Swiss Snow

The second we crossed the border to Switzerland, it started snowing. And everybody’s mood suddenly lifted. Driving towards Davos, the snowfall got heavier and heavier. On the last stretch, up a small two-lane serpentine, it became a slalom course through the overloaded cars that couldn’t handle the slippery road. A great feeling.

The next day was amazing; flying through untouched snowfields to the sounds of my iPod, having a hearty Rösti at an altitude of 2800 meters, and watching the Swiss military clearing the snow from their “secret” airspace surveillance facilities that were conveniently disguised as rocks. I teamed up with a local ski instructor, whose clientele had left him after lunch.

He took me down some scary off-piste routes, where I had to jump between rocks and bushes. It was a glorious feeling, almost as if I was on an expedition to discover new tracks.

The days passed, all perfect – but for two small things:  An Eastern European man of heavy build, who decided to try a black-diamond slope (right after a hearty lunch) came crashing into me and sent me flying down the slope, mildly dislocating my shoulder. That wasn’t fun.

And it was painful. Still, this couldn’t disturb my passion about skiing.

I got up, skied down an amazing forest run from a height of 2,800 meters to the town of Klosters at an altitude of 1,180 meters.

I Went to the pharmacy, got myself some cooling gel for my aching shoulder and continued.

Then the next day, while passing through a tiny arch under a small bridge, the local daredevils decided to teach me a lesson, and overtook me at a spot barely three meters wide.

I crashed into a brick wall, and lay there writhing on a sheet of ice, trying not to get sliced open by the next skier.

What followed was a lesson in Viennese profanity. Fortunately there’s a lot to choose from.

Still, I was snug as a bug in a rug when we got back into Austria. Greeted by rain and thawing ice, I started to wonder when people are going to take climate change seriously.

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