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sport

22 years

Today is the first time since 1994 when F1 weekend race takes place on May 1st.

Remembering Roland and Ayrton.

 

Roland Ratzenberger (4 July 1960 – 30 April 1994 )

roland

Roland Ratzenberger was just 34 when he died at Imola, 30th April 1994. His dream was to become a Formula 1 driver.

Born in Salzburg, Austria, he began racing in 1983, before winning both the Austrian and Central European Championship. He continued to enter multiple racing events over the next four years, entering Touring Cars, British F3 and British Formula 3000, where he found mixed success, but his talent was in single seaters.

It was in 1989 however, that Ratzenberger was chosen to race in the Le Mans 24 hours for the first time. His first year at Le Mans was unsuccessful however, with his team, Brun Motorsport retiring after just three hours. Nonetheless, Ratzenberger persevered and continued to race for the next four Le Mans until his final Le Mans in 1993 where he finished fifth.

 

Ayrton Senna (21 March 1960 – 1 May 1994)

senna

Ayrton Senna was just 34 when he died at Imola, 1st May 1994.

Senna was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He began racing karts in at Interlagos, Brazil’s Grand Prix circuit at the age of 13. He started his first race on pole position. From 1978, he entered the World Karting Championship. It was here that Senna claimed his karting rival “Terry Fullerton” was the driver who he had most satisfaction of racing against. Fullerton never made it to F1 but he was an extremely successful kart racer.

In 1981, Senna moved to England, where he began single seater racing, entering the British Formula Three Championship, racing for West Surrey Racing, five years before Ratzenberger would race for the same team.

 

Source

 

Categories
Canada 2016 my travels sport

Canada – Day8 – Rest day, relocation and Banff

Our original plan to move up the valley today changed as we discovered the area more over the week.

Basically the 2 options for accommodation  for ice climbers in the Bow Valley are either Canmore (where we arrived 7 days ago) or Banff – a very touristy Chamonix-like town 25min drive NW on Trans-Canada Highway.

Banff is nice, but more expensive to stay – it’s where all the skiers and tourists go. There is surplus of accommodation – but nightly rates in some establishments would be outside of climbers budgets.  It also doesn’t really suit for a base if you are planning on climbing around Ghost River area (adding extra 25min drive to already lengthy journey ).

Canmore seems to be the place where all the locals live. It might not have the best nightlife or tourist attractions (although the Main Street as well as their local fitness center/pool/indoors climbing wall  called Elevation Place are actually pretty good), but that’s not what we are here for. Driving wise – Canmore is right where you need it – 1.5h drive to Field, 1h drive to Lake Louise, 2h drive to Ghost River, 25min from Banff – all hosting world class ice climbs.

Our current home – The Bear Hostel is pretty well equipped hostel filled with all sorts of people. From a trio of experienced American ice climbers from California, through single traveling Japanese woman in her 60s (who is also an ice climber!), disconcerted young Australian man, serious Swedish guy (who somehow knew who Shamrock Rovers were) and very eccentric blue haired late shift host.

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Facilities wise the place is perfect. Big rooms (bigger than Mancave 1 and 2 in Rjukan) with private bathrooms, fully fitted kitchen with all sorts of dishes, walking distance to liquor store, all sorts of food joints and stores.
It’s also just 10 min walk to the town center, should one require some after hours entertainment. Elevation Place is 3 mins walk – just across the railroad tracks.

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Anyway – we’ve decided to stay in Canmore, but that meant changing the room (as we originally just booked for 1 week). That also coincided with the fact that today will be a rest day – a good idea for a weekend where routes are usually busy.

After some scheduling shenanigans, shifting people here and there to different rooms, we got booked in to  what Del calls ‘Honeymoon Suite’ – a nice little upgrade – for not that much more money. (week in normal 4ppl private room was 410CAD $, ‘Suite’ is around 500CAD $ if you book for 7 nights (better price is given for full week stay).

Honeymoon suite in all its glory – totally worth it:

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Before we moved rooms though, first thing in the morning we wen to check out local breakfast eatery (normally I cooked eggs and beacon in the AM and we don’t eat out – it’s just faster that way).

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Classic toast, eggs & beacon:

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After breakfast Padriac and I went for a little stroll around town, while Del went back to the Mancave.

Local Church:

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But more importantly local gear shops – both pretty well equipped as for a small town:

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Unfortunately we didn’t find what we were looking for – replacement crampon parts for Del’s Grivel G14s – he’ll have to live with what he has.

On the way back we encountered one of them massive trains – These are between 90 and 120 carriages long! They quite frequent as well. A real feast for trainspotters.

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After moving to Mancave 3.1 and still having half a day in front of us we made a little trip to Banff in search of the mythical hot springs. Somehow however Del wasn’t so keen and spent the hour at their upstairs coffee shop – probably on the phone to The Queen.

Banff Upper Hotsprings are located slightly outside of town, but are easy enough to find. You park at the bottom of the hill and walk up some 100m. There is a small drop-off zone by their door – but you can’t park there.

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Admission is just short of 10CAD $ and once can rent both towels and swimsuit (including what they call ‘vintage swimsuit’ – arond 2CAD $ each). We had our own.

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Unfortunately it’s out of season for them – and the ‘pool’ is just a clean water heated to 40C. In season it’s all about them minerals.
It’s still nice, outdoor surrounding, albeit a bit crowded (maybe because of the weekend?). Built in jets worked wonders on our tired muscles though.
You won’t spend more than an hour, and if you are in Canmore – Elevations Place’s pool, steam room and jacuzzi give better effects for the same money.

We drove down back to Banff for a quick stroll on it’s main street in search of some burgers.

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Didn’t take too long – as the place is quite small and filled with tourist oriented shops and restaurants.

Once cool thing to note are their pedestrian crossings – it’s an all directional Japanese style type. Love it! They don’t have them in Canmore – must be Banff thing.

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We settled on Eddie Burger + Bar, which lets you make your own. Good place to be if you are into burgers.

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It takes a while to actually get it – but the servers make sure you stay ‘hydrated’ as you wait. Typical business practice I guess 😉

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I’ve settled on Elk, so has P. Del opted for Bison. Interesting choices.

Full bellies meant quick drive home – and more planning for upcoming days.
Climbing wise we have few options – Professor Falls, Carlsberg Column, and of course Polar Circus – to name the few.

The conditions will dictate what will be climbed.

Categories
Canada 2016 my travels sport

Canada – Day7 – Guinness Gully WI4

With:
Derek Aherne - Pitch 1 & 3
Padraic Gibbons - Pitch 2
Michal Samsel - Pitch 4

 

For today we had planned to do of amazing 300m of Cascade Falls WI3, however upon arriving to the base of the climb it turned out it was nearly gone (due to its south facing position).

Our backup plan was Guinness Gully – WI4 – a climb we were hoping to save for Paddy’s Day, but due to the above we’ve decided to just do it today. A not so short drive to not so nearby Field (around 1.5h from Canmore), and a quick navigation around the village (as per Ice Lines book directions description) got us to the road where  where you pull over on to access the climb.

Guinness Gully it’s one of the few climbs in the area. roadside accessible with very short walk-in.

The whole area is avalanche prone, so extreme caution and proper assessment are necessary.

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As usually we marked our car with the destination we were going to climb and moved out.

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On the way up we’ve seen signs of previous avalanches, as well other evidence of the warnings seen before:

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At the base of the climb after somewhat heated discussion regarding avalanche conditions, we’ve decided to do some further assessment. Here’s one of them:

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After discussing the situation a bit more, we’ve decided that it was safe enough to begin the climb.

The whole climb is around 240m in height but is split in 3 (or 4, depending on how to look at it) pitches with total of around 135m of epic water ice climbing.

Derek went to lead the first pitch. A nice 30m of WI4.

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Gibbons and I followed. It was indeed pretty steep – but it was nothing comparing to what was awaiting us (you couldn’t see next parts from the bottom – had to climb a pitch, walk some meters up to the base of another pitch).

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Here’s Del at the Belay point number 1

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Pitch 2 didn’t look ‘that’ bad from the bottom, but it was quite technical and sustained.

Here’s Gibbons getting ready.

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According to the leader the middle part was especially challenging, yet rewarding.

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Another short solo to the base of another pitch (3).

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And what a pitch that was! A solid and lengthy 60m of Wi4. A real gem of a pitch!

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That’s not even half way up yet!

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While Derek has been busting his balls on that pitch, Gibbons found some time for one of his classic selfie moments:

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View down the valley from the base of pitch3

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He made it! (but for some reason instead of using a bolted belay he decided to build his own) 😉

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The last 15m is optional, a relatively straight forward terrain (although a bit tricky to get to the belay if you lead it on its right hand side line):

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Another Gibbons selfie moment. Will someone tell him that’s not how to do selfies?

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Top out victory photo!

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Lengthy abseil and walk off down. It’s actually 3 abseils and some walk offs. Bar avalanche danger it’s relatively straight forward:

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Back in the car:

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As a bonus on the way back we met with IMC’s president Peter Wood, who is here on a skiing trip with his friends (flying back to Dublin tomorrow).

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Safe travels home Peter!

 

Bonus photos (Just because of awesomeness of P3): – Hernzer and Gibbons at its base still figuring out who’ll lead it:

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Categories
Canada 2016 my travels sport

Canada – Day6 – Weathering Heights WI4

They say not to step into the same river twice – I mostly agree –  unless it’s a Ghost River Wilderness Area.
We’ve revisited the place after scouting it yesterday – this time fully geared up

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with intentions to either climb Wicked Wanda WI4+  (as seen from the car yesterday, around 40min walk from the car) or a combo of Weathering Heights, III, WI 4 and Anorexia Nervosa, III, WI 4R which are located very close to each other – but around 1h hike from the car – and other direction than Wicked Wanda.

We’ve decided to go for the combo. After a 1h 20 mins walk – which is nothing like we gotten used to (trail is first 1km, then its just hiking up dry river bed)

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strava-weathering

 

Unfortunately upon arriving to the location we’ve learned that Anorexia wasn’t fully formed and it wasn’t really safe to climb it (the bottom part was missing).

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We’ve focused our efforts on Weathering Heights:

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The route itself looks different from what we’ve seen in description – it’s actually 3 pitches:
1st pitch – 35m with bolted belay to the right – lead today by Del.

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2nd pitch – long 55m with a tree belay to the left – lead by Padriag – he actually climbed it twice today – but more about it later 😉

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3rd pitch – which not many people do as it’s an easy 15m to another tree belay.

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Conditions today weren’t great – it was snowing for most of the day – making climbing more challenging –

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– but also more rewarding once we topped it out!

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There were 2 real options to abseil –
a) from the tree anchor of the top pitch – with a risk of not reaching the bolted anchors of pitch 1

b) from the tree anchor of the 2nd pitch – but with guaranteed access to the bolts on 2x60m ropes.

We’ve opted on the option b) – PG went first, followed by Del – I went last. We’ve quickly learned that in order to go down that way the rope goes over sharp rock – not ideal, but we just need to be careful. There was also the risk of rope jamming on the pull – and that’s what happened…. pulling yellow, pulling pink, it didn’t go. Someone had to climb the pitch again (nearly 60m!) and investigate.
Padriag quickly volunteered, we’ve setup a semi-self arresting system, that would provide some safety and off he went again.

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After good 40mins he was back – it turned out that ropes got to the rock groove, and were blocking each other – kind of like in a reverso belay.
He told us that to fix the situation he secured himself with a screw, freed the ropes, built a v-thread, abseiled on it to us – and we’ve abseiled to the bottom.
Good and safe solution to a not that uncommon situation.

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It was 4.30 pm by the time we got down to the bottom of the climb – so we had to go back to the car, in order to avoid driving in the dark through non-existed road in the middle of nowhere.

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2h later we were back in The Hostel Bear, Canmore – our home for these 2 weeks.

Categories
Canada 2016 holidays my travels sport

Canada – Day5 – Rest day aka location scouting

A bit different schedule than usually today – instead packing up early for climbing we decided to take a day off and do some research on the Ghost River area.

It’s  a very remote place- around 2h drive from Canmore. Details here: http://www.summitpost.org/south-ghost-climbs/291125

The Ghost was established in 1967 on the front range of the Canadian Rockies and consists of 15,317ha (60 square miles) of raw wilderness bordering Banff National Park to the east and north. Its mountains include Mounts Aylmer, Apparition, Oliver and Costigan. The Ghost Valley actually refers to a larger area that is more specifically located approximately 30kms north of Canmore along the eastern border of Banff National Park and east of the Palliser Mountain Range. The Ghost’s glacier carved valleys provide for steep water runoff creating some of the best waterfall ice climbing in Canada. Much of this terrain is considered less avalanche prone than most ice routes in Kananaskis and routes deeper into the national parks. Although not all the Ghost climbs are technically in The Ghost (many of the climbs are in Banff National Park), this whole area of provincial wilderness takes on that identity.
 
The Ghost Valley is discussed as the South Ghost and North Ghost relative to climbing. The South Ghost is divided into several different areas when discussing waterfall ice: Orient Point, Devil’s Gap,Planter’s Valley, Constellation Valley, Black Rock Mountain and Johnson Creek. The North Ghost includes all the climbs along both sides of the Ghost River. The “North Ghost” routes entail more of a 4×4 drive approach than the “South Ghost” routes.

We’ve decided to focus on Devil’s Gap area of the South Ghost as it is the most accessible area – it still is around 2h driving – that requires 17km of gravel off-roading, very steep unpaved hill-climbing, as well as crossing dry river bed.

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Our driver and Toyota did a good job getting us there safely. Some manual road cleaning was required though:

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End of road – Banff National Park border. This is where you leave the car and hike couple of km (depending on the climb you choose). This is a seriously remote area with no services and possible bear and cougars encounters.

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Here we see Wicked Wanda – Wi4+ – 2 pitch 50m route we’ll come back to do tomorrow. Zoomed in photo on the link under the picture.

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Generally it was a good day out – and we are coming back tomorrow there to climb so stay tuned for climb reports shortly!

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Categories
sport

Bridging (6a) at Awesome Walls.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bOi4A-IvsU&w=853&h=480]

Categories
holidays sport video

Xmas time

This year (as in 2011) we’ve decided to spend the Xmas time with Monika’s family. That was the best idea EVER.

We’ve spent fantastic time skiing, meeting friends and having a good time in general. Also we became godparents to little Tomasz – Monika’s sister son. 🙂

 

Skiing was the super awesome idea – we got few friends together and went to Karpacz (20km away from where the family lives). Since I never done it before (skiing) it was something special. Somehow only 1h of lessons with certified instructor got us on our feet (unfortunately there wasn’t more time to go more often) and we had some excellent time.  As usual I had my go-pro action camera with me – hence here it is:

Day1:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHSSktrsefA&w=560&h=315]

Day2:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBTXWgnOmPQ&w=560&h=315]

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holidays my travels sport USA 2011 video

Sky Dive Video – full version

As promised – here is full version of the video from the jump we’ve made with Sky Dive Las Vegas people. Great fun!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PsLifUofnA]