iceclimbing in chamonix

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adventures / climbing / europe / france

after i signed up for an introduction to iceclimbing course in Chamonix, my climbing friend told me ‘ice climbing is something you do if you enjoy misery’.

gulps.

picture yourself at the bottom of the ice waterfall, belaying in the cold as the climber hits chunks of ice off with his ice axe. those chunks of ice just keep falling on you but all you can do is wait while he finishes climbing.

not too tempting eh?

but only when iceclimbing can you see images like this:

chamonix iceclimbing waterfall

see the stalactites and stalagmites and the ‘cauliflower’ in the middle, which forms when water bounces up from the base and turn into ice due to the freezing cold. gorgeous! while iceclimbing, we hook the iceaxe behind the cauliflower for leverage

chamonix iceclimbing argentiere french alps france

approaching the frozen waterfall

Argentiere Chamonix France French Alps iceclimbing

pristine and untouched

Argentiere Chamonix France French Alps iceclimbing

pretending to look happy

Argentiere Chamonix France French Alps iceclimbing

what i really feel – i don’t want to climb anymore!

Argentiere Chamonix France French Alps

my super nice guide Sebastien from Chamonix Experience (Chamex)

Argentiere Chamonix France French Alps iceclimbing

rappelling off the v thread anchor – scary!

 

busted my two big toenails which turned an angry purple at the end of day 1, thanks to a lack of experience and too small boots! i skipped out day 2 and stuffed myself with sufficient aspirin to make the throbbing pain go away and managed to join again for day 3. the other guy in the course is a very proficient climber but luckily he was very accommodating and friendly. my guide, Sebastien from Chamex is excellent, cheeky, knowledgeable and fun. great course!

open house london 2016

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london living

one of my favourite weekends in London apart from the typical climbing and cycling is the open house weekend. Open House London allows the public to explore buildings which we usually don’t have access to. Alas, i balloted for a slot to 10 Downing Street but didn’t manage to get lucky. However, I managed to get the last ticket to check out the new airbnb office and the tree house in East London.

timbre houses of hackney – too cool! so much environmental benefits – great way to reduce the carbon footprint of a building

The Treehouse
– Absolutely loved this house. The overgrown garden, the ramp to the bedroom, etc.

  

C is for cronuts at Rinkoff Bakery

Skinner-Trevino House
– My 2nd favourite house. Love the natural light bouncing off the walls which are all very well thought out. The glass extensions make the house look a lot bigger and more welcoming.

 

AirBnb office! my dream workplace :) 

Hidden House – quite cool with a night club dance floor and a pond and waterfall but not really my kind of house! feels a bit smaller than it actually is because there are too many features

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northern lights…

comments 5
europe / iceland

i must say, when the northern light dances in the sky, it is indeed mesmerising. many covert to see it, some tried but failed, some lucky ones did manage to catch this rare display of one of Earth’s finest works.

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first display of the Northern lights in the East of Iceland

Iceland Aurora

Northern lights near Reykjavik on 31 Dec 2016 – one of the finest moments when it dances and flashes, changing shapes every other minute. for a moment, you forget the biting cold and wishes it lasts forever.

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i much prefer photographing the Milky way instead (although this is shot and processed terribly)

norwegian wood (this bird has flown)

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europe / norway / trip itineraries

Norway Bergen

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finse norway

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it is without question that norway is gorgeous
and very expensive :P
i wished i had more time to explore – a long bikepacking trip would be great (not to mention tiring!)
the fjords are amazing. unfortunately, the kayak trips were all sold out! gotta plan in advance for summer i guess
loved oslo, not so much love for bergen

Detailed Itinerary:
Day 01: Arrive in Oslo
Day 02: Oslo
Day 03: First train from Oslo to Haugastol (06:25-10:31). Rent bicycle for Rallarvegen ride.
Day 04: Part 1 of Rallarvegen – 17 miles from Haugastol to Finse
Day 05: Part 2 of Rallarvegen – 34 miles from Finse to Flam
Day 06: Travel day from Flam to Voss, Voss to Odda
Day 07: Trolltunga! The Himmelstigen way
Day 08: Odda to Bergen
Day 09: Depart Bergen

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edinburgh

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europe / scotland

i left my heart in edinburgh!

edinburgh castle scotland

there is a castle on the cloud…

Scotlandedinburgh scotland

why i love airbnb!

sausage roll to die for

 
goodies at stockbridge market

Scotland

a wander around Dean Village – i really like this place as it is a lot less touristy than the typical Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat

edinburgh scotland

edinburgh scotland

a lazy day at calton hill

edinburgh scotland

i would walk 500 miles and i would walk 500 more

Scotland

Rewarded ourselves with a final farewell lunch at Timberyard

edinburgh scotland

the whipped butter is soooo good – with a tinge of vanilla

Edinburgh Scotland Edinburgh Scotland

a week in the Scottish Highlands

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europe / scotland / trip itineraries

scotland awes with her majestic and rugged landscape, despite the relentless wind and torrential downpour. when the weather is kind, you witness the glory of her beauty, and wish that you can revel in that moment forever. but that moment doesn’t last long ;) and you are left defending yourself against the brutality of the wind and rain. C’est la vie!

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Detailed Itinerary:
Day 01: Glasgow to Glen Coe (Dropped by Loch Fyne Oyster Bar)
Day 02: Day trip to Isle of Mull, Fingal’s Cave with Staffa Tours
Day 03: Fort William; Climb Ben Nevis  Glen Etive (where Skyfall was filmed)
Day 04: Drive to Isle of Skye via Glenfinna Viaduct
Day 05: Isle of Skye
Day 06: Isle of Skye
Day 07: Isle of Skye to Cairngorm National Park
Day 08: Visit Glenmore Reindeer Herd, Inverness, Cullogen Battlefield
Day 09: Drive to Edinburgh
Day 10: Edinburgh

 edinburgh calton hillreindeer cairngorm

wandering mind

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misc.


here I am sitting in front of my work computer, dreaming about 

; trail running in the national parks with my dog in the morning (I just read the story about an ultramarathoner who adopted a stray dog as she was running with him for half the race)

; finishing the run and going back to my cabin with natural light, fresh fruits and newspaper in toll

; taking a nap curled up with soft covers

; cycling along the sea and golden fields 

; going rockclimbing on the cliffs with warm sunlight and a gentle breeze 

; going home to enjoy a hot bath and wholesome food

; sitting by the fire, reading magazines with my cat 

and i get jolted back to reality with a reminder for a meeting in 10 min 

seven sisters hike

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hiking / london living

the seven sisters hike – 21km from Seaford to Eastbourne – probably the best hike nearest to London! stunning coastal views, beautiful weather, gorgeous white cliffs, all in a day trip.

The Chalk Hills of Sussex - Seven Sisters Hike

The Chalk Hills of Sussex – Seven Sisters Hike

To run wild and free..

To run wild and free..

the South Downs way

the South Downs way

The destination

The destination

From Seaford to Eastbourne

From Seaford to Eastbourne

Sunbathers and seagoers

Sunbathers and seagoers

looking back at the seven sisters

looking back at the seven sisters

catching butterflies

catching butterflies

lunch with a gorgeous view ;)

lunch with a gorgeous view ;)

my surly crosscheck

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cycling / london living

1st time riding with my Surly

so i have been zipping to work almost on a daily basis on my surly crosscheck. a good motivation is the exorbitant London transportation costs! i still can’t believe the prices here – one Tube ride in zone 1/2 is almost equivalent to a half pint of beer!hit 400km on my 6th week of commuting, plus weekend trips. a considerable feat! oh those 8km rides along Punggol Waterway pale so much in comparison. surprisingly, the roads here are pretty bad! and some parts of London are deceptively hilly.

joined a club for an introduction ride – struggled to keep up with their swanky road bikes which can be lifted with 3 fingers and their professional cleats. i regretted the moment i reached the meeting point. but they so nicely waited for me after the hills as i huffed and puffed my way up.

later joined the cycling ninjas for a 52 mile ride along the pilgrim’s way from otford to whitstable, which is more my type of cycling with gorgeous scenery and countryside. i wished it was slower though! pity there wasn’t time to take photos. i concluded defeat after 42miles when i spotted a train station – killed by those hills! but this is definitely the most beautiful ride in my entire life. hope to complete it one day!

i probably levelled up after riding more – the 56 mile ride from Stratford to Southend was doable. it was significantly less hilly than the Pilgrim’s Way. now, i’m considering the big one – the ride to Brighton in 2 weeks! it will be about 60 miles and from the looks of it, the people are pretty fast- they are looking to cycle there and back. still thinking…

but now, i’m in a quandary – should i change the 54cm surly crosscheck to a smaller one? this 54cm crosscheck seems too big for me. i should have checked properly before buying it secondhand, but i was anxious to get a bike and a secondhand Surly Crosscheck in Singapore and London was quite difficult to come by.

i probably should – my pro friend could tell by one glance at the picture below that the frame is too big for me. and i do want to build up a comfortable touring bike for my future taiwan round the island trip and japan cycling trips and many more! i’ve already swapped out the saddle for the classic Brooks B-17s (for the ladies) and am looking to change the brakes. These cantilever brakes are really not sensitive! and possibly change the pedals to a Shimano A530 for my commuting and long rides needs. i hope i’m not getting too carried away…

my surly crosscheck <3

my surly crosscheck <3