 23rd September – sightsee and travel – cloudy with rain showers :(

Very grey start but still able to do exercises outside on the river bank. Packed up and drove across the hillside to a excellent cascade at Glandieu. We didn’t even have to get out of the car as it was in the main street! We did though and took some photos. Drove on to the memorial museum to the 44 children of Izieu. The Maison Izieu was a place where Jewish children were hidden in the war but on 6th April 1944 the Gestapo arrived and nearly all were murdered in Auschwitz ten days later. It was a beautiful place and very poignant. There were two exhibitions, one was very new and no translations were available but the actual house had a booklet in English giving explanations. The stories were both lovely and very sad/appalling. To see a photo of each child in one of the rooms with their dates of birth and death was heartbreaking and the only thing to think is that they all had a happy time in Izieu and are all smiling and looking very cheeky in their photographs. There were also lots of their drawings and it seemed ironic that these flimsy pieces of paper survived while the children didn’t. One of the interactive tables in the new exhibition was brilliant and by touching the glass table top you could track the history and timeline of the few survivors with photos of some of them up to the present day. The lady who set up and ran the home had realised their time was limited and was away looking for homes to hide the children in when the Gestapo arrived and therefore survived to give evidence at the trial of Klaus Barbie in 1987 and died in 1996. Sadly her husband didn’t survive. We bought an English book in the shop to get more information and more can be found at

Izieu info here

We drove down to a port on a wide stretch of the Rhone which you could see from the house and had our lunch there. Drove on to Lac Peladru hoping for an overnight spot but no access – only private houses and camp sites. Pretty though. On to places we have been before on our skiing tours, through stunning Chartreuse mountain scenery, gorges and roads only just hugging onto the side of cliffs! We returned to St. Pierre de Chartreuse where we skied last year and knew we could park out of the way. The weather has been pretty pants today, dull and wet at times :( but the forecast says that apparently it is looking better for the next couple of days:)

Thursday 24th September – bike ***** Mountain top at La Scia to Grenoble – sunny – 31.28kts-24.20 n/mile-17miles
Windsurf **** Lac de Montynard – 26.78 kts max-25.80 ave-25.6km-18.17kt. Alpha, 18.44n/mile including 3 gybes! F2 xantos 133, Tushingham Lightning 7.8, 38 cm fin.

Good night in the van at the ski station at St-Pierre-de-Chartreuse (skied here last year) but the cold I had started last night was in full flow this morning :( and it was only 5 degrees in the van and got colder before the sun broke over the mountain! Still it was a beautiful day with hardly a cloud in the sky:) makes all the difference would be no fun in the mountains in the rain. We were lying in bed reading when an army truck rocked up, 11 solders got their back packs on and headed up the mountain! It was too chilly and wet on the ground to do our exercises so after breakfast we headed down the mountain but hadn’t got far when we saw a sign to La Scia – a small yellow hotel at the top of the ski resort so headed up the long and winding road – steep too –to the top of the cable car where the road turned from tarmac to forestry track! We were not sure whether to carry on but some lovely teenagers out on an orienteering school trip asked us if where we were going and said we could drive on the track to the top and what an adventure that was! We made it safely to the top of the world and parked right behind the yellow hotel, it was then a short scramble up to the wooden flying man where we had a picnic while out skiing last time. He was looking a bit worse for wear and badly needed a coat of paint. The path continued for another 15 mins to the Bec La Scia, it was a climb up a steep rocky path made slippery from a light covering of snow yesterday! But it was worth it because when we got to the table of Orientation at the top the views were absolutely stunning :) Making it safely back to the van I asked Mag if she would mind driving down so I could bike? She is a star and said yes! So I unloaded the bike. The plan was to just cycle down the track – a green run we have skied - but I saw 3 VTT (mountain bike tracks) starting near the hotel so went for the blue as I didn’t fancy the red or black and was glad I did as the blue was steep and very muddy with lots of sharp turns – I only came off once but got me and the bike covered in mud! I met the road again and decided to go down there as I was not sure where Mag, in the back- up vehicle was? I could go faster when the road turned back to tarmac but I let the post lady past! When I reached the main road at the bottom there was no sign of Mag but she soon appeared from the village of St-Pierre - she must have flown down! I decided to continue biking down to the lovely St-Pierre-de-Chartreuse where we bought a top loaf. I said to Mag I would carry on biking as long as it was downhill but a few miles short of the Col de Porte the road headed up, it was at this point I saw a white bum – a Ringed Ousel:) I then cadged a lift for a few miles off Mag – up hill biking is no fun! Got out at the Col and then headed down all the way to Grenoble reaching nearly 40mph with fantastic views of the city and snowy peaks covering 17 miles! I stopped just short of the river loaded the bike in the back of the van and headed for Lac de Monteynard where we have been heading ever since leaving Calais. We only went down the motorway the wrong way for one stop before turning and finding our way to Treffort where we got our first views of the long narrow Lac De Monteynard and what a fantastic colour blue it was and there were loads of kites and windsurfers whizzing across. We thought parking was going to be a problem but we drove to the Base Nautique at Salette and you could park for the first hour free then it was 10 euros a day including a night for a campervan so we found a lovely spot at the end of the car park and it was headless chicken time as I had to get out on the water as fast as possible! It didn’t matter that I had had nothing to eat since breakfast and the cold was all but forgotten! Rig choice was a bit of guess work as the wind, which is a feature of the Lac, funnels down from left to right and is always going to be gusty. With wind to over 20mph I was going to rig 7m but went for 7.8 in the end and it was fine, I took my board down to the water’s edge which was steep with large stones and when I returned with my sail my board had nearly blown into the water! That’s yet another hole in my poor old lightweight F2 Zantos! Will have look for another on ebay when I get home, I got off the bank ok and was out a couple of hours blasting back and forth across the narrow Lac – definitely good for gybing practice. It was all a bit surreal windsurfing in a bright blue Lac surrounded by mountains! I beat up to the next beach towards the dam and tried some fast broad reaches in the gusts but not that fast as the Lac is a bit lumpy. Great to be out with loads of kites and boards! I think the Lac is best suited to kiting especially boards with hydrofoils which can plane all the time, can sail really fast broad and then beat back about 20 degrees higher than a windsurfer and it must be a great feeling going full tilt 2 feet off the water! Knackered and hungry I decided to call it a day and returned to the van for some of that top bread at 5 o clock! Refreshed I then had to load boards and bike on the van and as usual the top box was a pain to shut! Mag and I then had a wander searching for a bike map for tomorrow as there is a route which includes two Himalayan bridges! I got a bike map just before the info centre closed and the bike route looks mega – that’s tomorrow’s activity sorted – fingers crossed for some more sunshine!

Photo Gallery Here

Toys Used:
F2 Xantos CS 295 133
Cannondale Trail 5 29er
Tushingham Lightning 7.8



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