>Probably anyone reading this is aware of the epic amounts of snow that
>have been falling throughout the alps, particularly here in
>Switzerland, but a chance remark just made me go and look at the
>weather forecast (for Engelberg) for the coming weekend.
>Overnight temperature on Friday/Saturday night, at 3000m, is forecast
>to be -38C (-55C windchill). I don't think I've ever experienced quite
>such low temperatures in Europe before. Canada, yes, but not over
>Even the daytime high for the village level is only expected to rise
>to around -18C or so. And I'll be standing around teaching :-(
>So I'd advise anyone travelling soon to pack every item of warm
>clothing they've got!
>This has been a Public Service Announcement.
How things change. The week before last, while snow cover was plentiful, was
blisteringly hot. Slush by midday and much of the entire easy-to-get-at parts
of the mountain were so skied-out that the snow differed little from on-piste.
Still had a good time; some foolery in the snow parks, though the small
half-pipe in the Platieres park had been allowed to go. This was a major
disappointment because it was one of the reasons I went to the 3V this year.
The big half-pipe in the same park was way beyond my abilities.
Some novice-friendly boxes were fun, but I still haven't got the knack of
riding edgeways - the snowboard just scoots away from me. I was given a hint
as to how to sort this, but after having fallen off a box earlier (I still
have the lump & huge graze), I was a bit too cautious to try it properly.
I also had a cross-country ski lesson: I'm glad now that I didn't book the
Norwegian tour holiday that I was planning. It's so different and much harder
than you'd think. To be fair, part of the problem was the fact that I'd hired
'classic' skis & boots, and the boots were so soft that it was hard to balance
and edge for skating.
I joined a group who'd been taking lessons all week, but generally managed to
keep up, though I fell over a few times. The instruction was very good, which
has somewhat restored my faith in the ESF. I've got a much better idea of the
steps, equipment and what's involved, now.