Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Budapest Half Marathon

 A bunch of our friends signed up to run a half marathon in Budapest, Hungary.  It was the perfect time in Cassy's marathon training plan, so we decided to join in the fun.  We both trained for the run and it went really well.  The course was nice and flat and went through the city and along the river.  With 6,000 other runners, there was a great vibe.



My feet hadn't been doing well during the 7 weeks of training.  The race didn't help.

After the run, we were allowed free admission to the Budapest thermal springs.  There are pools from freezing cold to super hot.  The giant pool behind Cassy was like a giant hot tub.

 We didn't exactly have the place to ourselves, but we're starting to expect crowds...it's the normal European scene.

The Wynn Family

I shot photos for some friends of ours a couple weeks ago.  Cassy and I had a great time trying to get 3 kids and 2 parents to look at the camera at the same time.  Out of several hundred shots, we had a few successes.

I found this spot at the river just below a climbing crag.  I love the white Dolomite limestone and the clear water.

The Maniago Piazza

Sunday, October 17, 2010


We made on overnight camping/climbing trip with our friends Pete and Lauren to Arco, Italy.  The town of Arco is a main focal point for climbing, wind surfing, and mountain biking in northern Italy.  

Our "alpine start" consisted of an 8 a.m. wakeup, followed by croissants and coffee in a cobblestone square in Arco.  Then we perused several of the gear shops for a couple hours before finally getting started on our via feratta.

Gorgeous view from the campground.  As you can see, European camping means pitching a tent within inches of your neighbor's campsite.

 The Arco castle sits on top of this cliff, directly above town

Our objective was Monte Garsole, the peak towering above us.  

Pete gears up for the via feratta

 This feratta was steep and strenuous and had amazing views.  Big air!

 Pete and Lauren

 Cassy ascends the cable

 We didn't want to leave Jess in the car, so we brought her with us.  She stayed still in my backpack for over 2 hours of vertical climbing.  She divided her time between staring into the valley and napping on my shoulder.

 Lauren airs it out on one of the steepest parts of the route

 Cassy bringing it strong after running 18 miles (and climbing 4 pitches) the day prior.  My wife is a superwoman.

 Jess makes this move look easy.

Pete, Cassy, Luc, and Jess with the town of Sarche in the background 

 This summit register had a brand new book for us to sign.

 Lauren finishes the steep climbing

 Jess at the summit.  I don't know if there's a better dog on the entire planet.
 Summit ridge

 Christmas card photo?  Thanks Pete.

 Summit photo

Even the descent had nice views

Trieste Climbing

Our new friends Pete and Lauren took us to this sweet crag overlooking the Adriatic Sea.  It's just over an hour from our house and will offer warm climbing all winter long.

Cassy gears up for one of her favorite disciplines of climbing: clipping bolts in the sun

Before I knew what was happening, the shirt monster swept through the area.  Luckily, the weather was perfect.

 Photo by Pete

Cassy snapped this sweet shot of Lauren finishing a lead on perfect limestone.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WWI Tunnels

Determined to spend a day outside, we drove with our friends Pat and Jordana through 2 hours of pouring rain (which then turned unexpectedly to snow), in order to hike through the World War I tunnels at Falzareggo Pass.  In blizzard conditions, we almost drove back home.  But when we saw that the gondola was still running, we decided to ride it to the top anyway.  It turned out to be an awesome day and by the time we emerged from the tunnels the weather had cleared.  

The moral of the story: don't cancel outdoor plans just because it's raining.

The gondola ride took us up about 1000 meters in 4 minutes.

Pat at the summit

 From the summit, we hiked for about 15 minutes to get to the entrance to the tunnels.

 Even with the bad weather, we weren't alone.  This is the norm in the Dolomites.

 Barbed wire left over from the Great War.

 Pat and Jordana just before entering the tunnels.  You can see the incredibly steep terrain the Austrians defended.

Tens of thousands of Italian and Austrian soldiers died fighting in the Dolomites.  According to our guidebook, more troops died from avalanches in the Dolomites than died of poison gas during the war.

We descended through the tunnels for almost 2 hours.  We spent lots of time wondering how troops got food and other supplies during the harsh winters.

Headlamps were required, but every so often a window offered some light and amazing views of the cliffs and the valley below.

 At the lower end of the tunnels, we escaped to Martini Ledge, which was a crucial position for the Italians.

The weather cleared a bit and we had sweet views.