Pointe des Grands - A Grand Ski-Tour

Posted by GTrefalt on April 11, 2016

The ski-touring season is slowly fading away and giving room to rock climbing season. To catch the last bits of powdery snow, we had to go high. After close inspection of camptocamp.org site we found our grand target: Pointe des Grands (3101 m).

Starting from Trient we had to first fight our way through the woods. Sometimes the tree branches stroke back, it was good that we had our helmets on.

About half the way up, decision was needed: left or right? Andrej proposed: "Mah, kar počez ga užgimo." Which would roughly translate to: "Let's just go straight through the middle."

Very fast (read after 4 h) we were just below the final steeper part. Matevž was getting excited: "Soon we will be higher than Triglav!"

And after eating our last sugar boosters (chocolate) we found ourselves extremely fast at Croix des Bérons (2900 m) enjoying beautiful panorama in perfect sunshine.

The final decision was the best one of the day, skipping the top of Pointe des Grands and turning left in the search of fresh snow.

We were all happy, especially our legs, to finish our long ascent and to dive into the powder on our way down.

So, in total about 15 km up and down. And close to 1800 vertical meters up. Nice introductory ski-touring trip for Matevž :)

Mallorca - Should I Climb or Should I Swim

Posted by GTrefalt on January 12, 2016

You might know the song November Rain from Guns N' Roses. I guess that weather likes it but it mixed the months and used December instead of November. So, the only reasonable thing was to look around and find some sun. Smart proposal from Maja took us to Mallorca!

After rather exciting travels, where some almost missed a plane, while for others a plane was missing a schedule, we needed to "study" the topo.

We decided for a small crag Sa Font near Pollença where we were staying. According to the topo it should offer superb "slightly overhanging slabs for beginners". We were a bit suspicious about overhanging slabs but started bravely. At least till the first bolt ...

And when the slab became slightly more overhanging the fingers became slightly more tired. (Don't touch the picture with the mouse ... delicate balance ...)

After whole afternoon of trying, master slab climber showed us, how it needs to be done.

Ok, enough of these climbing goats, let's go to the beach and see if fish can also climb on Mallorca. Cala Magraner is an amazing climbing spot just at the beach. Some of the routes actually start above the water.

So, should I go for a swim or up the wall? We were facing some hard decisions that day.

Bojan chose the second option and he didn't regret it. He also didn't find any fish on the wall. Which was good, because we knew that we were the only masters of the rock here.

Battle of the day Alan vs the Overhang, guess who won at the end. Finally, the Overhang could not fight off Alan's superb technique.

Maja needed a refreshment after climbing on the hot rock. We boys were not so brave and were only watching from the distance.

You can't leave Mallorca without at least pretending that you are deep-water soloing.

When we saw this Es Pontàs arch we thought, with a bit of training we can climb the inner side of it next year. But we later learned that it has already been done by a screaming long-hair dude and that we do not have enough magnesia to do it anyway.

And at the end comes the best: "Goodbye!" from the Mallorca 2015 crew!

You have enjoyed the photos from Maja Bukovac and Bojan Zorko.

Climbing Around Chamonix

Posted by GTrefalt on August 12, 2014

I always find spending few days climbing in Chamonix a relaxation for my soul and a hard workout for my fingers. And this time was no exception!

First we tried out Chéserys. Nice slabs with beautiful views. Also the mountain goats like it!

One of the routes where our fingers were sweeting a lot was Santas Way (Un Père Noël pour Lucy), which is a beautiful 6a route. Highly recommended!

Since the Chéserys routes were a bit to short for our bodies hungy of climbing, we decided to do the Oraison, 5c, 450 m in Aiguille de la Glière. It turn out to be a great idea, it offered superb climbing!

Finding passages on the way down after 7 hours on the wall was also fun.

You can't leave Chamonix without a picture from the top of a granite needle. The Aiguillette d'Argentiere is a perfect place for a photo shoot :) First up ...

On the top ...

And slowly down ...

Duolingo

Posted by GTrefalt on September 27, 2013

Source: www.wikipedia.org

You want to learn languages iteractively through game? Then Duolingo is the right choice for you. It is a free language-learning website/app. You just have to sign in, choose the language you want to learn and begin to play. For now it offers English, Spanish, French, German, Protugese, and Italian. And it is completely free of charge and without any adds. You will ask, how this is possible? The answer is crowd sourcing, see the video below.

It is a simple and elegant idea on how to spread the knowladge for free and get something in return. Linux community is functioning on similar basis. And I think that these kind of ideas can be the lighthouses for the future development of our society.

Aiguillette d'Argentière

Posted by GTrefalt on August 25, 2013

When you are looking at the peaks from the Chamonix valley, the first french word you learn is Aiguille - needle. Because there are countless needles around Chamonix in every shape and size. You have Aiguilles de Cahmonix (needles of Chamonix), Aiguille du Midi (noon needle), Aiguille Verte (green needle), Aiguille du Dru (thick needle) ..., the list is long. But you have also small needles there - aiguillettes, one of such is Aiguillette d'Argentière just above Argentière. When me and Sašo first saw the pictures of the needle we said we have to stand on the top of it! And we did!

Sašo - Cristo Redentor .

Together on top. There is just enough place - it is good that clibers are usually thin :)

Climbing Around Aiguille du Midi

Posted by GTrefalt on March 10, 2013

Weekend with the sunny stable weather was approaching, therefore me and Sašo did not want to miss a chance to use it well - and what is better than going to climb around Aiguille du Midi.

It is good to put on crampons before the start.

So, it's going to be a mixed climb, a bit of snow a bit of rock?

Look back on the Refuge des Cosmiques and our next day plan - Triangle du Tacul.

Enjoying the sun.

Around the rocks we go ...

.. and back to the snow.

Colorful granite pillars.

View on the Grandes Jorasses (in the middle) and its neighbors.

Reddish stone, white ice and blue sky.

Let's go ...

... in the deep snow.

Approaching the end of the climb, while enjoying every bit of it.


Second day awaits...

After going through the night with the headache at Refuge des Cosmiques (3613 m) morning comes and we are up and ready for the next day. Triangle du Tacul in front of us, with our goal Goulotte Chéré clearly seen on the right.

A view back at the Aiguille du Midi.

Skis off, crampons and ice axes on.

And our first touch with the alpine ice. It's steeper that is seems (up to 85°) but we enjoy every centimeter of it.

Soon at the top and now the descent starts.

Last few meters down and then with skis through Vallée Blanche back to Chamonix. It was a nice way to spent the weekend.

The Video of Sašo abseiling down.

Pic Chaussy & Point Ronde

Posted by GTrefalt on February 26, 2013

Switzerland is a good country to do the Skitouring. The possibilities here are endless. So, a sunny winter weekend should not be wasted sitting at home whatching TV. Following this advice you are never sorry, and we (Sašo and me) were not.

For the Saturday our goal was Pic Chaussy. We drove 60 km out of Lausanne to Les Mosses. There the fog from Lausanne was replaced by the sun and blue sky.

So, skis out of the trunk, skins on, and up we go. The ski trail was already done.

After an hour or so, it's good to stop a bit to get back some breath and look around.

I've chatched a bit of ice on my beard ;)

A last few hundred meters of elevation ...

and we are on the top.

And now my second test of the Elan skis starts.

The Google view on our route.


On Sunday we met with Andrea, an Italian guy, who instead of going to the elections in Italy rather enjoys the snow.

We drive on the road from Martigny to Chamonix and stop at the Forclaz pass, which is our start for the Point Ronde. We again begin with a bit of fog but we already know form yesterday that up there the sun is hiding.

Khmm, where exactly are we?

Aha, we just have to go up ;)

Sašo and Andrea with Dents du Midi shownig his peaks out of the fog behind.

And after a short stay at the top, the fun part of going down begins. There is still some fresh powder snow left for us, yeahhaaa!

Our route. I strongly recommend it!

Vallée Blanche

Posted by GTrefalt on February 20, 2013

Skiing vallee blanche - HOWTO.

First go up to Aguille du Midi ...

... with bunch of other guys ...

... and then prepare your skis ...

... now you are ready to ...

... make your first turns in a fresh-powder snow ...

... going down the valley on a glacier ...

... passing and not falling into crevasses ...

... and enjoying the views of Mont Blanc, Grandes Jorasses, Dent du Géant, Aguille Verte, Aguille du Dru, and other beautiful mountains.

Finish the perfect day!

Presented by Sašo and Grega.

Ice Climbing in Mauvoisin

Posted by GTrefalt on February 8, 2013

At the end of January me and Sašo decided that it is time to do some ice climbing. It was my first time to do it, so I was all excited! Sašo found a place to do it, a beautiful Mauvoisin Valley in Valais, with a good choice of icefalls. Our target was not too difficult Lui Dzaune (WI3+).

The weather was perfect to do ice climbing, sunny and cold. The mountains around were full of snow.

While the Sun was shining we started to walk uppwards to the starting point of our climb.

And there it was the a big wall of ice, wau just beautiful! When I stood benith it I felt small like an ant.

First put on our equiptment and off we go!

As Sašo is more experienced I let him climb as first :)

After few hours ... we were almost at the top.

It was just amazing experience and although I finished with a blue nail and frozen fingers, I definitely want to do it again!

Let's plot

Posted by GTrefalt on June 22, 2012

Story about Gnuplot - plotting program that rules.
Today I've decided to write something about a plotting program that makes my life easier every day. As a scientist, my language is full of graphs, it easier to talk looking at pictures rather than numbers. In my opinion Gnuplot is just the best choice when it comes to turning your data to curves, or just want to see how sin(x) looks. It easy to use and it produces good and nice looking results, with a bit of programming knowledge it can be turned to a powerful tool. Furthermore its open source and free of charge. If you are interested to learn more about it go to www.gnuplot.info, there you can download it, and see how diverse and beautiful graphs it can produce. Another two good pages with examples and for learnign are www.gnuplotting.org and Not so FAQs.

Here are some examples that I have made:


Triglav with snow

Posted by GTrefalt on March 28, 2012

A bit late, but anyway. In the beginning of March I was on top of Slovenia - Triglav. Weather conditions were perfect, the snow was crunchy, the sun was shiny - a perfect winter ascent.

The coolest thing about being at the top in winter is, that you can enjoy the magnificent view of white peaks all around, without 50 people crowding around you as they do in summer.