The mountains are a powerful duality - beautiful brutes that lure you in with their looks and demand your respect with their elements.
What's the must do and see here?
Any of the 16 hamlets of the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc commune. It's a valley protected by giants...most notably Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi.
What makes this a special place to connect with nature?
It was the first place that I felt a true sense of belonging. I had no reason to feel connected to this place and yet my experiences, personal and collective, made me feel instinctively kindred. Those are the places that make us feel the most joyously alive.
Favorite memory here?
Well, I have two: 1. Running on trails for the first time after shattering my ankle in 2014. I drank a bottle of red wine with my comrades on the top of Le Brevent and let 'er rip the whole way back down to the valley. So intimidating and empowering. 2. Challenging myself to a 72-hour sufferfest this August. Climbing Mont Blanc from valley to peak and then running the OCC ultramarathon back-to-back. I got to eat so much cheese and so many croissants.
What superlative would you give The Alps?
Tell us about yourself!
I'm Lauren Steele - who writes and runs and goes places. I've rambled across the world reporting for magazines such as Rolling Stone and Vice. My love for running and mountaineering has come in handy while putting in those miles. My body of work includes stories on just about everything – from skiing in the untouched mountains of Kyrgyzstan to Chilean national fùtbol champs to a guide on pooping in the woods. When not putting my name on the byline, I've spent time in front of the lens – doing on-camera work with Jimmy Kimmel Live, Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and several television and talk show appearances.
THE ALPS OVERVIEW
The French Alps are for mountaineering, year round mountaineering. And mountaineering isn't just getting up to the summit, but enjoying a look around along the way. Mont Blanc and the Aiguille du Midi summit are for the winter and summer escape to hike, camp, road biking, trail riding and paddling.
Aguille for those who need a brush up on French means needle, which appropriately describes this French Alp summit. Your mountaineering efforts to reach the top offer some of the best views of all of entire range. The cable car can take you up as well if you're feeling spent from an all day ski trip, bike ride, paddle session. Man, there's a lot to do there.
What's your favorite pair of Rheos shades?
Frame Color: Tortoise
Lens Color: Thermal
Description: The top of Mont Blanc is to be at the top of Europe. The namesake for our classic wayfarer frames comes from Sapelos Island in our homestate of Georgia. To connect the dots from from Montblanc to Sapelos Island is a path worth exploring. For the mountain, valley and giant ocean in between Rheos Sapelos has you protected for the journey ahead.
Favorite Instagram Shots of The Alps
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