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Snowing in Summer

By August 11, 2006No Comments

On the first day, and in the first race of the Euro-Cup event in Silvaplana, Switzerland, I crashed on the startline with Arnon Dagan (ISR-1). Not really anybody’s fault, but when I hit the water I felt my neck “click”. Not a broken-bone click, but a “this doesn’t sound too good” kind of click. So I headed back to the beach and sat out the next two races. By late afternoon my back was starting to seize up and my neck was throbbing. By 9am the next morning I couldn’t even turn my head 5cm each direction. I’M OUT! That was the end of my Euro-Cup event in Switzerland!

So that brings me to the purpose of this story. Before heading back to Holland the following day, myself and another Aussie friend travelling with me decided that we needed to see some snow. I haven’t seen snow in 15 years (believe it or not, its 20 degrees in my hometown in winter!), and there’s no better place to see snow than in St Moritz; one of the more famous skiing towns of southern Switzerland.

Switzerland

So we head up on the gondala to the top of Lookout Corvatsch, which is 10,874ft straight up to the sky! This was one of the most incredible mountain ranges I have ever seen. When we arrived at the top, it was around -2 degrees and a few flakes of snow were falling. Although we didn’t really have proper snow gear with us (I was wearing jeans and clubbing shoes at the time) we decided we should hike down from the lookout platform to the hill, where we could do the “snow trip checklist” – ie. Build a snowman, throw some snow, make a snow-angel with yours hands.

There was a steep path down from the lookout to a small house on the hill below. At the time we weren’t sure what the house was, but we decided to check it out. It was a pretty sheer cliff off to one side, and a 40m vertical drop down to the snow below so probably we were pretty stupid in hiking down this hill (but you just can’t keep an Aussie down I always say). On the side of the path a rope had been tied at various points to help with the hike, but at least four times I slipped a little; dangerously close to going over the edge!

Switzerland

While at the bottom of the hill we made a small snowman, and decked him out with an Aussie-team beanie, buttons made from Swiss Francs (the currency in Switzerland) and about 100 Swiss Franc bills in one hand and a Mars bar in the other. Looked pretty sweet I reckon! After that we checked out the small house, which turned out to be the entrance to a glacier which had tunnels dug into that you could walk through – COOL! We headed straight in, and you could actually walk 150m into the side of this glacier, which was really cool. This is a picture of me inside the glacier.

Briefly after that the sun came out, which after having been raining for 6 days solid in Poland and the first day here in Switzerland it was really special to see the sun again. Took some incredible photos of the surrounding mountains (as you could imagine) with the sun reflecting of the fresh snow on the peaks. This also gave us a clear view down onto the lake I was supposed to be racing on. With its surreal green colour, the lake looked really magic from atop of the mountain. Hard to believe we were racing on a glacier fed lake, 2500m above sea-level!

Switzerland
Eventually, the snow had soaked all the way through my jeans and was beginning to make my toes numb. So we decided it was probably a good time to get back down the mountain to get the heater running in my van. I don’t think I will forget this trip in a hurry, as coming from the warmer areas of Australia I probably will only get to see real snow a handful of times in my life. My mission is to make it back next year and snowboard on this mountain. I think that would be really cool!

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