Monday, May 9, 2016

St. Anton am Arlberg - Austria

Do you like snow? Do you enjoy yourself being on the mountains? Do you consider yourself a nature lover? And most importantly, do you like skiing and snowboarding? Then you might take St. Anton am Arlberg as a strong consideration.
St. Anton, in the Austrian Tirol, is one of the world’s best known resorts. Its serious terrain attracts the hard-core skiers, putting it up there alongside Chamonix and Jackson Hole, and it has hosted the Alpine Skiing World Championships on several occasions, most recently in 2001. St. Anton’s reputation also extends to its famous après ski scene too with the Krazy Kanguruh a strong contender for the title of ‘the Alps most legendary ski bar’ for nearly 50 years.
But this cult ski resort isn’t all about tough skiing and hard partying. Its broad appeal has expanded along with the Arlberg ski area, which now stretches to 340km of pistes (one of the six largest ski areas in the world) and offers skiing for all abilities. Off the slopes, you’ll find a wide range of shopping, dining and accommodation with plenty of luxury/gourmet choices, excellent leisure facilities and a pedestrianised centre.

St. Anton is also one of the few ski areas that can claim to be where it all began: the Arlberg Technique of downhill skiing, which developed here over a century ago, is basically the style we’re all skiing now. Pioneer and local boy Hannes Schneider took the technique on a world tour to Japan and the USA, spreading the sport of skiing around the planet, the rest, as they say, is history.

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What is going on in Venezuela with all the signatures?

Venezuela’s opposition cleared an initial hurdle in its promise to hold a referendum on the rule of President Nicolas Maduro, with the national electoral council approving the release of a form used to gather signatures.
The opposition now has 30 days to collect the 1 percent of registered voters, said Luis Emilio Rondon, a member of the electoral body, on the Globovision network. The national electoral council said the opposition needs to get signatures from 197,978 voters across the country.
After winning a majority of Congress in elections late last year, the opposition has seen most of its initiatives blocked by Maduro and a Supreme Court he appointed right after the elections. After winning 112 of 167 seats, the opposition pledged to free political prisoners, unwind more than a decade worth of socialist controls on the economy and seek the removal of Maduro within six months.
“It’s a democratic mechanism that is supported by 70 percent of the country,” opposition governor and two-time presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said in a statement on Tuesday. “They can’t take away the right of the people to decide.”
The opposition will suspend a march that had been scheduled for Wednesday once it receives the forms from the electoral council, Capriles said.
Maduro has battled low approval ratings as Venezuelans face shortages and triple-digit inflation in the wake of declining oil prices that have sapped government revenue. The economy will likely contract 8 percent this year after declining 5.7 percent last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Should the 1 percent threshold of registered voters sign on in the next month, the opposition must then work to collect signatures from 20 percent of the electorate before the national electoral council can authorize a vote on whether or not a referendum on Maduro’s rule should be held, opposition lawmaker Milagro Valero said.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Drastic Change

My fellow followers and active members of my blog, 

I know that your desire for reviewing mountain is still vivid and constant for more interesting facts about our mother nature and our beautiful planet we call home, however, I am going to make a drastic change in my blog and I hope that you, my followers, my inspiration, accept my new idea in the world of blogging. 

The change is simple but drastic: I am going to start writing about anything and everything, about the highlights of the week, whether it is very important news, a very interesting fact, or a review of something in specific. In my opinion this would make this site a more diverse and broader blog, which will not consist only one topic but several topics. The point intended is to inform and educate you, my admirers. You are welcome. 

Now, with no further talking, let's get into business. 

This week’s blog is going to consist of soccer, my favorite sport and the one that I have been following throughout my life. But specifically, this week I am going to write about the match that occurred at Anfield, Liverpool this last Thursday. The match was stunning and consisted of a lot of tension from not only the fans but also the players. The game was Liverpool vs. Dortmund, a match that was expected to be very active.

Liverpool produced one of the great Anfield comebacks to beat Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League quarterfinal.

Dejan Lovren's header secured an incredible 4-3 victory on the night, and secured the Reds (Liverpool) their place in the last four after one of the most stunning games of football you could wish to see.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mount Mitchell - Yancey County, North Carolina

Mount Mitchell is the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest peak in mainland eastern North America. It is located near Burnsville in Yancey County, North Carolina, in the Black Mountain subrange of the Appalachians, and about 19 miles northeast of Asheville. It is protected by Mount Mitchell State Park and surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest. Mount Mitchell's elevation is 6,684 feet above sea level.

The mountain was named after Elisha Mitchell, a professor at the University of North Carolina, who first explored the Black Mountain region in 1835, and determined that the height of the range exceeded by several hundred feet that of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, commonly thought at the time to be the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains. Mitchell fell to his death at nearby Mitchell Falls in 1857, having returned to verify his earlier measurements.

A 4.6-mile (7.4 km) road connects the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to a parking lot where a steep paved 980-foot (300 m) trail leads through a conifer forest to the summit. The 40-foot (12 m) stone observation tower on the summit was torn down in late 2006. A new observation deck was constructed and opened to visitors in January 2009. Also on the summit is the tomb of Dr. Mitchell.

The summit area of Mount Mitchell is marked by a humid continental climate with mild summers and long, moderately cold winters, being more similar to southeastern Canada than the southeastern U.S. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 25.2 °F (−3.8 °C) in January to 59.1 °F (15.1 °C) in July. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the state occurred there on January 21, 1985 when it fell to −34 °F (−37 °C), during a severe cold spell that brought freezing temperatures as far south as Miami.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Yosemite National Park, California - U.S.A

Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra.
First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.
Yosemite National Park is a United States National Park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in the central eastern portion of the U.S. state of California, commonly considered part of Northern California.
Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, giant sequoia groves, and biological diversity.
Furthermore, rock climbing is an important part of Yosemite. Camp 4, a walk-in campground in Yosemite Valley, was instrumental in the development of rock climbing as a sport, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Climbers can generally be spotted in the snow-free months on anything from ten-foot-high (3 m) boulders to the 3,300-foot (1.0 km) face of El Capitan. Classes are offered by numerous groups on rock climbing.
The name "Yosemite" (meaning "killer" in Miwok) originally referred to the name of a renegade tribe which was driven out of the area (and possibly annihilated) by the Mariposa Battalion. Before then the area was called "Ahwahnee" ("big mouth") by indigenous people.

Truly, this is an incredible National Park that has its reasons for being that well known nationally as well as internationally. Personally, visiting Yosemite is on my bucket list and if you are one of those who enjoy nature and feel more free and connected to nature by doing activities like rock climbing you might take Yosemite as in consideration. 

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Mt. Whitney - California, USA

Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, rises like the phoenix from the western rim of the Great Basin Desert of California. At an elevation of 14, 495 feet, Whitney looms high above Death Valley, the lowest point in North America at 262 feet below sea level, less than 100 miles to the east.
Located within the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of Sequoia National Park, Mt. Whitney is situated on the east side of the Great Western Divide, a chain of mountains that runs north/south through the center of the park, and is therefore not visible from any of the roads to the west.
But Mt. Whitney can easily be viewed from nearby Lone Pine, California (hotels) on U.S. Highway 395, which runs north/south along the eastern foot of the Sierras. Highway 395 can be reached via Interstate 15 near Victorville, California, over Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park (summer only) or by coming south from Reno, Nevada. There are no roads across the Sierras in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Mt. Whitney is the most frequently climbed peak in the Sierra Nevada, and perhaps the entire U.S. The summit can be reached most directly via a 10.7-mile trail from Whitney Portal, 13 miles west of Lone Pine. Ice axes and crampons are needed in spring and early summer, but technical climbing equipment is not usually necessary between mid-July and early October. During snow-free summer months, some individuals in excellent physical condition can climb to the summit and return the same day.

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Friday, March 4, 2016

Pico Bolivar - Merida, Venezuela

In this blog I will be writing about one of my favorite peaks in the world, that peak will be the Pico Simon Bolivar, the highest peak in Venezuela and ranked as the 25th highest peak in the world according to the SVG Version of the highest peaks by prominence.
One of the things the caught my attention from this peak is its glacial retreat, in which it is estimated that in 1910 the area covered by glaciers was around 10  km2, divided in two large areas, one embracing Picos Bolívar, Espejo and Concha and the other embracing Picos Humboldt and Bonpland. But nowadays, almost all the glaciers of the area had disappeared, with the exception of a two small glaciated areas in Pico Bolivar and Pico Humboldt. It is forecast that at the current rate Venezuela will lose by 2020 all its glaciers, making it the first Andean country without any glaciated area.
By personally being in Pico Bolivar, these facts that has been recollected about the downward of our ecosystem hits me pretty hard and makes me realize that there are changes that have to be done.

This picture shows Pico Bolivar in 1950 in comparison from 2011 and the glacier breakdown that has been occurring since then.
But there is another special thing about this peak, and it that there is the possibility to reach the peak by taking the Merida Cable Car and when it was still operational, it was the highest and second longest cable car in the world for just 500 meters, but was in first place for being the only one which combined such height and length. Mérida Cable Car was a journey of 12.5 kilometers, reaching a height of 4,765 meters, making it an engineering marvel that was one of a kind and had over 40 years of history. The whole system was opened to the public in 1960; it was closed indefinitely in 2008, with a declaration that it had reached the end of its service life and is being rebuilt. In 2011 it began a project of total modernization of the cable car which promises to become the most modern in the world, this project already has a 75% advance and its reopening is expected to be in July 2016. It is expected to be one of the most modern in the world.

I took this cable car when I was 10 years of age and it was exceptional. It really makes you appreciate the view a lot more and makes be in the moment. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Aogashima Volcano/Island - Japan

From place to place, exploring this beautiful Earth. That is what we are doing in this blog. Now, I have got the opportunity to share one of my favorites: Located in Japan, The Aogashima Volcano/Island.
You may have heard of Hachijojima Island, but most of you (also most of Japanese even) have never heard of Aogashima Island near the island. The island is located 358 km away to the south from Tokyo city center. It is still under the Tokyo city government administration but, with it’s around 160 villagers, is the smallest village in Japan.
The island is one of the mysterious islands with beautiful nature. It is a volcanic island 3.5 km in length with a width of 2.5 km, formed by the remains of several calderas.
Since the population in this island is so small there is one post office and one primary/Jr high school.
With only 160 people living, there is only one postal address to this island and the post worker delivers based on "name" of individual. With some people have the same family names...tough job for her/him.
Now let’s say that you want to visit the Island, how would you get there? There is no direct transport from the main island of Japan to Aogashima. You need to go to Hachijojima (which is 70km away from Aogashima) first and then take a helicopter or ship.

Once you arrive to Aogashima, You will be stunned with its beauty. Beauty that enlightens and represents our mother nature, and our beautiful home.

aogashima island, how to get aogashima island

 Nature on Aogashima island

aogashima night view

Friday, February 19, 2016

Aconcagua - Mendoza - Argentina

Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Western hemisphere, located in western Argentina, near the Chile border. There are about 3,500 climbers trying the summit each year (info from 2002). The "Normal Route" is non-technical - a walk-up, following the Northwest Ridge. It is the altitude that poses the most problem. That and the sense that this is an easy climb. Every year people die because they underestimate the task at hand. Respect this mountain and you will fare better. You should not attempt to go climb alone, you should always have someone watching you. Much of the hiking is on scree. On the Normal and Polish Traverse routes there are no permanent snow fields, but crampons and ice axe may still be required in some sections. If you are fortunate the final 1,000 feet is covered with ice and snow. You can then crampon up this much more easily than when it is loose scree after a dry winter.

An issue if you go through customs at Santiago airport. There is a good chance that you will have all meat and dairy products from your expedition food confiscated upon entering Chile. Stay in transit and take a short (45 min) flight on Lan Chile or Aerolineas Argentinas to Mendoza, Argentina.

Personally, Aconcagua is shockingly amazing and colossal. Having in mind that I have been to the mountain itself, adds tons of attachment for me to this piece of nature's art.

If you ever go to Argentina, or Chile, I'd strongly recommend to go to Mendoza not only to see the Cordillera de Los Andes, but to also drink some of the finest wine in the world.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Uluwatu, Bali

Let's change the setting a little bit for now.

Let's not only change the climate and the people that live there, but the continent. Let’s take our time to learn a little bit more about our earth, and what it has to offer.
Now, we are going to talk about the amazing country of Indonesia, specifically a city called Uluwatu, which is on the south-western tip of the beautiful peninsula of Bukit-which is a smaller peninsula within a bigger one(Bali). Uluwatu is home to the Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple and is the number four surf destination in the world for surfers of all abilities.
There a plenty of interesting and fun things to do in this beautiful peninsula. Exploring the Bukit peninsula lends itself very well to a rent motorbike. A number of the nicer beaches are reached via small roads or dirt tracks and a motorbike is the best method. Motorbike or scooter give you solution for jammed traffic.
Uluwatu Temple is one of Bali's nine key directional temples. Though a small temple was claimed to have existed before, the structure was significantly expanded by a Javanese sage, Empu Kuturan in the 11th Century. Even more remarkable than the temple itself is its location, perched on a steep cliff 70 meters above the roaring Indian ocean waves. There are more steep headlands on either side and sunsets over Uluwatu are a sight to be seen.
Uluwatu is a very well-known destination among surfing enthusiasts. Most of the surf spots are only suitable for advanced or expert surfers though - the waves are big here. The main surfing spots are Dreamland, Padang-Padang, Bingin/Impossibles and Suluban.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

The Matterhorn in Zermatt – Switzerland/Italy

The most famous peak in the Alps, the Matterhorn in Zermatt, stands 4,478 meters high. Mountaineers flock to this town to conquer this technically difficult peak, and Zermatt also offers skiing and beautiful views. There are also non-skiing activities, good restaurants and lots of energetic nightlife for visitors to enjoy.

The Matterhorn peak is in between Switzerland and Italy. One of its sides faces Switzerland and the other faces Italy, and the name is derived from the three common languages. The German name Matterhorn derives from the words for "meadow" and "peak." The Italian name (Cervino) and French (Cervin) likely originated with the Latin word for forest, silva, though some believe it comes from the Italian and French words for “deer.

If you like sightseeing, exploring, or even climbing in a professional matter, The Matterhorn is an awesome option for such activities, however do it with extremely caution since more than 500 people have died while climbing or descending the Matterhorn—an average of three to four per year.

And for those who love chocolate here is an awesome fact about The Matterhorn: The logo of the famous chocolate Toblerone is actually The Matterhorn peak, which symbolizes power and the incredible places Switzerland contain.