Powder and ice in Meiringen

21st February 2010, by Chris Gill

The best conditions of the day, at lunchtime Saturday

The best conditions of the day, at lunchtime Saturday

I’m now in Switzerland at the start of a week’s tour of six ski areas in the Bernese Oberland and the Valais. The first couple of blogs, at least, are likely to be a bit brief because we’re based in the valley town of Interlaken, and making early starts to get to the resorts in good time.

We arrived at Geneva on Friday afternoon, and drove to Interlaken in more or less continuous rain – so we were hoping for some fresh snow on the hills. We weren’t disappointed. We have spent Saturday at Meiringen, aka Hasliberg or Haslital – a resort little-known in the UK these days. We found a blanket of ankle-deep powder, but underneath it on the pistes lurked all kinds of horrors – rock-hard bumps and sheets of ice. The previous days had been warm, and the slopes face mainly south-east to south-west. Pity.

Sun was forecast but made only occasional appearances, and the light was uncomfortably flat in general. The tops were in cloud much of the time. So it turned out to be a testing day on-piste. But between the pistes we found some lovely powder, some of it offering fresh tracks all day.

When the cloud cleared we got tantalising glimpses of the lakes to the west and the spectacular 4000m peaks of the Jungfrau area. That’s where we’re headed tomorrow, when I hope to report in a bit more detail.

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