As part of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2018, we’re celebrating women in sport and focusing on one inspirational woman each month through our blog. This month we met Katie, who has nearly lost her life in expeditions across the globe, proving she was more than just a model. With a thirst for exploring and her compass watch strapped on her wrist, she felt like she could take on the world. A brilliant contrast of stereotype, Katie has some incredible achievements to her name, and kindly took the time to tell us about her favourite jaunts in The 3 Valleys.

Katie Jane L'Herpiniere, thisgirlcan,Katie-Jane L’Herpiniere is an adventurer, public speaker and web designer. A passion for adventure and challenging her limits both physically and mentally, has led her to reign as the first person in history to walk the entire length of the Great Wall of China and the first woman to cross the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap, amongst other awe-inspiring achievements.

In 2006, I left my glamorous life as a model behind and embarked on a life-changing adventure to become the first person in history to walk, unsupported, the entire length of the Great Wall of China (4500km). The journey took six months, during which I battled sand storms, blizzards, and temperatures from +40ºC to -35ºC. From this point on I was hooked on adventure!

I have since gone on to complete the first crossing by a woman of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap; this involved surviving Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, facing extreme storms, crevasses and avalanches. I also cycled Africa on a bike bought in the Sahara with no brakes or gears! Raced my bike-unsupported 3200Km across Europe in just eleven days. Lived in a floating tent at -50C for two months on the Arctic Ocean and more.


glacier, adventure, thisgirlcan, climbing

Seven years ago, I came to ‘Les Trois-Vallées’ from the UK for what was supposed to be just one winter season. However, from the moment I arrived, I was in love with the mountains; it was to become my home.

I most definitely wouldn’t class myself as an athlete, in fact, I’m lazy by nature, but for some adventures, an element of fitness is required and that’s where the 3-Valleys truly becomes my paradise. It is the most spectacular outdoor ‘gym’ you could ever hope for. Beautiful hidden valleys to explore, fresh mountain air to breath and epic views to savour. All of which makes keeping fairly fit a pleasure and not a chore. It doesn’t matter if it’s Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, whether your walking, running, snowshoeing, cycling, or mountain-top picnicking with friends, there is mini-adventure to be had around every corner.

Dent du Villard, Hiking views, This girl can, Inspirational women

My favourite spot by far is the Crête between the ‘Col de la Dent’ and the ‘Dent du Villard’ mountain 2284m. In fact, I would go so far as to say it is my favourite spot in the world! The topography is truly unique and the views back over Courchevel 1650 sublime. Although the ridge is a lot more challenging to get up to in the winter months (I’ve tried and failed!) For the rest of the year, whether you’re hiking, running, or mountain biking you are sure to be lost for words.

Meribel, Lac Tueda, Thisgirlcan, Adventure, Running

Another beautiful area off the beaten track that I frequently enjoy, as it’s peaceful and away from all the resort crowds, but easy to access all year round, is the ‘Vallon du Fruit’ beyond ‘Lac Tueda’ in Mottaret. With its forgiving gradient, it is a perfect valley for a snowshoeing excursion in the winter, with spectacular views and plenty of Bouquetin spotting. Or ski touring, you can head towards the ‘Col de Chanrouge’ 2538m and drop into the ‘Les Avals’ valley If you are looking for a big work out!

Finally, no matter where in the 3-Valleys you are, you can’t beat a dawn ski tour up the pistes by torchlight for a sunrise summit over the mountain peaks. Taking in the sunrise is good for the soul, plus you get to be the first to ski the perfect corduroy pistes and be back in time for breakfast!

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