Thursday, April 30, 2009

Zermatt Snowboarding

So I read in The Age that the ski season has already started in late April in Aus due to a cold snap... well in Zermatt it can continues on till about May which means that an Easter trip to the alps is a possibility... so we went!
PS. that little spets of mountain sticking up in the background is the famous Matterhorn, seen better below:

Zermatt town lies at about 1600m above sea level, but the slopes go up to 3883m: that's a vertical drop of more than 2km! This part of the alps is basically a bowl with 29 mountains taller than 4000m surrounding it, which on the sunny days we had up there makes for some stunning scenery.

Note that in Aus, the longest ski run we have is the Superrun which from memory is 2.7km and drops 600m or so. Ander's GPS measured that for every 1m drop we skiied about 10m horizontally, so the run we did was probably about 20+km long! It doesnt really compare.

At 3883m. I must admit to feeling a bit light headed up there. Bravo to Christina for being a non-skier and coming on a ski trip, for at least half of it!

Anders from Sweden was one of the gang who joined, and after spending ages trying to get action shots on my slow pocket camera and with Anders actually in the action, not post action falling over, finally got this one.

A multicoloured brew from the Häxens Bar (Witches Bar)


The Gang: Andrew, Me, Winnie and Anders

We had a full day's snowfall on the 2nd last day, which meant brilliant fresh snow for our final day over the border into Italy

Still learning how to cope with it though!

These as well as some more shots can be found at:
which should be a hyperlink to my public photo album on facebook... enjoy!

Pierre's Farewells


Just a quick update from "sunny" old England. What's been happening, nothing too unusual. The brass band I joined keeps my blowing my own horn, work is continuing to have its ups and downs, and I've managed to do a bit of touristy stuff recently too.

But here is just a few pics from 3 consecutive nights of farewell parties that Pierre had when leaving the UK. The first ended up being a goulash at my house (to help use up some smoked paprika he bought off a French market vendor in Edinburough), and to help finish his various bottles of single malt whiskies and other spirits. We did not succeed, but we gave it a good try!

Johnny on Guitar, playing something soothing and Pierre couldn't resist the call of the slumber...

Housemate Jorge (pronounced Hor-hey), Hirad, hand Phavel, hAmy and hAnna.

The pitiful effort - only 2 bottles to go into the recycling bin and one of them really doesn't count!

The remainder!

Ilias and Nel, a Russian couchsurfer who here for a conference, and found Lubor (my housemate and a would-be couchsurfer) on the internet and was sleeping on our couch.

Pavel and Amy

Three's a crowd

Post dinner at the Amber Rooms

Apres Work Drinks at the Harvester

Fellow Cell Team members the Deltaforce (Phil), Charissa and her next generation cell teamer Katy, and Hirad.