The Wallis (or Valias in the French speaking part) is also quite close to here…
Hi Everyone and a very warm welcome.
It is fitting that is spring time here in Switzerland as our website and business is now up and running. Monika and I have spent most of our lives chasing our dreams and have been lucky enough to achieve many of the them. The only problem is as soon as you summit one mountain you literally see a whole bunch of others that look good to climb or ski too.
We are truly blessed to able to live in such a beautiful place and this blog aims to share it with you. Our region here in the Bernese Oberland (or Berner Oberland in Swiss) has some amazing areas to visit. Accessing the Aletsch glacier via the historic Jungfraujoch train is a must. It’s the largest glacier in the Alps and on skis is a great way to see it. If rock climbing is more your thing, then the unusual sandstone of Lehn and Neuhaus has to be climbed and as summer warms up Hintisberg is a great multi-pitch venue with a panorama of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau.
At this time of year the snow quickly melts back and the plants and animals that have been dormant begin their summer growth. Spring is also a fantastic time for alpine sports. The days get longer and almost everything is in condition at the same time, be it rock climbing in the sun, alpine north faces or our favourite: spring ski touring. This year the ski touring has been especially good after the large snowfalls we had in winter. This gives the glaciers a good coverage of snow and smooths things out so many lines are skiable. I have been lucky to get out touring lots this spring including some trips to new areas and skiing some lines that aren’t usually skiable.
In April a friend joined us for some touring and we had a great few days in the Glarnerland south of Zurich. An area that is very similar in appearance to the Italian Dolomites, with steep limestone walls and narrow valleys but with wide open glacial plateaus. The area is loaded with a variety of ski lines. Traveling in we used a tiny gondola to get up above the snowline and traverse over the Gemsfairenstock before staying at the plush Clariden Hut.
The next day we skied one of the classics of the area: the Clariden (3267m), starting at dawn when the snow is frozen hard to time it right with the skiing to be soften by the warmth of the sun.
We skied out to the Klausen Pass down an unlikely line following a ridge. A route that is only safe with good visibility as it narrows considerably at a few points and care is needed to stay on the correct line. The snowline was still down to 1600m so it was a fairly long ski down. It always feels such a contrast when reaching the end of the snow cover with the warmth of the spring sun and birds and flowers enjoying the change of temperature although it is rather hot in thermals and a pair of ski boots. A great overnight trip for sure.