Monday, May 30, 2011

Buzz Beurling

I invite MVC members to visit the Messager site as there is an interesting article by Bob Dubois who interviewed Rick Beurling, Buzz's younger brother who gives us anecdotes on his famous brother. Rick mentions that they lived at 315 Rielle street wich is no longer there.

Rick divulges a lot of new anecdotes wich makes the article that much more interesting.

The Verdun Messager site is at:


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Free Admission to Montreal Museums Today

                                                         Today May 29th the Museums in Montreal offer Free Admission ,so if you are fortunate enough to be in the Montreal area,then you may want to take advantage of today's annual deal.....................if you do,tell us what you saw.                                                                                                                                        MONTREAL - Sunday marks the 25th annual Montreal Museums Day.

A total of 32 museums across the city are offering free admission to their permanent and temporary exhibits until 6 p.m. Free public transit is also available to transport visitors between the museums. There will be outdoor activities, arts and crafts workshops, concerts, tastings, demonstrations, science experiments, films, games, rallies, historical re-enactments, presentations, shows and guided tours.

For a full list of the participating museums, click here.

Read more:

Friday, May 27, 2011

42 Years Ago @ the Queen E (actually May 26th,1969)

             It was 42 years ago yesterday that John & Yoko checked into the Queen Hotel for their week in bed in Montreal.The room number 1742 , hey Do you suppose that's a BIXI bike in bed





       " All we are saying is Give peace a chance" ------Lennon


..........hey no bike in this shot,guess they didn't get the bail out news....

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beach @ the Old Port Montreal Next Summer 2012

The Old Port of Montreal is getting a beach – but you’ll have to wait a year. And you won’t be able to swim there.

The beach, to open in May 2012, was announced in a speech Wednesday by Claude Benoît, chief executive of the  Old Port of Montreal Corporation.

“The urban beach will feature real silky sand along with sun loungers and coloured umbrellas, bordered by a boardwalk,” according an Old Port press release. “It will be able to accommodate up to 800 people.”

Benoît said it will be “inspired by the Paris Beach (“Paris Plage”) project in France and similar sites in Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest and Prague, our urban beach will be located on the lower berth and the tip of the Clock Pier.

“It will provide a fun and friendly experience, with a unique holiday atmosphere close to downtown. Montréalers will be able to access to the beach starting in the summer of 2012.”

A spokesperson said there will be no swimming. “You’re by the port there and the current is too strong,” he said.

                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~    HF&RV   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

NDG turns 100 ( I would have thought it was older)

  Notre Dame de Grâce marked its 100th anniversary as part of Montreal last year.

Today, it’s a subsection of huge Côte des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grâce (official PDF map here), the city’s biggest borough.

N.D.G. still has a distinct history and character but its identity is in flux.

Among things that will help shape the future are the MUHC superhospital now going up. Some in the working-class St. Raymond neighbourhood fear they’ll be inundated with the hospital’s traffic. Meanwhile, other parts of  N.D.G. are being gentrified, displacing lower-income residents.

Lots of fodder in these and other issues for Imagining NDG, a “multimedia community art project” launched this month that explores the N.D.G.’s past, present and future.

Documentary filmmaker and Concordia prof Tim Schwab directed the project, created with graduate students, artists and community residents over the past four years.

You’ll find:

- nice archival photos and maps from the past (though I wish they were bigger, showing more detail). Click on the photos to see them and then click them again to move on.

- slideshows of present-day photos with voice-overs (one voice I recognized was that of long-time city councillor Sam Boskey).

mini-documentaries that focus on the future and that are the highlight of the project, particularly one about a graffitist and another about Hillbilly Night at the Wheel Club on Cavendish Blvd.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

6 Story Building to be Built on former CKVL Lot

An article in the Verdun Messager today mentions that a 6 story building with 35 condominiums is projected to be built at the former CKVL site but not without a group of local citizens contesting the project.

I am intrigued by the sign: Robin Hood présente Piano Quiz ?. The piano player was no doubt Billy Munroe wich would be the 50s period.


70 years old ,..Yikes ,.the Times ARE A Changin -Bob Dylan Turns 70

         Somehow, a chorus of “Happy Birthday” just doesn’t cut it for Bob Dylan, the Poet Laureate of his generation, today as he hits the milestone of 70. First and foremost, Bob didn’t write it.

Not surprisingly, the momentous occasion is being observed in many quarters. Rolling Stone magazine has devoted the cover of its latest issue to him, for a story listing the 70 greatest Bob Dylan songs as selected.

Tonight at the Grammy Museum here in Los Angeles, author and historian Sean Wilentz (“Bob Dylan in America”) and journalist-author Mikal Gilmore will lead a musical and philosophical exploration of Dylan’s legacy following a screening of Murray Lerner’s documentary “The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965."

            And—gulp!—AARP magazine, the publication of the American Assn. of Retired Persons, also has a Dylan cover piece in which the editors coaxed Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Judy Collins, Mavis Staples and Martin Scorsese into writing a few words in recognition of their peer/hero and/or friend.

Not to be outdone, Pop & Hiss views the occasion as a chance to offer up a salutary bonus episode of Dylan’s brilliant radio series, “Theme Time Radio Hour.” Number-conscious guy that he is, Dylan signed on with XM (now Sirius XM) satellite radio and delivered exactly 100 shows from 2006-2009, each devoted to a broad swath of songs reflecting a given theme, such as the Devil, Christmas, Cadillacs, Jail. Then it was time for he and those famous boot heels to be wanderin’. (TTRH had still been part of the Sirius XM lineup in reruns until, ironically, this month. It’s been taken off the air to make room for the Earle Bailey show.)

So with all humility, here’s a chronologically organized playlist of 70 minutes’ worth of Dylan songs spanning nearly 50 years, songs that reference various facets of age, a topic that’s surfaced repeatedly in his music over the decades: birth, death, youth, maturity, fate, heaven, hell, existentialism, spirituality, generational differences, paradise, past, present and future.

The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964, from the album "The Times They Are A-Changin’" ) (3:12)

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

My Back Pages (1964, "Another Side of Bob Dylan") (4:23)

Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding) (1965, Bringing It all Back Home) (7:29)
He not busy being born is busy dying

Absolutely Sweet Marie (1966, "Blonde on Blonde") (4:54)

Well, I don’t know how it happened
But the riverboat captain, he knows my fate
But ev’rybody else, even yourself
They’re just gonna have to wait

Forever Young (1974, "Planet Waves")  (2:48)

May your heart always be joyful
May your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Buckets of Rain (1976, "Blood On the Tracks")  (3:23)

Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must
You do what you must do and ya do it well

Dark Eyes (1985, "Empire Burlesque") (5:06)

Time is short and the days are sweet and passion rules the arrow that flies
A million faces at my feet but all I see are dark eyes

Most of the Time (1989, "Oh Mercy") (5:04)

Most of the time
I’m halfway content
Most of the time
I know exactly where it went
I don’t cheat on myself, I don’t run and hide
Hide from the feelings that are buried inside
I don’t compromise and I don’t pretend
I don’t even care if I ever see her again
Most of the time

Tryin’ To Get to Heaven (1997, "Time Out of Mind")  (5:20)

I’ve been walking that lonesome valley
Trying to get to heaven before they close the door

Not Dark Yet (1997, "Time Out of Mind") (6:27)

Well, my sense of humanity has gone down the drain
Behind every beautiful thing there’s been some kind of pain
I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still

Summer Days (2001, "Love and Theft") (4:52)

She’s looking into my eyes, she’s holding my hand
She says, “You can’t repeat the past.”
I say, “You can’t? What do you mean,
you can’t? Of course you can.”

Bye and Bye (2001, "Love and Theft") (3:16)

Well the future for me is already a thing of the past

Beyond the Horizon (2006, "Modern Times") (5:34)

                 Beyond the horizon, behind the sun
At the end of the rainbow life has only begun
In the long hours of twilight 'neath the stardust above
Beyond the horizon it is easy to love

It’s All Good (2009, "Together Through Life") (5:27)

Talk about me babe, if you must
Throw on the dirt, pile on the dust
I'd do the same thing if I could
You know what they say, they say it's all good

Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again-----How's this for Good News-Hey it's in the Gazette

        MONTREAL – A tanker ship ran aground Monday morning in St. Zotique, about 70 kilometres southwest of Montreal.

There were no injuries, no spillage of the ship’s contents and no damage to the ship, said Marie Gaudreault, a spokesperson for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. The incident has not disrupted maritime navigation, she added.

The vessel is the Sten Suomi, a Norwegian-flagged ship that is 144.2 metres long and 23.2 metres wide, she said. It ran aground at 8:25 a.m. after it dropped anchor.

“I don’t know why it dropped anchor,” Gaudreault said. “Something must have happened and it needed to drop anchor. When it did that, its bow hit the river bottom slightly.”

The ship’s cargo holds were empty at the time. According to, the ship was built in 2008 and its last known destination was New York.

Gaudreault said the location of the ship where it went aground was the Pointe au Foin area, a point of land just south of the town of St. Zotique. The riverbed at that point is mud and sand, she added.

A team of investigators was headed there at midday Monday to determine what happened.

It is expected the ship will be eased out of its position with the help of tugboats, Gaudreault said.

We Made it ..............................................that's 'good news' isn't it ? --lol






.... Did You Get the T-Shirt:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

1702 Map - Fort in Verdun

This 1702 map shows that there was a fort in Verdun. I have discovered that the fort was built in 1662 but it raises a lot of questions. The map shows the fort facing Herron island wich is facing LaSalle. What I am trying to find out is where exactly was the fort situated. My guestimate is that it was between Maison St Dizier and the LaSalle border but it might have been as shown on the map as the borderline may have originally been further west.

It would be interesting to know where exactly the fort was situated so that a monument or at least a plaque be installed to commemorate this important Verdun historical event. Now that a museum is close by (Maison St Dizier) the location of the fort would be interesting to know.




Fearless Fosdick had Nothing on this guy.....Yikes ! Makes riding bikes down the riverbank look a little Tame

Monviso North Face – Coolidge Couloir 05.05.2011 – 1st Snowboard Descent

3841m (skied from 3785m) ; 1100m, 500m 50°-55°, 600m 40°-45° ; North ; TD+ ; 5.4/ E4

Known as the “Re di Pietra” (the King of Stone) in the Southern Alps, with its 3841metres, Monviso is a spectacular isolated stone pyramid dominating the entire Alpine region of Southern Piedmont and the plains below.
Taking its name from the latin Mon Vesulus (the Visible Mountain) Monviso is, on a clear day, visible from the spires of the Cathedral of Milan.
Aside from its imposing height, it is famous for its shape, remoteness and the fact that the River Po, Italy’s longest river, has its origin and source from the glaciers of Monviso.
Spending my childhood up in the hills of Asti, my birthplace, fifty miles southeast of Turin, Viso always attracted my attention on clearer days.
Back then, adventure and exploration were not yet part of my everyday life and I would later learn that when I was 2 years old, a brave ski instructor from Limone Piemonte, a certain Nino Viale, climbed the North face by the Coolidge Couloir and made a ski descent wearing jeans (22/07/1975).
Growing up and increasingly turning my attention to the mountains, I was quickly galvanized by the stories surrounding the ‘King of Stone’ and its legends of folklore being told in the neighbouring valleys.
As a teenager and in my early 20’s I was passionate about skiing initially with snowboarding to follow but any huge descents on skis or board captivated me, and the Coolidge Couloir soon became part of my morbid dreams.
The vicissitudes of life led me along other paths but dreams remained, albeit buried in the back of my mind. Sometimes when we least expect, our dreams flood back into reality and suddenly materialize before our eyes. I believe it is the highest bliss that we can be given, the potential to experiment in achieving things that once were just dreams and seemed far out of reach.
Now I could see it was a possibility that I could live my dream.
The atypically dry winter locally meant that it felt like we’d had no winter at all, thus allowing me to travel and learn about new places. The beautiful Dolomites, the Dents du Midi, the Eiger in Switzerland and finally Monviso in the Cozie Alpes, all had enjoyed abundant winters, unlike Chamonix.
Looking for new lines that could make me dream, I started to turn my attention out of the Chamonix valley where now there is a daily rush to ski the Mallory with 3 or 4 rappels.
Thanks to the internet, exchanges of vital information bounce quickly to and from one valley to another and within a few weeks I had communicated my interest in the North face of Monviso, particularly the first snowboard descent of the Coolidge couloir to some of the locals and friends in the Cuneo-Turin area.
The responses were always the same; “there is ice below the Corda Molla” (the name of the saddle on the left of the middle part of the upper couloir ).
Considered the most difficult snow and ice route in the Southern Alps, is not even mentioned in the guidebooks or on internet sites due to the difficulty it has getting into condition.
This being the reason why apparently, up until this month, it had not been skied from above the Corda Molla for more than ten years and never in its history by a snowboarder.
The latest snowfall in recent days had finally changed something and when you live for certain runs, your sixth sense begins to tickle….
To be in the right place at the right time is a unique sensation in life.
Fundamental to the achievement of these “perfect moments” are the local friends that give the green light.
In a world where everything is moving faster and faster, exchanging information seems necessary and governs every moment of our lives…texts, phone calls, unexpected emails… it was time for me to disconnect from this reality and live the dream.
I will always be indebted to Enzo Cardonatti for giving me the best gift, his knowledge, “Go and see … I think it’s the right time. ”
I suggest a trip to the Monviso to my partners Ben and Cedric, Ben accepted straight away while Cedric was not so convinced, especially after I sent him a picture of the line!
Following a quick check over several contrasting weather reports on Tuesday night, we all agreed and decided it was worth a try.
When we reached the tunnel we were stopped by French border police asking us where we were going; we told them “We’re going skiing on Monte Viso” the policeman answers us “ah c’est une tres belle montagne le Viso!” (ah Monviso it’s a really nice mountain!).
This provoked laughing from our van where a still sceptical Cedric had earlier revealed his perplexity about this mountain of which even the name he was unfamiliar with!
They let us leave with a smile and pretended not to see the stash of beer stored in the front compartment of the van … we would be glad for them on our return.
After roughly three hours of driving we arrived in Crissolo Pian Regina where the road ends and where we met Mattia arriving from Milan

C’est partì…

Crissolo (Italy)…I want a house like that

Walking time…

We walked along a path for about 250m of vertical difference and then put skins and snowshoes on.
This time I opted for a bit more sacrifice on the way up and a bit more safety and fun on the way down so I left the splitboard at home.
I came to regret this choice in the three and a half hours it took to reach the bivouac, sinking every two steps up to the knee and being swallowed in huge gulfs by the rocks

The scary north face of Monviso…at the top under the rocks is visible the upper part of the line

The bivy, eagle nest at the base of the couloir

I arrived at the six-place bivy at sunset thinking we would be home alone but I discovered it was a full house with 2 other Italian skiers spending the night in this eagle’s nest perched at the foot of the couloir.
I knew one of the two, we’d spoken a couple of times on the phone and despite the lack of space we spent a good evening chatting and joking, finally in my native language


It’s a 6 place bivy and we were..??…..6 !!!…could have been worse


We awoke at five am, had breakfast and prepared to leave.
Cedric, who spent the night in the luxury “penthouse suite” part of the bivy, powered off ahead and by the time the rest of us left the bivy he had already opened nearly one hundred meters of track.
We caught up fast, passing the two sections of mixed ground and reached the “Ghiacciaio Pensile”, the hanging glacier

Mattia Varchetti

First crux

The snow was cold and deep and as I hit the track towards the superior Coolidge, I heard Beo, one of the other two guys telling me “There are too many of us, you guys came from afar, I know that you took care to make sure you got the first line, we will go to Perotti (from the hanging glacier begins two other shorter couloirs that do not exit onto the summit, the Central and the Perotti).
I felt sorry for them although at the same time very grateful for this gesture, I am glad we can still meet such kind hearted people in the mountains. Beo, I owe you one!

On the “ghiacciaio pensile”…towards the second crux

Above the second crux

Almost at the icy pitch…will there be a way through?…

After the second mixed ground section, we get into the heart of the upper Coolidge, approaching the part of the line that we were unsure about, approx 50m of blue ice on which we had hoped (after the last snowfall) a thin strip of snow would be attached that would allow us to pass without taking off our skis and board. We had heard of two who had skied from above “La Corda Molla” the previous weekend but had no news about this passage.
I was leading when, close to the sea of ​​blue ice, I saw a white strip on the right and break the silence … “yeah we can go through!”
The morale shot back up, Cedric, ’bootpacker of the day’ in supershape, took turns with Mattia and Ben in opening tracks in the snow slopes above the corda molla with two more mixed ground passages.
We quickly arrive at the rocks below the summit, behind us the clouds are coming up fast forcing us to make a painful choice.
Summit ?…(with 70-80m vertical difference of easy mixed ground separating us) or Super ski with great visibility and make beautiful images?
It does not take long to decide, in the end we are junkies of steep big turns rather than alpinists and summit collectors so we start to dig a footing in the sugar snow allowing us a bit of balance to be able to put board and skis on

Yeah there’s a way through, some snow of the the last snowfall stuck on the ice…above ” la Corda Molla”

On the final exposed snowfield

End of the snow

Time to put skis and board on…

…Rock ‘n Roll

Here we go! … Not even time to do the first three turns required for a proper psychological adjustment and one of our worst nightmares began unfolding in front our eyes.
Traversing left to the sunny exposed slope, Cedric is pulled down by a rotten snow slide. … I see him trying to make his skis grip to no avail.
Everything runs fast before our eyes but the moments passing become an eternity.
Bumping up against a stone, he stopped for a moment, trying to resist but the mass of snow is too heavy and it forces him to jump about a metre off the rock….we are on a slope at 55°superexposed!!!
The idea of a tragedy hits us like a dart of lightning hurled from nowhere … then, thankfully but incredibly, he stops a few meters away from the abyss separating him from the void.
Silence reined for a few moments; perhaps as a sort of prayer and recognition that something or a number of things coincided at that moment to avert almost certain death.
He traversed to the right where the snow is colder and indulged in his moment of inner reflection. Now it was our turn to negotiate the passage where the snow slid leaving uncovered rocks

Exposed…and full of sharks

The descent of my dreams did not start in the best way … or perhaps, yes it did… all depends from which perspective we look at things

Cedric meditating about how lucky he has just been…

After the first steps of mixed we are on the slopes above “la corda molla” (we used the rope on two meters of rock step, because after what we had just witnessed we do not want to risk more on this exposed passage).

Here I lived one of the best experiences of my life. We skied an airy ridge that leads to the lower slope with a feeling of being in the void, as if to be skiing in the sky.
Below us is a sea of clouds covering the Pianura Padana (the big flat that runs to the far northeast Italian corner) and a constant spindrift, saturated air filled with billions of tiny crystals of cold snow, our sluffs slipping fast on that sea of blue ice to our right, thus creating unique visual effects.
We look at each other awhile to share this magic moment, intoxicated and in awe of the experience that we are living together

Magic Place



Flying…was like riding in the sky

Next crux is waiting for us, the narrow passage between ice and rocks, a strip of snow 20-25cm deep and 4-5m wide.
I go first trying to be light and not cut the thin layer of snow; the first two turns slide fast then the front edge touches the ice, slightly bouncing.
Fear pushes me to stop but I know that this is just question of a few meters, I leave the board to slide and I stop just a few meters below on the left, away from the sluff of the others

One of the highest moments of my life


Freeride style in the Coolidge

The section that follows is one of the reasons why life is worth living.
We link fast turns on perfect snow heading a bit right and a bit left to avoid the sluff and soon we are at the narrow exit.
We place a rappel to pass the few meters of mixed ground separating us from five or six turns at mc12 on the Pensile…what conditions!!!

In the core of the couloir, below the “Corda Molla”

The Flagship…the best big mountain board ever!

On the ” Pensile”

We rappel another twenty meters to pass the rocky step and enter into the lower Coolidge after which we side step, traverse and jump little rocky steps for about thirty meters before using the rope again to pass the last un-skiable twenty meters (someone down-climbed all this pitch…we prefer starting and finishing with skis and boards on our feet).
Still a small rocky step jump and we are finally out of trouble

Skiing the mixed section after the rappel

Last small obstacle to jump and we are out

We ski, with that usual warm pleasure that comes from the release of tension, the last part of the couloir and in the fog we reach the bivy to collect our belongings

More relaxed turns

Soon after (and this always seems to be in a thick fog) we try to find the quickest way to the valley where beers fit for giants are awaiting us.

I wish to warmly thank my team mates Cedric Bernardini, Ben Briggs and Mattia Varchetti for sharing one of the most beautiful and satisfying experiences of my life.
To Enzo Cardonatti a huge thank you for your information and invaluable advice ensuring that this dream became a reality.

This line has everything you could look for in a big mountain line: a beautiful mountain, great length of line, constant steepness, exposure, technical mountaineering passages … and on top of that we were lucky enough to find a variant increasingly rare in recent winters, the cherry on the cake on this kind of line … the high mountain compressed powder!