Friday, March 18, 2016

Resort Skiing 2014-2015 Ski Season

With a "bun in the oven" and snow arriving later in the alps than usual, our 2014-15 winter ski season was relatively weak. We hit the resort ski slopes only a few times (of course after getting my doctor's blessing) before the baby bump made its appearance.

Ursern Valley Nordic Trails

Since the winter ski season arrived later than usual this season, we weren't able to go skiing until January. Thankfully a friend invited us to join her on a cross country ski trip in December. Neither of us had tried the sport and figured it was a great opportunity to try out something new. We decided to dedicate one day to each of the two styles: the classic style on Saturday and the more athletic "skating" style on Sunday. A local shop arranged our rentals and a private morning lesson on the basics of the skating technic. We stuck close to the rental apartment in Realp in the Ursern Valley because we were newbies and didn't have the stamina to travel a large distance. Nonetheless, it was fun weekend trying something new.
And in classic Swiss style, there were plenty of well marked cross-country routes to explore.
Cross country skiing with Swiss friends.
One afternoon of cross-country skiing with the classic technique...
...and one day of cross-country skiing with the skating technic.
I hate to toot my own horn but I must. This was the first time that I was naturally better than Q at something.
Sleeping on the train on the way home after an active weekend never gets old.


A last minute ski itch took us to Hoch-Ybrig. We rented a car around the corner from where we live and within an hour we were in a parking lot full of other skiers with the same itch. The conditions were great with fresh powder, sunshine, and enough terrain for everyone to spread out. And Europe did not let down with a delicious lunch in a hut in the middle of a piste.
Nothing like a fresh layer of snow to make driving through Switzerland more beautiful than it already is.
Wide pistes and pockets of powder.
Way less crowded than we feared.
Today's lunch special...
...a sausage reclining in a hot tub of soup.

Haslital in Berner Oberland

Our last ski trip of the season was a quintessential Swiss ski trip. We joined friends on their annual ski trip for an overnight stay in a rustic Swiss hut in the Berner Oberland smack in the middle of a ski resort!

One person guy organized the whole weekend, reserving the hut and doing all the grocery shopping for the group of 14 people. Everyone pitched in by transporting groceries from the resort parking lot up to the hut by the resort's gondola. Since everyone had a backpack with their overnight gear, ski clothing and a sleeping bag, it was easy to top off everyone's backpacks with communal food.

The accommodations were rustic, yet charming with a ski room, kitchen, dinning room and bathroom on the ground floor and two large sleeping rooms above - plenty of room for the 14 of us to comfortably spread out. There wasn't a flat screen TVs with satellite cable - heck, there wasn't even hot water. We had a good time the old fashion way - chatting over communal meals and passing the evening with card games.

The weekend ski conditions were great. The resort is a bit off the beaten path and was not too crowded. Best of all, it snowed Saturday night and there was a fresh layer of snow waiting for us in the morning.

Waking up the fresh snow in the middle of the resort was awesome. The only downside was needing to clean the hut for the next group before hitting the slopes. It was a lot of cleaning for a single night stay. I think a two night stay would be more ideal.
The view of the slopes from the cabin window. And yes, that is a ski lift just a stone throw away.
Classic Swiss dinner in a classic Swiss mountain hut.
Brought the food up with the gondola and bringing the remain food down in my backpack.
Mandatory group photo in front of the hut.

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