Saturday, August 28, 2010

Yangshuo

We finally uploaded some pictures from our trip to China & Hong Kong. Check out the Picasa Album China Hong Kong.
We spent almost our entire time in China in the Guangxi province. After a few days in Nanning a big city, where we didn't see a single foreigner for days, we went on to Yangshuo one of the more touristy places in China. As Yangshuo is the best (at least the most popular) place in China for climbing we decided to make it our home for the coming three weeks. We enjoyed great climbing in a beautiful karst landscape, made friends, enjoyed great food, but also experienced a flood in the area, weeks of rain and we didn't see the sun once in 2 weeks.
Hong Kong was a very interesting experience where you can spend 20 min just to get across the street, because you have to walk around the corner get into a building cross the skybridge into another building get down again out of the building through a subway and so on...

After super humid China and super busy Hong Kong we decided to hit the beach next, so we are finally going to Thailand!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chinese Censorship

Short: Chinese censorship sucks.

Long: Due to Chinese internet censorship we could not access any blogspot.com/ domain. Which of course means that my blog is censored in China which means I could neither view nor update it. That sucks, no they suck, the Chinese government sucks. They don't give a shit about freedom of speech. If somebody could voice his opinion - just block the whole site. Blogs are bad for Chinese people, block them! Facebook is bad for Chinese people, block it! Websites where you can post pictures (picasaweb, etc), bad! block 'em! Wikipedia site about the People's Republic of China very bad! Chinese citizens could learn the truth about their government, block it!

and while we're at it: just in case they didn't block anything: everybody using a computer in an internet cafe is required to show his ID so all his activity can be traced.

Now they should have everything covered. Except for knowledgeable geeks how use a VPN or a proxy.


Apart from the totalitarian regime that controls China and executes more people than the rest of the world put together every year (thousands every year and guess what they don't tell anybody how many and who they kill. I wonder why...) we had a great time in China. It's a beautiful country with extremely friendly people.

We spent quite some time in Yangshuo, Guangxi province which has great climbing. And then went to China's beacon of freedom: Hong Kong. A cool place where the people still live their freedoms but which will probably be made completely a part of China in a few decades. For now it runs under "one country, two systems" which gives them a lot of autonomy.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Around the World Trip

It has been more than two years since my last post, which of course is due to my life being completely boring during that period of time ;) Well now I'm up to something interesting again: a trip around the world.
After finishing my studies Alexandra and I left to travel the world for an entire year. We started a month ago with a flight to Bangkok, we initially intended to travel to Cambodia overland, but in the end we booked another flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We did this in order to avoid the trouble caused by the Red Shirts in Thailand.
We stayed in Cambodia for more than a week and had a very good but extremely hot start. It was the hottest time of the year, just before the rainy season started. Extremely hot and humid and almost no difference between night and day! Incredible, we spent the whole day sweating and running from one place to another hoping for it to be cooler never resting always running (not literally!) from the heat, then when night fell in we thought it would finally cool down, but it didn't.
Cambodia is a interesting country with very nice people who have a shocking recent history: From 1975 to 1979 Cambodia was ruled by Pol Pot an the Khmer Rouge. A frightening regime that enslaved the whole country to work in the rice fields and killed more than a quarter of the country's population in only three years. Lots of them were killed and buried in mass graves all over the Cambodia, but even more died of starvation and hard work.
We also visited the Angkor area, which is one of the biggest ruins on the planet. In its heyday it was the biggest pre-industrial city in the world home to roughly one million inhabitants. Beautiful and fascinating.

Then we took a boat down the Mekong to Vietnam. Much cooler here. Traveled south to north in Vietnam. Currently we reside on Cat Ba an Island at the Ha Long Bay, a beautiful place were we climbed the first routes on our trip and the first place where we stay a bit longer, settle down a bit. Our backpacks are quite big and heavy because of all the climbing gear that we brought along - it feels good to put it to use so we didn't carry it around in vain.

Shortly we will be heading further north to Sapa where we plan to cross the boarder to China, which was not part of our original plan. But the opportunity arose and that's the whole beauty of our travel experience - we are free to go where we want to, whenever we want to.

Update: We posted some pictures on my flickr account. Here is a link to the set Cambodia & Vietnam

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stuff

It's been a very long time since my last post. Sorry. Lots of my friends stopped posting as well, what's going on? Erik? Adrien? Dani? Romain? Andi? Come on!

Today I sent my first 7b in Ötztal / Tumpen !!! Very proud. 40m tiny hold madness. very techincal. My style I guess.

I've been bouldering in the Zillertal at the Sundergrund, a magical place. Especially on that day - Snow all over the place. On the boulders all around them, really pretty. O and how gorgeous the granit boulders are, those shapes...
I learned something there: Flip-Flops are quite handy in the snow (you don't mind if they get wet)

Sundergrund

Lately I was climbing a lot, it was just too warm for skiing (for my taste at least)
but earlier this year I did some great skiing in austria: Saalbach & Nordkette (Innsbruck)

Adrien and Anna, from Grenoble and Sweden, came to visit me, which was really nice. It felt so lovely to talk french again. They stayed almost 2 weeks so I had the time to show them some of the best climbing spots in Tirol and we went skiing in very good conditions - lots of powder! Definitely the best days this winter. We also met Joaquín from Spain who stayed in Grenoble last year as well.
Saalbach 2008-02
Zillertal / Fürstein 2008-02-14
Schleier Wasserfall 2008-02-08

Adrien and I did a wonderful multi pitch in the Zillertal at the Taufenkopf, got the dust off our protection
Taufenkopf 2008-02-16
last and surely not least, I've been struck by love. More about that another day. too tired now it's already 05:00

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dschungelbuch

War heut mit Tom und Denise im Dschungelbuch, war voll geil. So fein in der Sonne, überhaupt nicht kalt, obwohl es eigentlich nur so um die 5°C gehabt hat. War jetzt echt schon länger nicht mehr draußen Klettern, dem entsprechend hats mir auch getaugt! Ist schon was ganz anderes als in der Halle.
Link betreffend der Bedrohung des Klettergebiets durch den Steinbruch: Rettet das Dschungelbuch

Dschungelbuch 2007-11-28
Nachher waren wir dann noch im Kino und haben uns Free Rainer angeschaut. Hat mir gut gefallen, kann ich euch empfehlen. Geht darum wie die Medien uns manipulieren wollen, ein paar kommen drauf und zetteln ihre kleine persönliche Revolution an.

UPDATE: War heut schon wieder im Dschungelbuch! So geil! Diesmal war ich mit dem Marco.

Monday, October 29, 2007

summer 07

I told you that after my trip to pakistan I climbed in Italy and I was about to leave to France. So what did I really end up doing with the rest of my summer?

Arco 2007-08

Well my plan worked out quite good. I went back to Grenoble and climbed with Cyrille and Dave in Céüse. Then I did an amazing multi pitch route in Omblèze with Dave. After that I went to Chateauvert with Dave, we climbed a couple of days there and did a multi pitch in the Gorges de Verdon; Luna Bong - a classic.
Céüse 2007-08

Omblèze, Hirondelle des Faubourg 2007-09-04

Luna Bong, Verdon 2007-09-08

Dave went back to his new home, Grenoble, while continued to go further south. I went to Adrien's place in Nice. Adrien was training for the World Cup in free diving. Free diving means breath-hold underwater diving with various activities, in the competitions they try to go as deep as possible. So I joined him twice. It was amazing to watch him and his friend Guillaume train they go so deep and make it look so easy. Vision was really good so I could see them descent for quite a bit but nevertheless they disappeared into the darkness. I kept looking down, waiting for them to reappear, for ages it seemed to me. I was far from holding my breath long enough to watch, while I simply floated on the surface. They went to over 50m without fins, whereas I was struggling to get to 13m with the cable.
Interesting sport. It was not holding my breath that was limiting me to go deeper, which would have expected, but it got hard to equalize and bear the pressure on my lungs. It's really hard to explain. As you go deeper the air in your lungs gets compressed, you can feel that in a bizarre way. You feel the your chest getting squeezed and get stressed out, which makes things even worse. Everybody told me to relax, surprisingly that worked. You have to avoid getting tensed, stay calm and relax all your muscles, closing your eyes helps as well.

Well of course that wasn't all we did in Nice, we also went climbing (you ought to be surprised here!). We've been to the Gorge de Blavet, Col sur Loup, Gorges du Loup, and Baou de Saint-Jeannet. I did my first 7a flash there, odly enough on my sixth consecutive day of climbing.
Gorges du Loup 2007-09-15

Baou de Saint-Jeannet 2007-09-10

After that I went to Spain, I stopped by chez Fanny in Avignon, checked out that lovely town by night with her and moved on to Andorra, where I wanted to do some shopping (climbing equipment of course) but ended up not buying a single thing. Interesting country though, they got a very special architectural style there. And every house in a town looks alike, very homogene. One town especially cought my attention as all the houses had flowerpots in front of every single window they also had huge flowerpots in the street and everywhere the same red flower. Sadly I've no clue wich kind, but it was very pretty.
In Spain, well in Huesca to be precise, I met Willy, Clari, Dani, Javi again and got to know some of their friends. We did some bouldering, climbed in Rodellar and another small crag, have to ask the guys for the name again. Great climbing but not as much as I would have wanted to. We had to chill and hang around. Did my first 7a Onsight in Rodellar. Nice!
Rodellar 2007-09

I stayed there for a week and then I went back to Grenoble. I climbed at la Balme de Yenne with Pierre-Alain. The weather was bad so I went south again with Clarisse and Dave. We climbed in Orpierre and the Calanques, where poor Clarisse dislocated her shoulder. Dave's photos here.

Went back home, just in time to start my courses at the university in Innsbruck.
I really had a great time.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Topo Khaplu, Pakistan

Je me suis évanoui! is the name of a route Romain Girault and I established in Khaplu (Kghaplu), Baltisan, Pakistan. It was the first time I did a first ascent of a route - a real adventure. Moreover the route was quite difficult, we gave it a 6b and there were to aided moves A1 that I couldn't free climb. If I would have had the choice I wouldn't have chosen a route that difficult for my first establishment, but hey that's the catch you don't know what to expect - you stand in front of about 300 meters of rock that has never been climbed before, you got no information at all. I'm glad everything worked out in the end, wasn't a walk in the park.

I lead all the pitches in traditional style, meaning that I used friends and stoppers to protect the route, no bolts 'n spits.
For more details and info: Link to the Topo

Topo Pakistan

Friday, August 24, 2007

Plans for the rest of summer 07

Hey everybody!

Sorry, still didn't find the time to write about my trip to Pakistan. Romain posted quite a bit on his blog, so if you know French check it out.

So what did I do since I came back? Well, I spent a couple of days in Grenoble, climbed a bit. Threw all my stuff into my car and moved to Salzburg, Austria. Threw all my stuff into my parents house (they were very delighted to see so many bags and shit lying around everywhere). Spent some time with my family, which I haven't seen in a long time. Climbed a bit in Salzburg.
Threw all my stuff in the car moved it to Innsbruck, where I could move into my old apartment - so lucky, that made things so much easier. Climbed a bit in Innsbruck.
Went back to Salzburg, had to give away my car, because it didn't pass the technical inspection. Too rusty - repairing it would be too expensive. Apparently nobody wants to buy it in Austria, so it's probably going to be sold to russia.
Got a new car !! (well, :-P new to me) Big up for my parents for helping me out :D
Went to Arco, Lago di Garda, Italy to meet Erik the Viking and Petra Catalina. (By the way thanks to the Belgian for recommending me the Monty Python movie. Good one! How did your marriage go? Best wishes to you three!). Climbed a bit in Arco. Got to know Stefano and Alberto, two nice guys from Arco, climbed with them.
Next stop was Graz, where I climbed with Judith, Georg and Natti.
Now I'm back in Innsbruck, preparing my trip to France and Spain. Going to go to Céüze tomorrow, then Nice and around southern France.
On 18 September I'll be in Rodellar, Spain - climbing with Willy, Dani and probably some more Spaniards.
End of September I gotta go back to Innsbruck. That leaves me about 5 weeks of traveling around and climbing.

I would have loved to go to Norway to climb with Erik the Viking there, but the flights are quite expensive. It's got to be another time.
The Frankenjura with Jana and Ludwig will be postponed to a long weekend in fall, looking forward to it.

Those are my plans for now - if you wonna join me somewhere, give me shout (well maybe calling or mailing is better). If you're somewhere not too far let me know maybe I'll stop by...
Try calling me on my French cell phone first, then the Austrian number, it is more likely that i got the French SIM card in my phone.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Islamabad

Got back to Islamabad today, which leaves me 2 days to recover and visit the town. I just weighed myself and was shocked to learn that, after 2 weeks of trekking and severe diarrhoea, I lost 8 kilos.

Everything went fine and I enjoyed myself very much. Sorry, but I don't have the time to tell stories right now. I'm going to write up a report with Sylvain when we get back to Grenoble and put some photos online.

Greets!