Gross Aubrig (1695m)

Paweł suggested a snowshoe tour up the Gross Aubrig at the Wägitalersee. It was meant as a warm-up trip for him to get back into the mountains after surgery and for me after not doing much at all for three months because of all the nice germs Leonie is bringing into our family (babies should really be bootstrapped with a fully working immune system!). Thus he picked a relatively modest mountain with a planned elevation gain of just 800 meters. It turned out to be the perfect choice.

Frozen trail.
Frozen trees.

It was overcast and cold in the valley. We hiked through a mysterious frozen winter wonderland. Absolutely beautiful under trees covered in hoar. The first few hundred meters we were following someone's footsteps in the snow, but we quickly passed their turnaround point and had the entire mountain to ourselves. Eventually we broke through the clouds and enjoyed blue skies over a sea of clouds.

We're the first to break trail.

The top section of the mountain is significantly steeper than the lower parts and we crossed a few avalanche debris fields. And while the sun was beautiful and warm it also turned the snow into heavy sticky stuff. This made for a rather uncomfortable descent where we carefully retraced our steps going down backwards, facing the mountain. Slippery, with too many slides ending in vertical drops. Anyway, we made it back down safely and could look back at a perfect trip in gorgeous weather. Thanks for organizing Paweł!

Getting steeper.
Breaking through the clouds.
Cruising towards the summit.
Looking back. This almost seems like two photos stitched together.
On the summit plateau.
Summit selfie.
Stairway to heaven.
Frozen Winter-Wonderland.


Sledding Melchsee-Frutt

The Zürich part of my team at work had an off-site where we went sledding at Melchsee-Frutt. At roughly 8 km it is one of the longer sled runs in Switzerland. With every run the five of us became progressively more confident and we had some tight races and lots of fun. The track gets more and more bumpy during the course of a day so that when Björn and I tried a double at the end we got thrown around quite violently. I had a nice collection of bruises on the insides of my legs and sore muscles in my back (in a very weird spot, must be a strange load). Super fun!

It looks harmless until you try it.
About to set off with way more momentum than a single rider.
The GPS recording afterwards. We covered about 40 km on sleds!


Skiing Pizol

I'm slowly working my way through all the ski resorts within a two hour driving distance of Zürich. This Sunday Björn and Thomas joined me and we went to Pizol. I have climbed the mountain in the past on a snowshoe tour and used the ski slopes as my descent route, but I had never actually skied there. It's a rather small resort but the slopes are nice and at a comfortable decline that allows for super fast runs. It's also probably the resort with the most spectacular views - many runs look as if you'd fly off directly into the valley. Anita and Leonie joined us later in the day for some mild hiking and sledding. It was a bit too cold for Leonie to really enjoy it though, so we went home quickly after that.

Björn contemplating the terrible life choices that got him here.
Thomas, Sören, Björn.
Must have missed the turnoff. Experiments in off-piste skiing.
This is rather more fun than on-piste but also more tiring.