Marc's Public Blog


All | Aquariums | Arduino | Btrfs | Cars | Cats | Clubbing | Dining | Diving | Electronics | Exercising | Flying | Hiking | Linux | Linuxha | Museums | Public | Rc | Sciencemuseums | Snow | Solar | Trips




More pages: July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 October 2003 August 2003 July 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 January 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 January 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000 June 2000 April 1999 March 1999 September 1997 August 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980



2018/01/27 Sydney Powerhouse Museum
π 2018-01-27 01:01 in Australia, Sciencemuseums
This museum is housed in indeed the old powerhouse/power station, and it's now a science museum with random other displays.


A very cool engine using planetary gears and other steam engines and related hardware:






Transportation:

left over original steam engine that luckily didn't get scrapped like most others
left over original steam engine that luckily didn't get scrapped like most others



Space:







Other science:



Bright colors and games for kids:





And in the random other things category:



a voice exhibit had an opera singer give a nice live demo
a voice exhibit had an opera singer give a nice live demo




See more images for Sydney Powerhouse Museum
2018/01/26 Australia Day by Sydney Opera House
π 2018-01-26 01:01 in Australia, Trips
I've done a couple of Australia Days before, but doing it in Sydney was definitely the best one so far. Jake got us an awesome dinner table with sweeping view of the Sydney Harbour and Opera House in the background, not counting a fairly good multi course Japanese dinner:







And great views:













The fireworks were good, even if we were downwind and sometimes saw too much smoke:

2018/01/26 Sydney Comtemporary Art Museum
π 2018-01-26 01:01 in Australia, Museums
I had a bit of time left over on a museum day, so I gave the contemporary art museum a visit:









See more images for Sydney Comtemporary Art Museum
2018/01/22 Lolibot, FPGA Primer, MicroPython for ESP8266/ESP32 and Protocol Analysis at Open Hardware Miniconf at Linux.Conf.au 2018
π 2018-01-22 01:01 in Arduino, Linux
Got to play with a lot of hardware at LCA 2018:
  • ESP32 micropython programmed robot
  • Learned the very basics (and pains) of how to program an FPGA
  • MicroPython programming and handling
  • Protocol Analysis (1wire) with a USB protocol sniffer.
  • Definitely worth the time I spent, even if some miniconfs made me miss a bunch of talks, but it was worth it :)

    Lolibot:







    our fearless team was honest about how they do the work every year :)
    our fearless team was honest about how they do the work every year :)

    The next day, I went to the FPGA training/miniconf:


    Bunnie Huang was one of the attendees
    Bunnie Huang was one of the attendees

    FPGAs are definitely 'interesting', you can use some of the gates to emulate a CPU, and others to run bare metal code
    FPGAs are definitely 'interesting', you can use some of the gates to emulate a CPU, and others to run bare metal code

    It was useful to learn more about MicroPython the next day, definitely a faster way to work on ESP8266/ESP32 SOCs:


    ESP32
    ESP32


    Tim nicely setup a hardware rig to flash the little TOMU boards that fit in your USB slot:


    The last day, we learned how to use a USB logic analyser to debug 1wire timing issues:


    protocol analysis is what Tridge eats for breakfast ;)
    protocol analysis is what Tridge eats for breakfast ;)

    2018/01/22 Linux.Conf.au 2018 in Sydney
    π 2018-01-22 01:01 in Linux
    Another year, another LCA still. Back to Sydney for the 3rd time. Outside of the nice talks, and the fantastic work of recording all the talks and posting them almost real time, the highlight of LCA this year were [all the open hardware miniconfs I was able to attend|perso/arduino/post_2018-01-22_Lolibot_-FPGA-Primer_-MicroPython-for-ESP8266-ESP32-and-Protocol-Analysis-at-Open-Hardware-Miniconf-at-Linux_Conf_au-2018.html].

    A few pictures from the conf:

    Selfie!
    Selfie!



    I got to meet and chat with Bunnie Huang, cool
    I got to meet and chat with Bunnie Huang, cool

    Like every year, we had the penguin dinner and the PDNS:



    winner of the best suit!
    winner of the best suit!



    Random slides:







    looking forward to next year
    looking forward to next year

    See more images for Linux.Conf.au 2018 in Sydney
    2018/01/21 2 Days learning Surfing south of Sydney
    π 2018-01-21 01:01 in Australia, Public
    Since I had seen a lot of Sydney already, for my 4th visit there, I figured I would try and learn surfing. I signed up for a so called surf school with wavessurfschool.com.au which supposedly supposedly had 2x 2H of surf instruction, but really it was 15mn of very basic instruction with maybe another 30mn of help in the water, and then that's it. We got maybe 2.5H in the water with very little instruction, and few waves (often a 5mn wait between 2 rideable waves, sucks when you're trying to practise).
    We had to get out of the water by 15:00 and basically I learned virtually nothing and wasted my day :(


    too many people going to the beach that day and clogging up everything while interrupting our class
    too many people going to the beach that day and clogging up everything while interrupting our class

    While I mostly lost a day not learning to surf, I went back, the next weekend with a different company, Australian Surf Tours, and this time booked a private set of lessons on a farther away beach by Thirroul (1h30 train ride away):

    we started by looking at surf boards to get a feel for what exists
    we started by looking at surf boards to get a feel for what exists


    this was hard
    this was hard


    too many times, I ended up like this :)
    too many times, I ended up like this :)

    Long story short, I definitely learned a lot more. My instructor Tom Berridge did a good job, and while at the time I felt like after some rest I could have done another session, I was definitely getting tired after the 2nd set of sessions after lunch, and struggling to get up and pick the right waves. Tom saved me tons of time by choosing the right waves for me, and pushing me on the right ones so that I got a lot more training than I would have anyway.
    Just to show how much I suck, or that it's not super easy, a compilation of failures:

    and probably my only time successfully getting up later in the day when I was getting more tired:

    It was definitely a good learning experience, but I sure would need a lot more practise before I feel like I'd be self sufficient

    A few notes for myself if I try this again later:

  • Toes on the back of the board
  • Lift up and lock the arms straight up without grabbing the edges of the board
  • Stand up with back foot first
  • Try to have front foot as close to perpendicular to the board as possible
  • Quickly-ish put front foot forward without putting a knee down and taking off one hand but not the other
  • Keep enough weight in the back not to nose dive (it will happen anyway if the wave is breaking)
  • Don't put too much weight back that the board, it brakes and stops
  • Look for rip currents where waves break last, and use that to paddle out to the next wave
  • You can catch waves after they break or before. While they break will flip the board over.
  • 2018/01/20 Australia Museum/Natural History Museum in Sydney
    π 2018-01-20 01:01 in Australia, Sciencemuseums
    It's a nice museum central to the city with nice animal and mineral collections. It's worth at least 4H for a good visit.







    giant kangaroo they used to have
    giant kangaroo they used to have









    Nice minerals too:





    2018/01/20 A couple of days to visit Sydney
    π 2018-01-20 01:01 in Australia, Trips
    I flew to Sydney for linux.conf.au and given that it was my 5th time there, I didn't quite go see the basic tourist attractions, given that I had already seen them once or twice, or more.

    So this time, I opted for a few different museums:

  • Australia Museum/Natural History Museum in Sydney
  • Comtemporary Art Museum
  • Powerhouse Museum
  • Then, I did of course walk around Sydney a bit, and here are a few pictures:

    Sydney grammar school, that's a fancy building to learn grammar :)
    Sydney grammar school, that's a fancy building to learn grammar :)








    the rocks
    the rocks


    Circular Quay:


    circular quay can host huge cruise ships
    circular quay can host huge cruise ships

    Luna Park across the river
    Luna Park across the river

    win for australia!
    win for australia!

    Darling Harbour:






    After the museusm were closed, I went to the royal botanic gardens to enjoy the views and the birds:






    found a customer
    found a customer


    made a 'friend'
    made a 'friend'

    it was quite interested with my ear and nibbled it gently :)
    it was quite interested with my ear and nibbled it gently :)

    and some new customers I hadn't seen before
    and some new customers I hadn't seen before


    linux.conf.au was at UTS, clearly an interesting building:



    More night pictures:



    Finishing the week (albeit not quite the trip) with Australia Day celebrations by Sydney Opera House, didn't suck too much :) [Australia_Day/221*]

    On my last day, I went back to try learning Surfing south of Sydney and while I didn't do great, I at least learned some during the day.

    On the last night, I went to Black Bar and Grill in a fancy hotel/casino to try some Wagyu. Sadly, the smaller and more expensive one of the two was actually the lesser one as far as melt in your mouth, went. Thankfully the 2nd one was not Japan good, but still pretty good:



    It was then time to take the airport train back to Sydney Airport and fly home after trying 3 different lounges in the airport :)



    See more images for A couple of days to visit Sydney
    2018/01/17 Lausanne's Olympic Museum
    π 2018-01-17 01:01 in Museums
    I only had just over a couple of hours in Lausanne between 2 trains, which cleary wasn't enough, but I had a short hour to visit the Olympic Museum (wishing that I had closer to 2), so I made the best of the time:









    Due to the upcoming winter Olympics in South Korea, they had a whole exposition on Korean culture


    Korea is the top country for video gaming tournaments
    Korea is the top country for video gaming tournaments




    weird thing I learned about, they have robot virtual supporters in baseball games
    weird thing I learned about, they have robot virtual supporters in baseball games

    Nice museum, I could have spent a bit more time there, but happy I got to see it anyway.

    See more images for Lausanne's Olympic Museum
    2018/01/17 2.2H in Lausanne
    π 2018-01-17 01:01 in Trips
    So, Lausanne is worth a bit more than 2.2H, I had planned on giving it a full 3.2H but heavy snow in Verbier got us to miss 2 trains and having to bridge a train that never came, with a taxi instead:

    pretty but this got our bus very late
    pretty but this got our bus very late

    in turn, our bus had a hard time driving down with stuck trucks on the way blocking the road
    in turn, our bus had a hard time driving down with stuck trucks on the way blocking the road

    finally made it to Lausanne, not the best lake view ever :)
    finally made it to Lausanne, not the best lake view ever :)



    I got lucky during my quick walk
    I got lucky during my quick walk

    made it to the cathedral
    made it to the cathedral


    nice view from the clock tower
    nice view from the clock tower




    2.2H was really short of what I was hoping of, but I had enough time to walk to the cathedral and climb to the top, then take an uber to the Olympic Museum], which was definitely worth closer to 2H, but I did the best with 1h or so I had.

    did I say great lake views?
    did I say great lake views?

    it was then time to get back to the train station and catch my direct TGV back to Paris, for my plane to SFO and foloowing plane to Sydney :)


    France did break and still holds the world speed record for wheeled trains
    France did break and still holds the world speed record for wheeled trains

    See more images for 2.2H in Lausanne
    2018/01/12 Riding Vallee Blanche from the top of Chamonix's Aiguille du Midi back to town twice
    π 2018-01-12 01:01 in Snow
    Arturo had the great idea of doing Vallée Blanche while we were in France. This is a treacherous run (as in many ways to get seriously injured, or to die at the bottom of a crevice or killed by an avalanche or serac slide (big piece of ice/snow breaking off and falling on you), so we booked a guide, Frederic Drouet

    Here is a description of the Vallée Blanche descent from his site.

    We did 2 runs

  • #1 Petit Envers was 17km of skiing, 9500ft down (2900m) until we got back to the road in town (17km run, just over 10 miles). It took us 3h44 including hiking back up to a road where we could finally go back down again. It was pretty trivial snowboarding-wise but of course went around plenty of dicey terrain. The end was less fun (from the hike up) as the path down from the little rest stop after the hike up, got worse and worse as we got lower in altitude and warmer temps.
  • #2 Grand Envers is supposed to be more challenging, but honestly it was still easy on a snowboard, outside of a part where we had to cross an serac avalanche field filled with ice in different size blocks. On that 2nd run, we finished it in just over 1h, and stopped at the glacier ice tunnel for a quick visit, before walking up the stairs to the cable car to the cog train back to town.
  • Frederic was right that taking the train was not actually faster, from fork off point between the 2 points, both took just around 1h25, including waiting for the train 20mn, but honestly the train route was more fun that given day since boarding all the way back to the road on crappy icy snow at the bottom, was not fun enough to do twice (or even once that day). For comparison the 2nd time it took just 1h to get from the to of aiguille du midi to that forkoff point, close to the glacier, stairs and train.

    We met around 08:10, rented some crampons for the first walk out of top visitor center since it's a slippery and steep-ish ridge before you can bind in and ride down:


    We then went to Aiguille du midi's cable car and took it to the top. Thankfully there was no line:








    Time to put the crampons on and head down:





    Then, time to go down, we were not the only ones:







    lots of ice blocks and seracs that could detach and fall on us, our uide had to keep track of them
    lots of ice blocks and seracs that could detach and fall on us, our uide had to keep track of them



    pretty, but more stuff that could fall on us :)
    pretty, but more stuff that could fall on us :)


    sadly a bigger group had one person who strayed a bit, feel into a crevice and had to be pulled out and rescued
    sadly a bigger group had one person who strayed a bit, feel into a crevice and had to be pulled out and rescued



    Eventually we got to the bottom on top of the glacier. Easy, but more boring snowboarding :) (and some pushing with poles)







    some people walked up the glacier in snow shoes
    some people walked up the glacier in snow shoes



    Eventually the fun was over and we had to unbind and hike up for 15mn or so, up to a resting/lunch cabin





    It was then time to continue riding down all the way to town. Sadly it was less fun snow, even narrow and icy at the bottom:




    then we crossed the cog train
    then we crossed the cog train


    eventually we got to the end of a small ski resort, back to the road
    eventually we got to the end of a small ski resort, back to the road



    Short video of the first time down:

    Here are some pictures from Fred:












    Arturo was ok enough after one run, especially given that the bottom kind of sucked, but I was up for a 2nd run (Grand Envers):



    by then, it started getting tracked
    by then, it started getting tracked






    Grand Enver was more pristine though since it's harder for skiiers
    Grand Enver was more pristine though since it's harder for skiiers




    a piece of that fell earlier that day, and gave us an ice field to cross (kind of hard)
    a piece of that fell earlier that day, and gave us an ice field to cross (kind of hard)




    we finally got to the bottom, another track from the one earlier that day
    we finally got to the bottom, another track from the one earlier that day



    Before too long, we got to the ice cave, small cabins at the top of the stairs, and cig train:









    then time to climb up the stairs back to the train
    then time to climb up the stairs back to the train




    nice to have ridden down this
    nice to have ridden down this


    Now, the *very sad part* is that the glacier used to be as high as the top of those cabins, and now the bottom of those cabins is nowhere close and still requires a lot of stairs to get down to it, and it's getting worse every year with global warming :(







    Longer video of the second time down:

    And that was it, great 2nd run. We spent a bit of time in town to enjoy the sunset lights and dinner:





    A huge thanks to Frederic Drouet for keeping us safe and guiding us that day.

    2018/01/11 4 Days of Snowboarding at Verbier's 4 Vallées
    π 2018-01-11 01:01 in Snow

    After a mostly not so good time in France, we had more luck in Switzerland. The day we arrived was right after a snowstorm, and had good powder and few crowds on the first day (thursday).

    yeah, nice to have a sea of green lights for open lifts, all the way to the top
    yeah, nice to have a sea of green lights for open lifts, all the way to the top





    last cable car to the very top
    last cable car to the very top

    great view
    great view


    I sent Arturo first to see how far down he'd slide uncontrollably, but the snow was great, so he didn't :)
    I sent Arturo first to see how far down he'd slide uncontrollably, but the snow was great, so he didn't :)





    we rode the cable car to Mt Fort a few times too
    we rode the cable car to Mt Fort a few times too


    top of the world, kinda :)
    top of the world, kinda :)


    The next day, we went to Chamonix, so we were back the following day, a Saturday, which was mildly busy:




    we found a sidecountry exit
    we found a sidecountry exit


    inviting path down
    inviting path down


    whee!
    whee!

    the road down went by swiss chalets
    the road down went by swiss chalets

    riding down to the road where a bus would pick us up
    riding down to the road where a bus would pick us up

    barely made it to the hourly bus with 30 seconds to spare
    barely made it to the hourly bus with 30 seconds to spare

    we got dropped off another entrance to the resort
    we got dropped off another entrance to the resort


    found more powder to be had :)
    found more powder to be had :)

    getting back to Verbier was more time consuming, long-ish lines
    getting back to Verbier was more time consuming, long-ish lines


    more lines
    more lines

    I then took an interesting off resort road carved in the mountain, col des mines
    I then took an interesting off resort road carved in the mountain, col des mines


    The next day still, there was still more powder to be had. We went back to the other side of the resort and did another nice side country run:



    back on the traverse path, waiting for snowboarders without poles :)
    back on the traverse path, waiting for snowboarders without poles :)



    it was fun to ride across the switchbacks between Swiss Chalets, James Bond style
    it was fun to ride across the switchbacks between Swiss Chalets, James Bond style

    and back to the road, waiting for the bus
    and back to the road, waiting for the bus

    ride back up ot the resort
    ride back up ot the resort

    Here's a summary video of the sidecountry run:


    one of the bases has view of the local small airport
    one of the bases has view of the local small airport




    I then took Arturo to the other side country exit to another base of the resort
    I then took Arturo to the other side country exit to another base of the resort


    you end up on a road
    you end up on a road



    The last day (I skipped one sunny day with less powder), it was very windy, so we went to another side of the resort that was more basic, but also more sheltered from the wind:



    [rigimg:1024:613*|I ended up on top of that "cliff" by mistake, and barely got out]



    our side of the resort was the only bit that had lifts open higher up despite the wind
    our side of the resort was the only bit that had lifts open higher up despite the wind

    And that was it for Verbier. We had a great time there and much better snow than in France.

    2018/01/10 A Week in Verbier for Skiing at 4 Vallées
    π 2018-01-10 01:01 in Snow, Trips
    After Bourg St Maurice, we took a bus to cross the train track sections that were unusable, to a train, to another train, to Geneva, where we got yet another train (Swiss this time), and another train, and a bus to get to our hotel in Verbier. Needless to say it took all day...









    Switzerland was pretty expensive, restaurants were kind of reaching the outlandish pricing range, so we took a deal to have the dinner of the day at a mere $25/day. It wasn't great every night, but it was simple enough and onsite, so that worked :)


    2018/01/08 Day Visit to Annecy
    π 2018-01-08 01:01 in Trips
    Due to horrible ski conditions in Bourg Saint Maurice, Arturo and I rented a stupidly expensive compact car for just over 100 euros and drove to Annecy for the day.


    We first stop was at Paccard museum, next to one of the 2 factories in the world that makes giant bells. Cool place:







    keyboard to play static bells
    keyboard to play static bells



    You can listen to the video from the bells:

    We then drove around the lake to the north part where Annecy lies:




    Annecy old town is very nice, almost a small venice:







    lots of water due to recent rains :)
    lots of water due to recent rains :)






    We then went to the local castle which wasn't much, but had reasonably interesting displays in some rooms:




    old town
    old town


    Eventually it was time to walk back to the car and go home after stopping by a nice local cathedral:







    While Annecey is not a must do in France, it was a nice day tour for a day we otherwise couldn't ski. Thanks to Arturo for the driving there and back.

    See more images for Day Visit to Annecy
    2018/01/06 1 day at Tignes and portions of val d'Isère, and Shut Out the 2nd Day
    π 2018-01-06 01:01 in Snow

    Getting to Tignes and Val d'Isère from Bourg St Maurice is not that obvious. Many days have busses that leave at the wrong time, getting you late to the resort. This is why we went on a Saturday when the bus got us there early enough for opening time.

    leaving before sunset
    leaving before sunset


    nice weather when we arrived, although it was quite windy
    nice weather when we arrived, although it was quite windy

    packed powder in places
    packed powder in places

    but half of Tignes had pretty icy snow that was no fun to run.
    but half of Tignes had pretty icy snow that was no fun to run.

    We ended up crossing to Val d'Isère where the snow quality was much better:


    you can see the fierce wind blowing off that mountain peak
    you can see the fierce wind blowing off that mountain peak


    Tignes however had another face pointing on the right direction, so we headed back for that, after trying their funicular that is dug inside the mountain (and nicely avoids all issues with wind):


    direct to the top, no problems
    direct to the top, no problems


    Arturo found a friend
    Arturo found a friend


    We then went on the other side of Tignes where the sun had been softening up the snow and the top snow hadn't melted. It was actually quite good with nice views:



    still lots of wind, but the resort didn't shut off for it
    still lots of wind, but the resort didn't shut off for it






    It was then time to come down on the Val d'Isère side to catch a better bus than the Tignes side, and that got us home. This ended up being our best (and only) good ski day in that region:


    On our last day before leaving for Switzerland, and after another day of no skiing due to conditions, I was hopeful that Tignes would open. It was a nice day but with extreme avalanche danger. Sadly the road was not well plowed, so trucks got stuck on the way up. Our bus never made it to the top, we had to finish on foot (actually, it did make it, maybe 1-2H later for what we walked in 10mn).



    the road was not cleared or ready for cars or busses yet, it was a mess
    the road was not cleared or ready for cars or busses yet, it was a mess

    the lift we were hoping for, that we waited hours for...
    the lift we were hoping for, that we waited hours for...

    quite late, they started moving snow around to clear the roads
    quite late, they started moving snow around to clear the roads

    they were actually trucking the snow away
    they were actually trucking the snow away


    kind of fun to watch
    kind of fun to watch

    Sadly, we watched the rest of the day waiting for them to open something. First, noon, then 13:00, then 14:00, and still nothing by 15:00, well actually by 15:00 they had opened a couple of lifts that we couldn't easily get to, just as we were boarding the bus to get home :(

    by 14:00-ish, after refusing to sell us tickets when there was no line, a single person spent 1h+ dealing inefficiently with a long line
    by 14:00-ish, after refusing to sell us tickets when there was no line, a single person spent 1h+ dealing inefficiently with a long line

    as we were leaving by 15:00 in the first (and maybe only) bus of the day that was going to take us home, we saw a lower lift that had just opened, Sigh...
    as we were leaving by 15:00 in the first (and maybe only) bus of the day that was going to take us home, we saw a lower lift that had just opened, Sigh...



    Yeah, this was a frustrating day, even more so that ParadiSki had enough things opened that day and we had no way to get back to it until it was closing :(

    2018/01/04 1.5 days of disappointing skiing at ParadiSki (Les Arcs)
    π 2018-01-04 01:01 in Snow

    We had our hopes up, arriving during a snowstorm that made it hard to even get there, but sadly it was a warm snowstorm, and everything below 2000m got rained on.
    The next morning, we showed up at Les Arcs 1600, and they warned us that just about everything was closed. The bottom was for avalanche danger and crappy wet snow, while the top was closed for avalanche danger and high winds, so we just went home.



    what a shame given that quite a bit of snow did fall, even at town level (although it was wet with rain on top)
    what a shame given that quite a bit of snow did fall, even at town level (although it was wet with rain on top)

    The next day, we tried again, and only the bottom boring part of the mountain was opened. The top was closed due to wind again, closed as in we never ever got to see les Arcs 1950 and les Arcs 2000 during our 6 days there :( Still, bottom o fthe mountain without rain is better than nothing at all, so we went for that:

    ultimately it's an old badly designed mountain setup that doesn't account for bad weather, and segments itself as soon as wind arrives
    ultimately it's an old badly designed mountain setup that doesn't account for bad weather, and segments itself as soon as wind arrives



    Bourg St Maurice
    Bourg St Maurice

    The main train station
    The main train station

    a little bit of very wet powder
    a little bit of very wet powder

    one of the few bottom lifts (below freezing level)
    one of the few bottom lifts (below freezing level)

    more wet powder, not great but better than nothing
    more wet powder, not great but better than nothing


    cable car to La Plagne, the other side of the resort we never reached due to winds
    cable car to La Plagne, the other side of the resort we never reached due to winds

    By the afternoon, wind was still too strong to get to Arc 2000, but at least we got nice views:




    After a nice day at Tignes, we came back to ParadiSki the next day, and sure enough wind soon became a problem again :(
    I made the mistake of thinking the weather would be good enough to attempt a crossing to La Plagne to see the other side of the resort, but by the time we got to the cable car, the only ways to cross were closed due to wind and not scheduled to re-open. We then wasted time going back and undoing the long crossing we had just done, just to be told that the way up to les Arcs 2000 wws also closed due to wind, and that we weren't missing much anyway because virtually everything up there was closed, you guessed it, due to wind. What a crummy unsheltered resort...
    Needless to say that by then I was really starting not to start this resort, so much time wasted...

    early morning, things were looking open, but it didn't last
    early morning, things were looking open, but it didn't last

    we made a beeline for the cable car to the other valley
    we made a beeline for the cable car to the other valley

    we made it across to where it was nicely raining, and came back to our side so as not to get stuck
    we made it across to where it was nicely raining, and came back to our side so as not to get stuck

    nice village down there
    nice village down there

    back to Arc 1600, the boring part of the resort, but what was open
    back to Arc 1600, the boring part of the resort, but what was open


    Arturo seems always happy, no matter what :)
    Arturo seems always happy, no matter what :)

    I got more on the pissed off side, called it a day and went back home
    I got more on the pissed off side, called it a day and went back home

    what a shame everything was closed, the views were otherwise nice
    what a shame everything was closed, the views were otherwise nice

    And on this not high note, that was it for ParadiSki. If I had not made the wrong call of trying to go to val d'Isère on our last day, and getting stuck there without being able to ski at all, we might actually have seen a bit more of ParadiSki on our late day, but considering how unreliable this resort had been, I expected it would fail us again that last day, when in fact it had portions of it open when Tignes and Val d'Isère were virtually fully closed. Sigh...

    2018/01/03 6 days in Bourg St Maurice for Trying to Snowboard at ParadiSki Tignes and Val d'Isère
    π 2018-01-03 01:01 in Snow, Trips
    On Jan 3rd, I took a train to a train to a bus to a train to get to Bourg St Maurice. This ended up not being an easy rip since I was done right during a big snowstorm that disabled the rail to our destination. I did get there eventually, but it was much more work than planned.

    The rest of Bourg St Maurice is not much to see, just a good base to go to ParadiSki (les arcs), and have Tignes/Val d'Isère be about 1h away by bus. Sadly, the weather was crap as in warm crap. It rained on the bottom slopes (up to 2000 meters) while the top slopes were shut down for wind most of the time. I ended up only skiing 2.5 days out of 6, pathetic :(

    At least we got to enjoy some dinners and a side trip to Annecy on another day where all ski resorts were shut down due to the winds...

    The TGV trip was nice, too bad that train couldn't take me all the way to the destination
    The TGV trip was nice, too bad that train couldn't take me all the way to the destination

    then down to a regional train
    then down to a regional train

    and the snow version of it after bridging disabled tracks by road
    and the snow version of it after bridging disabled tracks by road


    We enjoyed food :)








    More pages: July 2018 June 2018 May 2018 April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 January 2018 December 2017 November 2017 October 2017 September 2017 August 2017 July 2017 June 2017 May 2017 April 2017 March 2017 February 2017 January 2017 December 2016 November 2016 October 2016 September 2016 August 2016 July 2016 June 2016 May 2016 April 2016 March 2016 February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 October 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2013 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 December 2011 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 February 2005 January 2005 December 2004 November 2004 October 2004 September 2004 August 2004 July 2004 June 2004 May 2004 April 2004 March 2004 February 2004 January 2004 October 2003 August 2003 July 2003 May 2003 April 2003 March 2003 January 2003 November 2002 October 2002 July 2002 May 2002 April 2002 March 2002 February 2002 November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 July 2001 June 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001 February 2001 January 2001 December 2000 November 2000 October 2000 September 2000 August 2000 July 2000 June 2000 April 1999 March 1999 September 1997 August 1997 July 1996 September 1993 July 1991 December 1988 December 1985 January 1980