This weekend showed exactly how much of a playground Switzerland is. I took a day off on Friday to go skiing, but plans fell through so I ended up sitting at home planning Saturdays adventures on Friday morning. Once I had a rough plan I decided I needed a dose of the outdoors so took my bike out for a ride in the snow. I did a couple of hours around my local area taking in as much snow covered singletrail as I could. Some trails that don’t get a look in during the summer proved to be a lot of fun with about 20cm of snow on the ground. Everytime I got a section of trail that went even slightly downhill I was grinning like a loon, and ended up blasting out of the bottom of the trails giggling to myself. Good thing there was no-one around to see my silliness.
Saturday started with an early train towards Central Switzerland. The plan was to go to a tiny lift in the middle of nowhere that we had heard some rumours about. To get to this lift is an adventure in itself. We got off the train at a tiny stop in the middle of nowhere, then had to walk for a while to a small cablecar that literally seemed to go nowhere! At the top of the cable car another 25 minute hike and then we came to the bottom of a small seat lift. We seem to have heard the same secret as about 100 other people as there was a long que waiting to get on the lift when we got there. 100 people may not seem like much, but the lift can only take 8 people every 7 minutes or so!!! We were a little disillusioned and started looking for plan B which fell through due to another lift in the area being closed. We waited patiently for about 45 minutes before getting on the lift. From the lift we saw the area we would be riding. The impatience from spending so long standing in line started to evaporate, we rose above the clouds, the sky was blue, the powder underneath looked perfect (even if a little tracked). We started spotting lines back down from the lift and got to the top brimming with anticipation of the ride ahead.
After getting off the top of the lift we hiked a few metres up a ridge, clicked into our bindings and dropped over the cornice. I straight lined for a few metres and then did a few turns to test the snow. Despite it being tracked the snow was perfect, each turn had that floating feeling that only comes with about 40+cm of fresh snow. The disappointment of seeing the crowd at the bottom of the lift was gone and all that was left was the pure elation of riding powder. By putting in a couple of traverses at various points it was possible to find some pockets of untracked thigh deep powder. When we got to the bottom the que had gotten a little smaller and our enthusiasm had gone through the roof. We did a couple of more runs with different lines every time, each line was better then the previous, and we even discovered an area where hardly nobody had been yet on our last run which we took the whole way down to the valley. This was the powder day of the season so far, the train ride home was all smiles with each of us vowing we were going to check out this area again very soon .
I knew all the resorts were going be really busy on Sunday so we decided to have an easy day and stay in the Zurich area. We skinned/snowshoed up to the top of Bachtel in Zurich Oberland and then found some fun lines to ski/snowboard back down to where we started. Not a bad afternoon within 30mins of Zurich city centre!!!
Once again a truly epic weekend in an amazing playground.