Review of Wengen

31st May 2007 by Richard Hughes 

Oh dear, the failings of the Jungfau with the honourable exception of Murren and the excellent new chair at Birg, were ever too clear. I must have been a week too late to see an operational snow cannon - indeed, they were being parked when I was there in early March. If this resort is serious, and it needs to be as it is quite low down, then it needs to adopt a major new policy to snow making (allegedly they are, if you search the Jungfraubahn website). Arguably the main problem is a ski resort run by a railway company where playing trains seems to come a lot higher in the fun league. The state of some of the lower pistes was dire or closed - some excuses - a lot of the time it was not suitable for snowmaking due to the warmth but when it was no cannons were to be seen and one was skiing through brownish green fields dodging the earth and slush - now a good base would have negated a lot of that. As my other report on Les Menuires set out - what you can do with good snowmaking - fixed installations not mobile ones and all controlled from a central control room. And then you come to the absence of sensible transport links on the Grindelwald side when the pistes are shut - you could not ski back to Grund but it took a few days for anyone to increase the frequency of the bus service to Aspen and even then the service was not adequate and on at least one occasion people were left behind to another 45 minute wait.

What a pity - another warm winter and one will seriously have to review whether to return. As you can discover on the Jungfraubahn website takings were seriously and unsurprisingly significantly down in the early part of the season - good snow making and laying a decent base when possible would have alleviated a lot of that.

The usual feeding and watering holes all proved highly satisactory again as mentioned in my previous report!

At Murren as your other correspondent refers the Shilthornhutte is excellent but you take your life in your hands by having to carry your food down some narrow steep steps to the picnic tables in ski boots!

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