mardi 25 août 2009

Zinalrothorn - Traverse S-N

Last week end, we went up Zinalrothorn with Jérome, a 4200m peak in the Valais region. We went up the famous south-west ridge and down the north ridge. This is supposed to be the best climb of its kind in Switzerland. Can't say if it is true or not since it is my first real climb in the region, but I can says it is an excellent climb indeed. The rock is brilliant if you stay on the edge, and the climbing is quite sustained and long. Even the way down the north ridge is a lot of fun, finishing on a nice snowy arete. With the access to the south-west ridge being a steep snow slope, and with some nice glacier travel, this makes a very complete route!

You will tell me, this story seems is a bit boring. So, to make it more interesting, I should say I almost died because of some rock falls in the access couloir. One of about a brick size was going very fast towards me... Luckily, it bounced just in front of me, and went over my head... I might not have been there to tell you if not...

No pics since Jérome's batteries crapped down before the climb. Some info&pics about the mountain are on

PS: as Francis told me, Travis is probably jealous of my near-death story! :D

vendredi 21 août 2009

Bouldering at "THE egg"

"The egg" is the name of our local bouldering place (30mins from Fribourg). The rock is sandstone, which makes fun climbs actually with everything from crimpers to cracks. The place is quite small, but is perfect for an after work session! :)

The only issue is the wetness, as it is in dense forest... The access track was still muddy after 10 days of dry and warm weather, and apparently it was super muddy one week ago, as Julien and Oliver experienced...

jeudi 6 août 2009

Bill "boulet", wedding, sardines & stuff

Sorry if this post is a bit messy...

One week end ago, I managed to catch up with a few people, was busy actually... The Friday was dedicated to the visit of Aurelie&Nicolas (congrats Aurelie for the PhD submission!!!), which was the occasion to stay at Amelie's place in Dijon, accompanied by Donn&Jen and Mike (Donn's twin brother). We went for some wine tasting, and what a great evening it was! We had the chance to taste great wines, with some "Grand crus", the highest quality standard in France (should I say in the world? :D). The winemaker dude was fantastic and so funny: amongst many other things, he was found of ... sardines! He had hundreds different cans of sardines, and a special "maturing cellar"... Indeed, apparently, canned sardines are best after 6 years of maturing, when the bones are completely disolved. And be carefull, in order to get the sardines of the highest quality, you have to flip the can every 6 month to insure no pieces are out of the oil for too long!

The best is that at the end, the dude was a bit drunk, and was almost giving us bottles... In general, the opposite is the rule, and the winemaker tries to get you drunk so you buy more of his wines... After, I went to my familly for a couple of days, with some more wine&food programmed. Was good to see back my grandparents, in a much better shape than when I last saw them...

And then , I catched back with Marie&Denis (pectin addicts), and Bill... The later has a more scattered brain than I have, which is bad! Basically, he was supposed to arrive Monday, and to stay the week in Nantes, where I was gonna join at the end of the week... Marie waited 4 hours at the train station, and got worried cos Bill was not anwering to the many emails she was sending... And of course impossible to call him... Eventually, she managed to get in touch with him (via Massey University!), when Bill told her he was arriving ... next Monday... He just told us the wrong week... I wasn't very surprised by that, actually... Eventually, I got new tickets, and went to Nantes the next Monday. Bill was feeling very guilty after that, and invited us to the restaurant! :p

I week later, it was Severine&Etienne's wedding, with Severine being an old friend of Stephanie. Again, that was more a eat&drink week end, you can't imagine how fat I am! ;o) But staying at the Maureau's, some physical activity was mandatory, and we fitted a multi-pitch route and 2 mountain bike tours in the week end, even with an average weather..