“Skiing” the Swiss Alps, Grindelwald

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ski in the Swiss Alps so, naturally, this:

Was at a conference in Milan and have a friend who lives in Bern who had invited me up to his place for a couple days. Bern was great, his place was great, the food was great, people generally great, just that the skiing was:

Unfortunately only had two days to choose from for skiing and this was for all appearances the better of the two. Riding a train to go skiing was interesting, and I liked that there were people with skis waiting at every station through which we passed (and that all Swiss trains seem to have ski storage facilities at every door). All the fellow skiers seemed content to ski  the groomers, although this may have reasonably been a function of (a) poor coverage in the non-groomed areas and (b) high likelihood of getting lost in the ubiquitous miasma.

The urinals had soccer goals in them that I thought were cool:

Otherwise, though, it was mostly foggy. We skied the first half of the day on the Kleine Scheidegg side, then took the train down the hill, walked 15 minutes to the gondola, and went up to the First side. It wasn’t better, but it WAS slightly different. All the Talabfahrts were gesperrt, which seemed unfortunate given that there would have been some trees there to break up the flat light. Each lift seemed to have only one skiable run. The goulash soup in the one hut was pretty decent. Rental skis picked up in Bern were not well tuned. Had never been on chairlifts with the bubble screens before; they were cool, if maybe unnecessary on the given day (wind was no problem). It was good to see that Swiss snowboarders also like to make unpredictable stops and turns, made me feel more okay about being an American. Swiss German is unintelligible to me (I’m reasonably fluent in German German).

Here are more photos, because otherwise it seems like too bleak of a post:

On second thought, not sure those photos helped.

So, next time — yeah. I’m not sure a day like this gives any reasonable indications for how to approach skiing in the Alps next time. Next time try not to go when the mountains are beset with inescapable fogs.



  • Jon Jensen

    Sehr schade! I think your other photos did help a bit.

    But you can rejoice in the fact that I played your mod/s3m files Hundenfutter Ewigkeit & Tal der Ahnungslosen for my kids the other day. I had dug up U4ia’s Christmas pudding mix for them to show where I first heard Wham’s Last Christmas in highly abbreviated form. Somehow I missed that in the ’80s, zum Glück.