Thursday, July 29, 2010

CCO's Alpine Pilgrimage- pics of a day on the trail

Here is a snapshot of a day on the Tour du Mont Blanc. This was probably one of our hardest hiking days from Contamines Montjoie via 3 different mountain passes to the Refuges Des Mottets.

Getting ready to set out for the day.

A breather on the trail.

Leaving Col du Bonhomme on the way to Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. A little snow school lesson was necessary to prepare for this section.

Finally at the refuge-an old dairy farm. A home cooked meal with our closest 93 hiking companions! Heart food to prepare our tired muscles for tomorrow's climb over the Col de Seigne from France into Italy.

The old man...The Mont Blanc. Keep the mountain on your left and a 100 or so miles, seven valleys, 11 mountain passes, and 3 countries later you will return to where you started but you will have changed as Renee Dumal wrote:

When one has been to a mountain top
One has only to come down again
So why bother in the first place?
Just this....
One climbs...One sees
One descends...One sees no longer
But one has seen
There is an art of conducting oneself
in the lower regions
By the memory of what one saw higher up.

More pics for CCO's Alpine Pilgrimage


Setting your heart on a pilgrimage

"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage." (Psalm 84:5 NIV)

During the month of June, we got lead a group of 17 participants on the CCO's first Alpine Pilgrimage. Inspired by the CCO president Dan Dupee's experience of a sabbatical a few year ago, we worked with Dan to design and offer a trip for CCO donors and board members and their family. Our destination, the Tour du Mont Blanc, has been named one of the world's 25 greatest treks. The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a 100-mile trail (with 30,000 feet of elevation gain and lost) through France, Italy and Swizterland that circumnavigates the highest peak in Europe.

Our theme of pilgrimage offered a chance for the 17 participants to experience the way CCO staff use the wilderness to help students grow in faith, character, and leadership. The famous trail actually follows in some places old Roman roads used for pilgrimages to Rome centuries ago.

The thousands of photos (literally) taken by the group tell the story of how God's creation still speaks to those who have ears to hear and eyes to see (psalm 19).

The pilot trip was very well received and we have already received request to do offer another one next year.

Here are a few shots to enjoy (special credit to Howie Schultz for the most beautiful pics in the lot).

A moment of reflection on the trail

The group in Chamonix