I consciously say one more instead of ‘the last’ of this or that.
One more ski run down the slope.. one more loop around the lake before the legs fall off. One more trail to send on the bike before sunset.
One more winter adventure on snowshoes here in the Swiss Alps.
Before we knew, the snow started melting rapidly and with that the hope of spring ski touring in April & May melted away too.
This year, there wasn’t enough snow during the winter to have a solid base and by now, huge air gaps around rocks and unstable layers make it dangerous to venture off piste, or high up.
I’ve been busy working two jobs and guiding the last few months, and Max was focusing on personal projects but when I had a day off and the weather looked good, we headed out for ‘one more’ snowshoe tour in the backcountry.
As soon as we set foot in the snow, we sank deep in the sugary, slushy snow. The first uphill already gave us a clue it was going to be a tough one but we soldiered up the hill to see what the conditions were beyond. We kept going as we found a grippier section, however as we were getting close to our goal (Mt Cotschen 2883m) we often sank knee deep. We looked at the side of the mountain and decided to try a steep face. Here we had the first scare, the ground cracked around us but luckily didn’t give away.
Finally on the shoulder of Cotschen, many surprise sinking before we managed to deposit the snowshoes and walk to the top.
Photo: Alex charging the Drone with the Power Gorilla.
Big scary grey clouds moving towards us was a good sign to get the ‘ell out, but which way? Should we return via the same route or drop on the other side where we had no idea about he conditions? This way we could check out the Julier Valley where Max hadn’t been.
Of course we chose the unknown.
The next four hours were spent disappearing in the soft (and what felt bottomless) snow. The scariest moments were when cracks formed around us in a 5-10 meter radius and the entire snow floor sank under our feet.
So, was this ‘one more’ worth it? Absolutely. We completed the U shape tour but it wasn’t the safest or most enjoyable adventure. But sometimes, you learn more when the conditions are far from ideal, especially when one leg you’re in winter, with the other, you’re in spring. Literally.
And we had a ton of fun taking photos and felt so lucky to be surrounded by mountains 360 degrees.
Winter season is now now, we continue training for the www.the-first-ascent.com Based high up in the Swiss Alps we are so lucky to have all these amazing mountain trails on our doorstep and a few other exciting Alps projects in the next couple of months.
Bring on summer. Bring on the adventures!