Alpine Mummy

A new life in the middle of nowhere

Introducing… “Alpine Mummy’s Hikes With Kids”

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When we moved to The Middle of Nowhere in 2012, it didn’t take me long to work out there wasn’t much in the way of ‘entertainment’ for the kids (Alpine Boy then aged three and a half; Alpine Girl six weeks).

No soft play centres?!? No baby cinema?!? Bugger, now what?!

Answer?  Hills.  Lots of ’em.

imageSo I found (and lost, and found again) my walking mojo.  And my kids had little choice but to be dragged along with me (often screaming, it has to be said).

Hiking as a family at the weekend is just what we do, nowadays, much like visiting B&Q on a Sunday afternoon was just what we did in London. It’s not always trauma-free (nothing in my life ever is), but it’s become our normal.

But it was daunting starting out.  I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, dragging babies up and down hills.  How do you know how far kids can safely hike (and when I say ‘safely’ I actually mean ‘how far can the little sods hike without self-combusting into whingy whiny demons that have to be left at the top of a mountain to be eaten by bears?’).  How do you know what STUFF to take?  How do you know where to go?  How high are you allowed to take a baby? What are the RULES, dammit?! (I like rules.)

Google helped a bit.  But not much really, if I’m honest.  Mainly because it just intimidated me yet further by showing perfect mamas wandering through the Grand Canyon or shimmying up some rock face with a baby strapped to their back and not a hint of fear in their eyes or vomit in their hair.  Or told me that if I took my baby above 1000m she would die that night in her sleep.  Neither of which I believed.

So I gave up with Google and listened to my inner Nike.  We just did it.  We just walked.  And we haven’t stopped walking since.

It’s often hell.  It’s often a disaster.  The von Trapps we are not.

But that’s why I want to share these experiences with you.

I’m not hardcore.  I’m normal (kind of).  I don’t solo-climb up cliff faces (in fact I don’t climb at all, having fallen at least 30cm off a rock when I was 20, buggering up my ankle. Looking back now it was probably the safest end to a not-very-promising climbing career).  I wouldn’t know what to do with a crampon if it came with an IKEA-style instruction book and a YouTube tutorial. And when we moved to France I didn’t own a pair of walking boots, having bought a pair in 1997 that I never saw the point in replacing when they died.

I tell you this so you hopefully can see that if WE can trek with kids up to a remote hut at the top of a snowy mountain and spend the night there, ANYONE can.  Honestly, I’m not just saying that.

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Home for the night

So here’s my latest blog project: “Alpine Mummy’s Hikes With Kids”.  It does exactly what it says on the tin.

It’s not a rule book (hey, I’m still looking for that).  It’s not advisory in any way (I am genuinely the last person who should be giving advice on anything which involves kids, believe me).  And I don’t have answers to any of the above questions I was so desperately Googling before I took those first few steps.  Sorry.

But what this blog will (hopefully) do is give you a taster. It will tell you about some of our more memorable hikes  (‘memorable’ for Alpine Mummy doesn’t often have positive connotations.  You’ve been warned).   It will give very clear examples of what NOT to do if you want an uneventful, smooth, calm day frolicking with your little beauties in the wilderness.  As always with Alpine Mummy: if you want to do it the right way, do exactly the opposite of what we do.

I’m hoping that in itself will be helpful to some of you.  Hey, maybe it will even inspire.

And if not, at least have a giggle at my expense.

You’re welcome.

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Author: Alpine Mummy

Now an ex-City lawyer, I gave up London life 'just for a year' to spend my maternity leave in a tiny village in the French Alps. Nearly three years later Alpine Family is still here - the legal career is gone but we're living the dream (most of the time) and skiing and hiking our way through life. Walks and fresh air are now the order of the day - bye bye smog, hello mountains...

3 thoughts on “Introducing… “Alpine Mummy’s Hikes With Kids”

  1. I love this. We are venturing to the Grand Canyon later this month. Not that we are actually hiking the Grand Canyon, don’t get that impression, just going there. We will look, we may stand too close to the edge, we might even trek a little way down into the vastness of the hole in the ground. You give me hope that we will go as a family of four and return as such too.

    I feel like I haven’t “seen” you in forever. Perhaps is it me and my lack of blogging, but it was nice to reed/see you today. 🙂

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    • And now that I just peeked back at your previous post and see it was from a year ago, I feel better about myself. It is not just me – it is the both of us.

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      • Wow, epic! (And don’t tell anyone it’s not!). Enjoy! And do try and all come back in one peice!

        Yes, it’s me, I disappeared for a while there, because, well, life. I got a new job, mainly. But I’ve just had an operation on the wrist I broke a year ago and which never healed (don’t ask…) and so have a whole six weeks off work! Result. So the pain and the inconvenience have a silver lining: I can blog again! (Albeit one handed and with an unhealthy reliance on predictive text…).

        Nice to ‘see’ you too! Xxx

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