Monday Oct 13, 2008

Hiking a stone's throw from home - a weekend away from work

We're exceptionally lucky to live in the French alps, with a view from the house that we never get bored of:

view from terrace

The only thing with having such a beautiful view is that it's just calling out to be climbed...but the "Grand Colon" requires a little courage before heading off, with some 2400m altitude, and over 1000m vertical climb (4000 feet) from the nearest access point.

I first hiked up there a few years ago with a friend... last year, I took my wife, stopping off en-route overnight in a mountain refuge for a weekend away without the kids (fabulous).

Yesterday, we went up with the entire family, myself, wife and kids (aged 9, 6 and 6), plus a group of friends. I'm especially proud of the kids!

It's pretty spectacular up there, and this kind of thing makes for a great work / life balance!

grand_colon



Friday Jul 06, 2007

Rock climbing - the Mont Aiguille

mont aiguille The Mont Aiguille (literally "Needle Mountain") is a giant rock structure, with vertical walls, the shortest being 600 feet high.

I had fun this weekend with a group of friends climbing up its sheer face.

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Monday Jun 04, 2007

Fun fun fun

On a slightly off-topic note, I had fun this weekend jumping off a bridge...

Getting ready to jump

This was my 39th birthday present from my wife and 3 kids. Just goes to show you shouldn't make throw-away comments about this kind of thing as you drive past the bridge! I've been told you're meant to have a list of things you want to do by the time you're 40, well, I don't but this might have been on it if I had one! Quite a different sensation from parachuting or paragliding, and the weightlessness at the top of the bounce back up is very different from the weightlessness of scuba diving - it's really quite exhilarating!

Friday Sep 08, 2006

Introduction

Nick Stephen is a software architect with over 15 year's experience, and is responsible for several Java-based management technologies at Sun Microsystems, where he has been working for the past 8 years. Prior to that, he worked for the Open Software Foundation Research Institute where he developed MkLinux on PowerMacs, and worked on the Mach microkernel and on Java middleware amongst other things. Before even that he worked on Operating System internals for massively parallel systems at Inmos Ltd.

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