ENGELBERG: SNOW & SAFETY DAYS
Switzerland, I’ve never been there at least not for skiing at least. As my parents weren’t into wintersports at all, I had to finance it all myself, for which to be honest, Switzerland is still quiet expensive for an Architecture student. Thankfully I got offered the possibility to visit Engelberg, my first choice of resort which I would choose myself if I had to choose. A Snow&Safety clinic was on the forecast, unfortunately no new snow (yet) thusfar, as most of the Alps. I’ll take you along with me on this adventure, in this photodiary style blog.
Sunday 16:43 Arrival by train
I wouldn’t call myself an extreme environmentalist as I still eat meat and drive an old VW t4 van, but I like helping nature out where I can, as I still want to ride powder when I get kids. So I choose to travel by train, this roundtrip saved 500kg of CO2, the average European emmits around 10.000kg per year, so this 5%, doesn’t go unnoticed.
Almost there! Beautiful hue on the clouds Diner for one; cheesefondue
Monday 9:33 Avalanche theory on top of mount Titlis 3238m
Our guide Freddie what can I say about this dude; absolute local legend. As we met with our group in GO-IN Sportshop he came on his bike with a PVC pipe strapped to it with his skis in it. Just by the way he talks about his craft, you know he is really passionate and knowledgeable.
With a 360 view on top of mount Titlis in the 5 story mountainstation, (which dedicated the whole 4 floor to luxury watch and juwelry, that I find, quiet…. extraordinary) we had our theory course. From the basics such as reading the avalanche bulletin to the more in-depth stuff like; map-reading with a special ruler calculating the degree of a slope.
Just look at him, born mountainguide.
Monday 13:12 Basics of avalanche search
Whilst enjoying the beautiful sun we got explained how to execute a search and rescue using your avalanche beacon, probe and shovel. Engelberg has a perfect training center for that. Half of our group was already familiar with this exercise and the other half was new to it, for both Freddie had plenty of information and details.
|For me not the first time doing an avalance course|
but better trained once too often, then once to little
The Engelberg avalanche training center selected how
many victims you want to have buried in your “avalance”.
First off we had our Touring day planned on Wednesday but Freddie made the call to do it on
Thuesday and what a good call that was (more on that later). Our tour consisted of a nice decent towards the Engstlensee, putting our skins on and hiking up around 850hm to a peak with an amazing view.
Freddie showing us the route
On top of the Engstlensee
Putting the skins on, for most a new experience!
Amazing view to the East
The last steps towards the top!
Icy, but a fullfilling decent
Tuesday 16:23 BBQ
After the skitour we all were hungry and were greeted with a nice BBQ, a beer and an unexpected avalanche airbag testing. Avalanche airbags are in the elevator by means of its popularity, ofcourse they are, they are becoming more cheap and people are choosing more often than ever, the offpiste.
At the town square where GO-IN is located they lighted a BBQ, with local meat and bread
Yep they are frikkin’ loud!
Wednesday 7:00 POWDER!
Freddie, the man the myth the legend predicted the pow on Wednesday, and right he was; when I opened my window curtains Engelberg was WHITE! After eating freshly baked warm bread from the monastery in hotel Hoheneck, I grabbed my skis and took a run towards the busstop as I couldn’t wait to ride to powder up there!
Wednesday 10:12 Lines for days
We took the first lift up and were greeted with powder to our knees, it dumped a ton up there last night. I enjoyed every single centimeter we rode. Freddie knew exactly all the places where to go. But most of all the safe places to go, throughout all our descents he explained some stuff to watch out for if we go off-piste ourselves again. Easy tell tale signs.
Unfortunatly my day ended short as with already bad eyesight where I have trouble seeing depth, the overcast/white-out conditions weren’t helpen and threw myself into a nasty crash minor injurying my shinbone, nothing big but enough to call it a day unfortunatly, I was extremly bummed ofcourse. But thankfully there was also powder waiting for my in my homeresort in Austria.
MORE INFO: WWW.ENGELBERG.CH