I didn’t know what to quite expect seeing how as usaul we were not given alot of information about our destination; just a meeting place and time with minimum gear requirements. All I knew was that I was going to Switzerland to go snowboarding and that’s all that mattered to me after a stressful week of classes. Seeing how Switzerland is not part of the E.U. were asked to bring our passports and well, they didn’t check them (that’s right, I am a boarder jumper, let the jokes begin) We made it to the resort just in the nick of time because like good German Students, we all bought beers at the rest area to help us enjoy the ride. But here is the funny thing about Germany in the Winter, the buses don’t have working bathrooms. Something about freezing or something. What ever….
As we wound our way through the little city, I began to wonder if our hostel would be close to the slopes or on the outskirts of town where we would have to take a bus for 20 minutes to get to the snow. Luckily we pulled up into the parking lot close to the high speed gondola and started loading the gondolas for the assent to mid mountain where out lodge was located. Somehow and I don’t known how, I ended up in a gondola full of gear and all by myself. It wouldn’t have been so bad but it was 10pm dark and windy. That was just about the longest 10 minutes of my life. We found our rooms and tried to settle in except that the beds were bunk style with 7 across the top and 7 across the bottom. In my infinite wisdom I thought that I would choose the top bed because it would have more head room. Umm that’s a negative Ghost Rider, I couldn’t even sit straight up in bed, and to top it off, the first night I slept with my head barely hanging over the edge and lost two pillows while my feet kept slamming into the wall, the second night, I though I would change my position but I kept hitting my head on the wall and my feet fell asleep and then there is the Canadian bear, or more bluntly, the guy that snored and kept everyone up, I though my buddy Marcello was bad but this dude was way worse. But then I looked out the window and was truely awestruck. After a breakfast of cereal, and what I assumed was Swiss cheese without the holes, I ventured outside and strapped my snowboard on to head towards the lift. The weather could not have been better, it was sunny,-5 and clear out side. It had just snowed three days prior and it was opening day of the lifts so we were treated to Virgin snow. I can’t begin to explain what it was like being up there, it felt as if I could touch the heavens. As all lifts rides tend to be, it was absolutely quiet and serene to the top of the mountain. The day that ensued was one of total comedy, between me not boarding for over 4 years and a lot of my friends just learning it seemed like there were “yard sales” at every corner and some poor soul running into someone else. The lowlight of my day had to be after 5 hours of non stop boarding, I was cruising down one of the easy slopes, caught an edge and fell backwards hitting my head on the ice which sent my hat and goggles fling about 20 feet from me. As I am laying there, trying to laugh but not very successfully because I had the wind knocked out of me, I hear this old guy next to me speaking in something other than German, at that moment it could have been the African Clicking Language because I couldn’t understand a word he was saying, partly because it was Swiss Deutsch and partly because my head was still ringing but all I can remember saying was “Alle ist Klar” over and over which pretty much means “It’s all good”
The next day after popping 2 advils, I attempted to do a few runs but I was so sore I could barely move, so I decided to do a few sledding runs. These sled were so fast and the only way to steer was to use your feet, needless to say, I ran off the edge a few times into chest high powder and even managed to run into a few safety nets. After my last run I decided to call it a day and bask in the sun on the sun deck trying to relax my aching body. It has always been a dream of mine to go boarding in the Swiss Alps and they took more than they gave, and if I could figure out a way to live there for ever, I just might do it. It was just that awesome!