mardi 22 décembre 2009

Pre-Xmas week end in Strasbourg

Here it is, my annual pilgrimage in Strasbourg in the pre-Xmas time, which is a good time to go there to enjoy the famous Christmas markets from Alsace. It is a good excuse as well to visit my sister and Sebastien, with their two babies. Aime, the youngest (2 month old), is still a bit young to enjoy the snow, but Armand really enjoyed it, despite of the cold weather... Indeed, when we visited the market of Obernai with Sebastien and Armand, the thermometer of the car was indicating -20.5 Celsius! Not very serious to bring a 2 years old child... But he survived, so I guess its alright...

lundi 14 décembre 2009

Donn* will like this picture!

A pound of chocolate for who guesses what is this picture about! I will answer questions by yes or no.

* sorry Donn, you are not in the game as you know what it is!

Pumpkin fondue

Winter is there, eventually. This means eating reasonably often cheese fondue! Fribourg is very famous for its fondue, and the people here are very proud of it! As it would be the case in New Zealand, where Fribourg would be self-proclaimed the cheese fondue world capital!

Here are a couple of pics of some pumpkin fondue action, and of an happy man! ;o)

mercredi 2 décembre 2009

New camera test!

A couple of weeks ago, we went again "mushroom" hunting with Donn&Jen, above Montreux. It was a good occasion to try out my new digital camera, a Panasonic Lumix LX3. I still have to learn how to use it properly, but that should come with time, I hope!

lundi 9 novembre 2009

Mushroom hunting with Donn

After 3 hours of intensive mushroom hunting, we ended up the day by dipping chanterelles in a cheese fondue... Yummy!

lundi 2 novembre 2009

Dry tooling at l'Usine

"L'Usine" comes from the fact there is a large factory just at the bottom of the crag... Quite logical and not terribly original you will tell me (usine = factory in English). No need to say that people don't go there for the wilderness...

So, in a few words, my ass got kicked really hard! Dry tooling is definitely an elitist activity, and one needs to be strong to enjoy it at the most... Hard to say, but I may need some cross-fit trainings to get stronger! I know Travis will appreciate that...

Anyhow, it was still fun to watch the big boys climbing the super steep routes, and the settings where good to take picture... At the end of the day, Etienne brought a generator, and people could keep going on climbing at night. With the lights from the factory&motorway, this had a good feeling of urban climbing.

lundi 19 octobre 2009

Feels like winter! :)

Here are a couple of pics of a tramp to "Lac Blanc", nearby Chamonix. I really like this season: nobody in the mountains, plenty of animals to be seen, and some nice autumn light... When you have the chance to have a sunny weather! That wasn't than the case this Saturday, as it was the first snow... Look at these cute but poor chamois and ibexes, grabbing all the green grass they could before winter. I luckily saw one of the rare mountain black grouse as well, but it flew away when I was taking my camera of the bag.

My brand new little niece! :)

Here is the second one, a girl this time, 4.5kgs... Her name is Aimee, and Armand is very jealous of her cos she has plenty of hair! Actually, that's not true, and he was rather curious of his little sister. And he is still that active, and tireless! He managed to slide up and down 3 meters of stairs 2 weeks before Aimee came... With hospital and stuff... Dunno how Fanny (my sister) will manage the two of them! :S

jeudi 8 octobre 2009

Climbing week, south of France

I was on holidays last week, and we went down south with Frenchy. Oliver was supposed to join, but changed his plans at the last minutes due to a few meters of worm...

We started by the world famous Verdon gorges. It was my second trip there, so I knew what it was gonna be like... Julien realized his dream by climbing there, but realized as well how tough the climbing is in the gorge: very sustained routes, some air between the bolts, tough grades... Definitely not what bouldering trains! But well, you have to deserve the great exposure, the fantastic view, and the large vultures flying around!

Afterwards, we went to Annot for a day, were Frenchy could do some nice bouldering/sleeping in the hammock, or sleeping/bouldering maybe... On my side, I went for a walk, and found some mushrooms, in particular I found some the best bolets, called "Cèpe Bronzés" ("tanned bolets" in english). That was yummy! Then it was time to move northward and to catch up with Stephanie for some nice climbing around Presles. We visited different crags, and found some really nice climbs... And managed to get very tired as the end!

The bests of the week:
- the campground owner in La Palud sur Verdon. He was such a typical and loud French guy: some people in a van were driving very slowly to find a spot in the campground. After 10 seconds, he got pissed off as he was following them with his 4*4, passed them like crazy shouting at them "fucking idiots, I'll teach you how to drive". What a nice way to welcome customers! :D
- Oliver's worm... Sorry to make fun of that, but it is easy when it is not you...
- the viper at the bottom of one crag... I wasn't very happy with my jandals! ;o)
- the annoying and loudly laughing Germans from the campground
- the nice but annoying Germans who were putting chalk ticks everywhere on the climbs.. How can you onsight something after that???
- a not so friendly cat, which almost ripped my hand off while I was just trying to caress him
- the extreme bad luck when we tried to do some mountain biking in Verdon, where Julien had more than 5 holes in his tire after 3 kms of biking. The worst was that even the brand new tube the rental lady gave us was as well flat...

Here are some pics, on the countersy of Julien: