Jnster: the story of an outdoors enthusiast in NYC and wherever he wanders...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

How to become a better climber (stage 2)

Stage 1: get more experience at leading hard stuff (at least hard for me).
Location: Le Tuet, Samoens, France
Details of climb:
* 4-5 pitches for the long slab --> sustained 5+/6a, with Beatrice
* 1 pitch for the overhanging route --> athletic 6b+, with Max and Gerard

Comments: Definitely the most beautiful slab I have ever climbed. Quite scary leading, because there were 6-8 meters between bolts. I encountered the groovy Cannelures feature, sort of vertical waves carved in limestone. There was often no other holds then the cannelures. A lot of emotion on that day as I had to lead almost all pitches. And I am not a slab expert... But I was really happy!
Then to finish off the afternoon, we tried climbing an athletic short route, with Max, me and Gerard giving it a shot. Finally, Gerard made it to the top first and I followed as second. This was more my type of climbing!

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More pics from stage 2

View from the climb
Me grabbing the cannelures


Max in the overhang Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 29, 2006

How to become a better climber (stage 1)

Stage 1: get more experience of multi pitch climbs.
Location: Le Passet, Chamonix valley
Details of climb: 12 pitches
Difficulty: expected 6a max, but turned out to include 2 pitches of 6c/6c+ (A0).
With: Beatrice, Max, Gerard
Comments: Great first experience of a long climb for me. I was able to lead quite a few pictches (I shared the rope with Gerard), and Max led the crux pitches for the 4 of us.
Also, I am much more efficient now with the double rappel rope and the plaquette system.

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More pics from stage 1

Good effort in the 6c pitch Posted by Picasa

More pics of stage 1

Aiguille du tour as seen from the climb

The 6c+ pitch

The final pitch
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Pictures from Hoboken

We were invited there by Katia to watch the 4th of July fireworks. Unfortunately, I could not shoot a single nice picture of the fireworks. Katia was better than me, with the proper camera, of course ;-)

My first impressions of Hoboken: clean, airy. Reminds me of the Plateau neighborhood in Montreal. Quite the contrary of Manhattan.

We may move there later this year, because I'd like to find a place closer to lower Manhattan, where my company is supposed to move.

Posted by Picasa Stevens Institute campus

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Power Goes Out on Staten Island as Con Ed Patches Up Queens Network - New York Times

After 10 days(!!!) of black out in New York City (mainly Queens), electricity is back! Sometimes I am happy that I live in Manhattan and not Queens...
A collegue of mine from Astoria, Queens, effectively survived unplugged for 10 days, but said that if it had happened anywhere outside of New York, this would be totally unacceptable. In my opinion, even in NYC, it IS unacceptable!

Read the full article from the NY Times, you will see that officials are quite worried of what is going to happen furing the next heat wave:
Power Goes Out on Staten Island as Con Ed Patches Up Queens Network - New York Times

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back in NYC!

No, this is just a pic from before my vacation...

I have a lot to write and publish from these great two weeks in France. Pix will be coming soon!! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The old man of the mountain

I'm still kind of obsessed by New Hampshire, hearing about it, reading about it... So I decided to do more research about the "Old Man of the mountain". This rock formation is the symbol of New Hampshire, it can be found everywhere, from roadsigns, to stamps, to coins. It has actually collapsed recently, but used to look like a very realistic human face.
Seems to be something very famous in the U.S, but I had never heard of it before...

LIVE FREE OR DIE, of course.

Monday, July 03, 2006


Elise left for France today, and all our "climbing team" will be there in the coming weeks: Richard, Corinne, Guy, Jenny...
I'm leaving on friday evening, and will spend 2 weeks. Hopefully I'll have time to climb gaciated peaks and rock routes. Let's hope for a great weather. And I'll try NOT to forget my camera in the mountains this year ;-)

I don't have any picture of last time that Richard, Tom and I went climbing to the Gunks, about 3 weeks ago. That was a really great day, very hot and fortunately not crowded. I think we climbed 8 varied pitches (face, offwidth, overhang) and I got to lead my first 5.7, with involved a lot of route finding.
Hopefully my climbing and running habits will have me in good shape for the Alps!

Violaine has some great pictures of her recent summits.