Friday, February 3, 2012

Hasliberg Switzerland - Avalanches, Powder and Schlittenfahren

This past weekend me and some friends made a quick trip to Hasliberg for some skiing and mountain relaxing. Here are some photos of our trip! Needless to say the skiing and snow conditions were not perfect. There had been 5-6 medium to large recent avalanches the largest ripping about 2.25meters deep, all the way to the ground, and 100meters across. This instability more than likely developed over the previous 2 weeks as temperatures were significantly warmer. Making all the recent snowfall very wet and heavy. These slides were on South and Southwest facing slopes. The other thing that was not so nice was the abundance of fog and Zero visibility. However, we made the best of it! I got some very nice powder turns in with my new friend Nick and his friend Simon. Even though I couldn't see a thing, the turns felt great! Our second day there we decided not to ski, instead we rented some toboggans and raced them down from the upper mountain after a morning of tasty beers and warm drinks. Jupppiiiiiii !!! The upper mountain was quite beautiful on this day with the fog rolling in and out with moments of cozy warm sunshine and views of the mountain.
The Red areas are all Natural Slides. The largest is on the far Left
Middle Avalanche from above
Group Hasliberg 2012

Lone Wiggles

Nick Shredding No Visibility Pow

Working the Super 7's

No Visibility

Sandra Stoked to Ski
Zero Degrees and Peaceful

Fog Rolling In

Headwall View from the Kuhstall Bar Magisalp

Tasty Hot Drinks

Marcos and Sofie Watching the Fog

Peak in the Distance

Poking through the fog


Linda and Sandra! YAY

Killin' it Marcos

My View of Big Mountain Sledding

Sofie going fast


Monday, January 30, 2012

Christmas in Grindelwald Switzerland

I arrived in Switzerland on December 15th 2011. This was the first time I was away from my family over the holiday season. As excited as I was to be here and to have new experiences I still missed the people I usually spend Christmas with, but so much that I didn't have a great three days in the mountains. Waking up early on Christmas eve, me and Sandra jumped on the train in Baden bound for Grindelwald arriving around 10am. The weather had brought snow the night before which was still heavily falling from the clouds that cloaked all the surrounding mountains. After renting skis for Sandra and securing a room at the local "Mountain Hostel" we boarded the train that took us up to the Kleiner Scheidegg, which is the pass between the Eiger and the Lauberhorn. Here there is a train station, hotel, restaurants, and ski lifts that serve as a central area of the Grindelwald and Wengen Ski areas. The snow up here at elevation seamed to be falling harder than down in the valley a 1000m below. Visibility was not great to say the least, however the snow quality was the best I had skied all year, not too dense, soft, and piling up fast. We bumped around to a few different areas but not being able to see more than 20-50 meters made navigating and skiing interesting at times. Finally around 4pm we retired to our room back at the hostel to relax a long day of skiing almost blind. After accidentally falling asleep for a few hours we made our way up to the village to get some dinner, as we walked it was clear that the snow was not going to let up this night. eventually we decided on a restaurant where we indulged in some classic Swiss dishes Röschti and Älplermagrone.
Mmmm...So fattening and tasty this meal put right into a "food-coma" When we awoke the next morning, Christmas, the clouds had cleared and views of the 3500m - 4000m peaks that surrounded the valley were astonishing. It is always so wonderful to wake up amongst such giants, especially when they were not visible the previous day. So blue bird powder skiing is probably one of my favorite things especially when it is lift served and not skied out in an hour. Heck we basically had the mountain to ourselves, what a great Christmas gift...faceshots and cliff drops. Even though I was away from everything that was familiar to me for this time of year this was a Christmas I will remember.

Grindelwald from the train station. So snowy
The Cog-Train up to Grindelwald

Steve and Sandra on the T-Bar
Rega Helicopter rescue on the Pistes. I was literally 20m away from this, yes it was cool to watch
Ridin' the T bar

The North Face of the Eiger out of our window in the morning
Mannlichen Gondola

North and West Face of the Eiger
Mannlichen Gondola

Sick Pow Turns! Farmin' It

Wetterhorn from the Ski area

The Eiger and The Monch

Epic Euro Skier

Big Beer Big Mountain

Helicopters are neat!

Hungary Birds!

They are always watching
Kleine Scheidegg Hotel

Kleine Scheidegg below the Eiger, the Monch, and the Jungfrau

Kleine Scheidegg from below

Pow Turns

Making Big Freeride