I was getting excited for the McLaren car launch on Friday, followed by Ferrari on Saturday, so the unannounced Force India one certainly caught me by surprise.
Comments from Force India state the nose isn’t the actual one being used. Given the views on the net seem to be that the noses for 2014 will be pretty ugly, it looks like Force India has given themselves a temporary nose job.
First impressions draw you immediately to the new colour scheme. The prominent white since launch replaced by black. I have to say, I like it.
I think it really works well with the green.
As mentioned the nose itself illustrates the most obvious design change. Looking closely it appears there is also a fin on the white area in front of the wheel. The width of the nose will be interesting to see.
Another area of interest is the side pods. Looking at the wing mirrors, they seem rather small. Unless there is a proportion thing going on in the picture, it looks like the side pods could be quite wide. The bottom curve in toward the car seems less defined which would suggest the air intake is larger.
The camera itself also seems to have taken on a new design. I may be wrong.
The rear is tightly concealed, with a tighter and lower rear wing.
Can’t wait to see the whole car, but importantly, I think its going to look very mean on track!
Soooo. Part 2 of the skiing. Lunch is done and we head up to Gifthittli , just short of Gornergrat in the search for Igloos. Apparently we passed them yesterday but I honestly didn’t notice. Two of the people I’m with, Vicky and Chris, insist (to a point) they do exist. Lets hunt them down!
We left the Scottish contingent for our quest…and because they had ordered a full lunch.
Gondola up to Riffelberg, which interestingly has a train, similar to one in Snowdon, runs all the way down from Zermatt to Gornergrat.
From Riffelberg we get a chair lift up, giving us the option of a series of reds to our left, or blues to the right. Blue 36 is our route. Again before we ski down we get a cracking view of the Matterhorn:-
Blue 36 was wide with some nice turns, which mid way down reveals the igloos we were searching for. (more…)
Distance covered: 19.35 miles
Max speed: 34.44 MPH
Average moving speed: 8.05 Mph
Max Height: 11414.21 ft
Min grade: -34%
Unfortunately I know these stats are inaccurate as we actually covered more than my map tracking indicates, unless I’ve invented teleportation.
What a day! Too much written so I’ll summerise the key points:-
Went to Switzerland
Helped a guy who crashed on a black run
We found some igloos
Don’t ever do drag lifts
So first off I learnt a few things about my goggles from yesterday. I didn’t record as much as I thought as it turns out the max record time per video is 6 minutes. Also , 6 minutes at full 1080p at 30 frames per second is a lot of data (of course). So for today, took it down to the lowest setting to see how it comes out.
I recorded a great deal of videos today which also helps to serve recalling where we have been and done in greater detail. However, doing this is actually quite time consuming. In addition, the files themselves were not great quality as they were recorded in QVGA (320 x 240) yet still came in high for file size, so sharing the files isn’t possible right now.
As our visit to Switzerland was such a success, we took the others from within our usual skiing group plus a Scottish extension who didn’t come with us yesterday over. The routes over there were too good not to share!
To assist with what I’m going to explain, here is a map of the are and the corresponding runs:-
Slightly different change in the start from yesterday. We started at 10am but took 3 chair lifts from Plan Maison up to Theodupass which is lower than where the cable car runs to and stands at 3,301m / 10,830ft. It meant we entered Switzerland slightly lower down and had to take what turned out to be quite a tight, precarious but thankfully short route to get to the other runs we hit yesterday. It did bring us on to Red 80 which was nice and wide but with some elevation on it. This led to blue 73.
Part of this route runs adjacent to a t-bar drag lift, which also crossed in to the run so we had to keep an eye out so we didn’t collide with anyone going the other way, a bit crazy. (more…)
None – I messed up
FINAL POINTS ON DAY 1
Before I begin going in to the details of the actual skiing, a few final points from the final day.
The Italians doing the boot fittings were prats.
They gave me one set, I tried them on and immediately said they were too small. They said I need to fasten the bindings, I said I wasn’t going to as the boots were too small so pointless. Surprisingly they got very angry with me and told me to fasten them. I told them I know that fastening the bindings pushes the foot back in to the boot but it remained too small. I asked for a larger set and the person refused! He told me the current set was fine! Asked someone else who reluctantly got me a larger set. These were instantly better, binding done and no problems. The original guy remained angry with me.
I moved on to the ski fitting which was much better. Old chap and lady efficient and knew their stuff.
Later on my uncle went down and was told to go away until 17:00 as they were too busy. My uncle could only see 3 people in there. Evidently some Italians don’t like doing some work!
Other feedback on the hotel front, bar area large with plenty of seating. Also a pool and football table. Not checked on the pool table but the football table was free and in good condition.
Comms are poor on the wifi and mobile front. Multiple attempts to connect but just left it.
We had a few beers in the bar and played my dad on the football table. I was convincingly beaten which is hardly surprising.
Food good followed by a few more drinks in the bar until 12am. (more…)
When we did take off, advised the flight is 1hour 35 as we have a favourable tail wind. It was bang on. Bumpy over the mountains and worryingly cloudy.
Still, an easy flight as Jason Manford standup kept me entertained. Let my dad use my Bower and Wilkins P5s which he loves. You can’t have them dad!
Passport control and baggage reclaim pretty fast. Certainly looks like Turin are getting to grips with volume now which is good to see.
One and a half hour coach ride to Cervinia, so shorter than anticipated. Annoying start as the Crystal rep was talking through stuff over the coach speakers for about 10 minutes but was clearly reading from a script for the first time so it was horribly fragmented. I’m not interested in buying anything extra, not after less than 4 hours sleep anyway.
As promised, plenty of snow which we could see on the way up, but looking a bit windy. The extra stuff I’ve got starting to look handy now
Initial impressions on the hotel are good. Rooms bit short on storage space but I’m not expecting 5* accommodation.
Helped to bring in other bags – quite some older folk here (hero) and unpacked. Wrote this whilst I wait to get boots fitted for 15:00.
Here endeth the notes on the travel.
The none glamorous side of the trip. Flying out.
03:15 start. Stayed over in the Premier inn and went out for food and a couple of drinks at the Weatherspoons in Altringham. Caught the end of the Arsenal Spurs game, looked like Splash was back again (how on earth was that recommissioned), then a return of Take Me out. Gutted there wasn’t any sound!
Taxi to airport at 03:55.Flight out 06:20. Flying from Manchester to Turin. Expected flight time 2 hours, with a further 2 hours coach trip.
Usual drill at security with the added benefit of setting the body scan alarm off. Frisked, everywhere(!), shoes also scanned. Not only that my bag also scanned, must be all those wires I carry around with me…
Decent breakfast for £10 and start preparing the content for the blog. Yeah living the high life here. “Who’s that idiot with his massive laptop out”. On the plus side, I shared a page about the top 41 Georgie Sayings which is quite a read – http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/newcastle-sayings-updated-top-47-6466922.
Started to board the plan at 05:50, no fuss. This is how flights should be, none of the Ryan Air nonsense!
Another year, another skiing trip. Getting a bit boring this now. As if!
This time I’m going to Cervinia in Italy. Over 400KM of piste. All the bad weather and flooding has been good for the snow over there. I believe 2 days ago there was 2 foot, a previous dump on the 27th on December too with more to come.
Having said that forecast for the next few days has been advised as fog. Could make for some interesting lighting conditions and cold temperatures to contend with.
However I’m prepared for it. For the trip, I’m taking some new gear with me too:-
What we’ve got here is some funky stuff.
I’ve only run with one pair of gloves which last year did mean my hands were getting cold toward the end of the week.
I didn’t necessarily need a new thermal top but the site I was buying the goggles from were doing 20% off so thought why not.
Balaclava has come in as last year there were some really cold spots, especially around 16:00. For the last two years we’ve been lucky enough to have had clear skies and sun, but should it snow, it’ll get pretty horrible.
The hat for the evening, should we go out.
The neck warmer was a Christmas present from my girlfriends sister and fiancé. Brilliant gift as I was going to get one for myself. Really comfortable too.
Finally, the goggles. Those that know me know I’ve been agonising over these for a couple of year now. It’s been these and Mod Live compatible goggles which have a HUD, connect in to your phone and also do speed, altitude, link in with maps of the area. However, my phone does most of this anyway so made sense to go for the camera.
It also has a HUD, records video and takes photos in 1080p if required. Also have a temperature gauge too.
All this means I should be getting some good videos and photos to share.
Bring everything together and you get this:-
Last day – Journey home
Up at 05:15! Bus departure at 06:00 for those flying to Manchester. Only 3 from our hotel and our stop was the first for the hotel. So glad I packed most of my stuff briefly following the football yesterday.
We made numerous stops but it felt like it took an hour to actually get out of Pila and its various annexes.
Arrive at the airport in Turin 1hr 50 minutes later and get checked in straight away. Through security which looked poor; you could get a Challenger II through there. We met up with the Gatwick lot who left the hotel at 05:00. One of them who was up with me until 02:45 wasn’t feeling too great, hardly surprising. I dispensed some Panadol extra.
Distance Covered: 25.81 Miles
Max Speed 42.74 MPH
Average Moving Speed: 8.22 MPH
Max Height: 8706.94 ft / 2653.9 Metres
Min grade : -35% – unfortunately the period between read outs may have missed the steeper gradient.
The final day skiing has arrived. Plan to finish early, avoid injuries and get back for the football. Expecting the slopes to be busier as the locals come up.
Started at 09:30 and my word it was cold. Think we were at -7C without wind chill. It was indeed busier, with noticeable queues for the lifts. It was fragmenting the group. No more making sure everyone was on the chair with us, very much a case of get on with whomever.