Night snow shoe and Fondu in La Givrine
Updated on March 10, 2015, by Michael Peberdy
Having lived in the mountains for a while now we have found that on the full moon in the winter it is very bright. You can see as if it was dawn or dusk (and sometimes even brighter than that). We had also heard that you can go out snow showing to a couple of restaurants in the evenings out across the snow.
This weekend we decided to do this with friends and it was a great experience. We rented our racquets in Les Rousse at a resonable EUR 7 per day and headed for Le Trelasse near La Givrine.
It was a great night and the fondu was fantastic. They have a great selection of different fonu's and if you are there in a group you can try them all with their 3 fondu pot where a divider is placed in the fondu and then 3 different fondus come in the same pot. My personal favourite was the nut fondu which I was apprehensive about before hand but was so tastey.
Although the walk to this restaurant was not very far there is some forest around and so after you can go for a nice walk in the woods under the moonlight.
Hope you can try this and enjoy it as much as we did.
Category: Lake Geneve and Jura
Scarpa - The way customer service should be
Updated on January 30, 2015, by Michael Peberdy
Over the years I have owned a number of Scarpa shoes. In fact my original full leather hiking boots are still going after 15 years and don't look like dying any time soon.
Last year, I bought a pair of Scarpa Crux approach shoes while in London. They are comfortable shoes and easy to use as an every day shoe.
After only two months though they had holes appearing in them where the shoe flexes over the toe. The holes went all the way through and started to leak water as well.
So, I did not think this was acceptable after two months as normal wear and tear and contact Scarpa through their website.
Within a day I got a pleasant response from the customer support desk and they agreed that this should not happen. Straight away they made arrangements to send me a new pair which did arrive before the end of the week.
THey have made some adjustments to the shoe which obviously had a design flaw but it was very refreshing to see a company that still prides itself on keeping its loyal customers happy. I am now enjoying my new pair of shoes and look forward to many more walks in Scarpa shoes.
Category: Sports Equipment
Tour du Mont Blanc
Updated on January 7, 2015, by Michael Peberdy
In 2014 my wife and I decided to do the Tour do Mont Blanc. It is an ambitious trail that takes you through many mountain passes during a 170km hike. You cross through three countries and witness some fabulous views along what is often a 10 day hike.
It is no easy hike and the preperation can be just as hard as the walk itself.
There are some invaluable resourses out there that you should read and or buy if you are also looking to do the walk.
http://www.walkingthetmb.com/ - This website has a lot of good information about the walk, some packing list suggestions and links to some local places to buy equipment.
You will also need to buy some 1:25,000 maps. Don't beleive those that say you can do it just with the guide book or that a GPS will be enough. To be safe you really need to have a map, even if it is just as a back up in the bottom of your pack.
The IGN 3630 OTR and IGN 3531 ETR are both laminated maps and between them cover all but the tiniest part of the trail.
The IGN A1 is a 1:50,000 map that also covers the whole trail.
The last of the necesary reading is a copy of Tour of Mont Blanc: Complete Two-way Trekking Guide (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Guides) which you can purcahse from Amazon or other book providers.
There are many way to do the TMB, be that by tour group with a guide, walking the tour and having your bags ported by car from night to night, taking a tent with you or just doing it in weekend walks through the year. All are rewarding and challenging in their own ways.
For us, we decided to take our tent, everything we might need and carry it the whole way. This was of course challenging and meant we were much slower than many of the people we met along the way (and believe me, you will meet many interesting people), but it gave us the opportunity to camp in some fantastic locations like this spot in the valley below the Refugio Elisabetta Soldini.
There are camp sites and refuges along the way for hot meals, evening drinks and dry places for those nights after a really wet day. Also be prepaired to change your plans and just go with the options avaliable for you. It also pays to check ahead if you intent to stay in some of the refuges. We went in late September and many of them had already closed for the season.
There are too many highlights to put all in one post, you really need to go on this walk for yourself, but you can view some of my photos from the photos from the tmb here.
This walk I also learnt the vertue of poles on these longer and challenging hikes and you can read my post on poles here.
Don't think that this walk is beyond you. You saw many people raning in age from 16 to 80 doing this walk. All it takes is the right amount of preperation and some general fitness and determination. The long nights in the tent or refuge will rejuvenate you for the next day and you will be good to go for each of the days of the walk.
If you would like more information about the places we stayed, the route we followed or further information on our experiance then leave a comment below or reach out to me.
Enjoy your travels and don't worry too much about the ladders at the end. I am scared of heights and managed to do it still.
Microsoft Wireless Display Adaptor
Updated on January 4, 2015, by Michael Peberdy
Recently I was trying for the first time since getting my Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to display m screen out to my tv. With previous computers it was quite simple, I would just plug in a regular monitor cable into both my vcomputer and my TV and then also an audio cable so the the sound would come out through my suround sound system.
However, with my new Surface, this posed a problem as the device only has a mini display port. I therfore went looking for an alternative.
While searching I found the Microsoft Wireless Display Adaptor that runsd on mirorcast on the US website for Microsoft.
This device is so simple to use. Yopu just plug it in to both the HDMI port on your computer and then a USD port for power (can be either on the tv or direct to a power outlet) and it is ready to go. As soon as you change to the correct channel on your TV it will start activating and then you can connect your compatible devices to it.
The device receives both video and audio and actually allows you to continue using your wifi connection at the same time.
A small problem I found with getting this device is that it is not yet released in Europe and so finding reputable places to buy it can be more difficult. Here in switzerland I puirchased it from Brack.ch and although it took longer to deliver than they advertised it arrived quick enough and I am now enjoyuing the benifits of this device.
I would recomend the device for anyone with a windows 8 device and the packaging also says that this is compatible with android also.