Text and pictures © 2011-2013 Guillaume Dargaud
Last updated on 2012/12/07
"When I was growing up, if we wanted a Jacuzzi, we had to fart in the tub." — From the movie Trading Places.
Left: Jenny arriving under the Charmant Som with a load of wood. The jacuzzi is visible at the pass and already crowded
Right: International crowd in the jacuzzi with full view on Chamechaude: some swiss, some french, some italians, some catalans, brazilians, polish, german...
I'd been hearing about those crazy jacuzzi for a long time, particularly when they managed to haul it atop Mt Blanc a couple years ago, but it's the first time that those crazy swiss would do it near home. The occasion is the birthday of Agostino, 4th decade. With Jenny we start late on the trail, with two big loads of wood, but the more courageous among them actually started hauling gear up at 5am. After about an hour and a half going up the easy snowed-up road of the Charmant Som, we arrive at the jacuzzi site, a short distance below the summit, and there's already people in it. And beer.
Left: Plenty of liquid, in and out.
Right: How to hurt your feet 101: drunk race up the snow hill.
Left: Agostino and payload on his way to the summit.
Right: Going towards the summit of Charmant Som to ward off some excess heat.
Right: Agostino on the summit. Advance skin folding technique.
Left: Summit of Charmant Som. Note the direction of the glue is different in case of excess pilosity...
Left: Underwear descent from Charmant Som.
Right: Steeper section of the descent.
Left: The skiers heading back to the warmth of the jacuzzi after Ago finishes blowing off his candles (other videos available on youtube).
Right: Anonymous lady clearly enjoying herself.
Left: Up to 23 people at the time...
Right: Masterwork of swiss technology, a water-heater / barbecue combo. There's a pump to circulate the water through the heat exchanger above the fire, driven by a generator. But all that coper is heavy.
Left: Evening light on the jacuzzi with Chamechaude in the background.
Above: The jacuzzi and Grenoble in the background, under a thick layer of fog.
Above: The jacuzzi and the summit of Charmant Som.
Left: Jacuzzi with unstealable view on Chamechaude.
It happens that there are much more extreme ways to run a Jacuzzi...
Right: Nadia and Agostino, now in his forties. Too much liquid ?
Left: Cleaning up the equipment.
Right: As the water level drops, the happy swimmers leave and dry out.
Left: The water level getting dangerously low, let's replace it with beer.
Right: Drying off.
Left: Packing up the heat exchangers.
Right: Packing up the camp, with only half of the wood used...
Left: Trying to tow an unstable load back down. Won't work.
Right: Back on the road, towing a boiler that will miss a few curves. Fortunately at this time of day there aren't any bystanders to hit.