Friday, January 02, 2009

Andermatt Ski Travel

Ski touring or travelling through Switzerland, this small and hilly country selon Douglas Adams, is as good to end the year as one can wish.

We started in Oberrickenbach, near Engelberg, with the purpose of using up all the Switzerland maps left in the cupboard for so long. Relaxed loop took us to the hut where we hoped to sleep, but it proved full. We had to do another 600m up the col and go back at night to the car - a good intense way to start the holidays.

Next stop on the list, or the base for travel - the village of Andermatt, le pot de chambre de Suisse, as it usually snows for any reason there. We started a relaxed day skiing around the Gemstock station and going to the Vermigelhutte in the end of the day. It was the only refuge we found unguarded on this trip. Apparently all the Swiss decided to go up the mountain during this holiday time. The biggest surprise came in form of two swiss ski tourers coming with their carrots, onions, sauce and all the cooking ustensils for a great pasta - that they shared with the crowd! Those people know how to live and how to ski tour, no comments but a big thanks.

Next day, we traversed to another valley, went up the Ravetsch, and down to the Maighelshutte, a guarded happy place with running water and very tasty jambonaut. But the most tasty during the day was the descent from Ravetsch (picture from the top), with probably the best fresh powder i have ever experienced while ski touring.

Unfortunately the good weather decided to abandon us at this point, and the next day, instead of going for Badus or any other mountain, we went down to the village of Tschamut and back to Andermatt by train (blessed country where you ski down to a train station, and than ski from the train station back to your hotel!)

Next, we went up from Realp village to the Rotondohutte , apparently another popular destination despite all the going up required to reach it. They did not have place for us for the New Year celebration, and we had to go back down through a glacier valley to Oberwald and back to Realp by train again. Below is Ren enjoying the river traverse on the long way down

We started the year at Flaines, with perfect snow and fresh powder.

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