The short story is that I would recommend Franck and his company without any hesitation. If you want to do almost any summer or winter sporting activity in Chamonix, such as paragliding, skiing, climbing, canyoning, hiking or such like, then I would strongly recommend that you contact Franck. Franck, and his partner Lyn (hopefully I got the spelling right) and very friendly, hospitable, thoughtful, interesting and above all, highly experienced and competent. I felt very safe. I can't speak too highly of them.
The longer story is that I just spent a week in Chamonix and did three trips with Franck, all of which were great. Firstly, I spent a day with Franck on the Mer du Glace glacier both for the chance to see and explore the glacier and to do some practice of crampon techniques and learn some ice climbing skills. It was a great day out. The crampon techniques in particular have made me feel much more confident moving about on ice and snow. The ice climbing was also good fun and very interesting to try. It was also good to watch the other climbers present practising their techniques. The glacier itself is very interesting. It is perhaps one of the few landscapes in Western Europe which is still really in its natural state. It is a huge glacier when you are on it. There are lots of streams and even a small river flowing on the glacier with beautiful deep pools. Franck was certainly very easy company for the day. I also appreciated him taking the time to rope us up on the ladders to and from the Mer du Glace. If you have never been out on a glacier before, I highly recommend it, but you must have a guide like Franck. Franck also made sure that I had all the right gear which we rented together from his usual shop in Chamonix and I got a discount rental too.
The second trip with Franck was an hour-long paragliding flight from Brevent on the side of Chamonix opposite to Mont Blanc. Franck is a highly skilled and experienced paragliding pilot. We climbed high and had a spectacular view of Mont Blanc and the other mountains next to it. It was a perfect day for it - sunny and clear. Paragliding is a wonderful and unique way to see any landscape. There is no other thing quite like it - it is a totally different experience from being in a plane, helicopter or glider. It is pretty much silent, and there is nothing between you and what you are looking at. It is also very comfortable as you sit in a canvass sling. I very much recommend it to anyone. It is not frightening at all, and I am a fairly nervous person. Do do some research beforehand and make sure you have the right kit with you - some good sunglasses, good, thick gloves, a windproof jacket and so on. And do pay attention to the instructions that you get from Franck especially on take off. Franck will also video the flight for you which I highly recommend so that you have a good reminder of what you have seen. When we landed, Lyn was on the landing ground with a bottle of water which I very much appreciated!
The final and actually most memorable trip was a paraglide from the Aiguille du Midi with me flying tandem with Franck and his partner Lyn flying solo just before us. This is probably the most awesome paragliding flight in Europe. It is an amazing experience but definitely one you want to do with a very experienced pilot like Franck. Firstly, you take the cable car up to Aiguille du Midi which is a very good trip in itself. I would very much recommend that you consider buying a Chamonix Multipass from Compagnie du Mont Blanc before going to Chamonix. I paid 125 euro for a seven day pass and this gave unlimited trips on many cable cars and train rides in the valley. I went up Aiguille du Midi four times which alone would have cost over 200 euro if I had bought tickets each time. It also means you do not have to queue for tickets. On the day, Franck also bought us some special passes which allowed us to jump the very long queue.
When we got up top the view was awesome as it was a superb blue sky day. We went to the ice tunnel which leads to the snow ridge which you walk down to reach the take off spot. I had done this walk before but the extra practice on the Mer du Glace in the use of crampons came in very handy. I felt much more confident. Franck made sure we were ready and roped up. This walk down is definitely something to take seriously. I felt very safe, but you should not approach it with a cavalier attitude! You need to concentrate on each step. Down at the take off area we had a short wait for the right wind conditions and then we were off! The take off here is very exciting as you are almost immediately flying right past spectacular rocky cliffs, rock spires and cornices and ridges of snow. Then you turn back towards Aiguille du Midi and, best of all, you pass over the Boisson glacier. Looking down into the maze of crevasses and vast, tumbling blocks of ice is unforgettable. Then you turn again and head back towards the landing site in Chamonix. This is not a short flight though, as we were in the air for at least 40 minutes I should think.
To finish off, Franck, Lyn and I had a very pleasant lunch indeed near the station. They are both very good company and have had a lot of interesting life experiences.
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