Corinne Cook is all smiles as she hikes around the Mont Blanc massif. Submitted photos

Quesnel women to recap Mont Blanc trip at Cariboo Ski Touring Club AGM

Cook and Turlet took a 10-day, 175-kilometre hike through France, Italy and Switzerland

The Cariboo Ski Touring Club will be holding its annual general meeting on Friday, Oct. 25 at the Hallis Lake Lodge.

In order to entice people to join, a presentation by one or more of the members is given.

This year’s presentation will be put on by Corinne Cook and Christine Turlet, who ventured to Europe to hike around its tallest mountain this summer (July 26 to Aug. 5).

Fans of the alpine will not want to miss the presentation on Mont Blanc.

The Observer caught up with Cook to hear how the trip went.

She was quick to point out that she and Turlet did not climb to the mammoth mountain’s peak.

“We went around the massif,” she noted. “It’s a big difference.”

Cook says Mont Blanc was a bucket list trip for her, and it met every expectation she had.

“Christine is from France, so we went with her family,” she said. “One of her cousins arranged the trip with a friend of his who is the president of the local alpine club, so he put it all together.”

The Quesnel pair were part of a group of nine hikers who travelled through three countries in 10 days.

“We started in France, spent two days in Italy, two days in Switzerland and then came back to France,” Cook said.

The walk saw the hikers trek for 175 kilometres. Some days, there were elevation gains for 500 to 10,00 metres.

“It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth the effort,” the long-time alpinist said.

Cook has been to Nepal and Scotland, as well as all over western Canada, to hike, and she says this was right at the top of the list for her.

“Anyone who has done Berg Lake would love this,” she pointed out. “It was like that on steroids.”

As Europe has a rich alpine tradition, the access is a lot easier than it is elsewhere.

“You can go up a gondola and you’re in the alpine,” Cook said. “Where here or Nepal, you might have to hike for days to get to the alpine.”

For her, each day was a joy.

“You walk through the big valleys and the mountains and it seems like you can reach out and touch them,” she said. “You’re immersed in them. Plus the wildflowers were amazing and the local culture and the food was so good.”

Their party slept in refugios, which she likened to hostels, each night.

“It was communal living and there were bunk beds,” she said. “The amenities were all there, and they provided dinner and breakfast for us.”

Lunch consisted of picnics on the side of the mountain with local sausages, cheese and baguettes they would buy fresh each day.

To get the full story, get to the Cariboo Ski Touring Club’s AGM early.

READ MORE: Snow making equipment means longer season for Quesnel x-country skiers

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Christine Turlet hikes among the beautiful wildflowers found along the trail.

The group of nine hikers would experience elevation shifts of 500 to 100 metres on any given day.

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