Ever since I got to know Ron he has claimed that 2011/2012 would be the best year ever for snow in Switzerland. I never believed him of course, based on the past two years of hardly any snow in the Alps, and my own general bad luck with the fluffy powder. (It never snows when I am around..) It looked like I was right for a long time, and we were paddling well into december and darker days.
The Roffla is a comitting, tight, technical and COLD creek that cuts through the eastern swiss mountains like a knife, with sheer granite walls and deep canyons. It also normally does not have water, as it is dammed like so many of the swiss rivers. Kindlly enough the hydrocompany had to do some repairs in december, so the Swiss Ninja-warriors gathered their troops to rally this little, hidden gem. And of course I tagged along.
It was a cold and steep day, with a few bad lines from yours truly, resulting in some fancy scars on my knuckles. I also realised that the big Remix is not the boat for me in such tight lines, ( I should have known that since I took Shane´s boat down the Ravensfork in North Carolina last year.. ) and that I really do not follow the flow when I am worried about every icy splash of water I get in the face. Nevertheless, I smiled (most of) the entire day, and was stoked to see a hidden corner of the well-known Switzerland. And yeah, the paddling was not class three either.
But then the snow finally arrived, and it has not stopped snowing since. It seems like I spend half my time shoveling away snow from my old trusty van, or digging out the front door, and the other half of the day buried deep in my medieval books of latin and old scandi-languages. (yeah, trying to finish up a master thesis in history..) We can hardly see out of the kitchen window because of the snow, and the amount of powder we have been shredding the past month is just ridiculous.
Not that I am a good skier. I have done two or three half seasons since I stopped snowboarding 13 years ago, and some random days here and there. But it seems like I get motivated by the snow just like the water, it is fun to charge! Hence I try and follow the boys in the backcountry, with horrendous style, but a lot of willpower to go fast and take chances.
I always knew Ron was a good snowboarder, not at least since he has been on the Swiss national team for Boardercross until he broke his back one time too many, but I actually did not think he was this good. Shredding steep lines at huge speed, flying off cliffs and pillows, and then even being a good skier. Seeing him getting more and more confident on his board this past month has only inspired me to get better on my two skiis as well, as there is no way I am gonna have him and Lukas complaining about having to wait for me! 🙂 Cheers to the guys for helping me see the lines in the backcountry, I am definitely a class three skier still..
Enjoy some random photos of the fall and winter season here in Snowy Swiss Wonderland!