mardi 26 mai 2009

Long week end in Finale Ligure

Was a nice, but tiring week end. We started with Oliver by 2 solid days of rock climbing in Finale Ligure, supposed to be one of the best places in Italy... And indeed, it is good with some climbing on steep and excellent pockety limestone. The hit of the climbing was a small amphitheater, only accessible by going trough a cave!

The next two days were dedicated to a 24h mountain bike race, which we accomplished as a team of 8 people, including: Donn&Jen, Gabrielle, Nicolas, Christian, Mickella, Alex, and Oliver. Despite of being tempted by some more climbing, that was a lot of fun actually! As usual, I messed up a bit on my first lap, and took the wrong track, but got a bit better afterwards... The night rides were fantastic, I really loved this part... The last ride was good too, as I had the occasion to try out an excellent bike from the brand Niner, with 29inches wheels. 29inches wheel are good I reckon, even if they didn't prevent me to fly over the bar in one of the turn... This happens when you get to excited I guess...

And sorry, no photos, my batteries died after only a couple of pics... And somehow, my two spare sets where empty as well... How could that happen??? Some pics are here.

mardi 12 mai 2009

Melloblocco 2009 - Italy

Here it is, we made it alive to Val di Massino, for the huge (2000 participants) bouldering event Mellobloco. Emma was supposed to join the event as well, but unfortunately injured herself the week end before... So we will have to catch up a next time.

We were quite unprepared with Stephanie, with no bouldering mat and no info af what was Mellobloco was about. So we rope climbed the first day, in order to get used to the local rock: an excellent granite! Not being used to this kind of climbing, we found the grades tough, as the rock harsh for the skin! We registered for the event the next morning, but we still had no clue about what was the contest about*, and we did some trad climbing in the morning. We tried some bouldering in the afternoon, but it was a bit annoying to have no mat...

We had to wait the next morning to get a bouldering mat from Cassin (Stephanie's sponsor) to do some proper climbing. Steph' managed to send 5 boulders of the 8 of the women contest, and won 95euros of price money... In my case, I was playing around on easy-ish climbs, being miles away of getting any money. Indeed, the males easiest boulder was graded something like 8a or V11... What, me, a big girl??? Nevertheless, it was fun to climb with many people from everywhere in Europe, and I'd like to go back there to climb some of the fantastic trad routes in the valley, up to 800m tall...

* I think that is called Italian organization, hehe

lundi 11 mai 2009

Conference in Venice

Yeah, right, a conference in Venice... You might say: what a slacker this Romaric, and you are probably right!

Anyway, here is the story: after a quick week end in Aix les Bains, doing some rock climbing with Caroline, and some more powder skiing with the Moreaus', we took the long drive to Venice. Man, driving on the speedways in Italy is very stressful actually, with nobody respecting the safety distances, passing you by both sides, not using any indicators apart light flashes when they think (often) that you are too slow when you respect the speed limitations... Was very resting to give a talk at the conference, actually...

The title of my talk was "The metallurgy of Peanut Butter". Somehow, many people found it funny, but maybe not that interesting... Anyway, that was an interesting conference with many nice talks, and located on a small island facing the San Marco piazza for the nice views! It was a resting workshop, followed by some more crazy Italian driving in our way to the Val di Mello climbing region... We again though we gonna die a few times... No wonder that Italy is the country with the highest number of Car accidents and fatalities in Europe!