Switzerland has now exited the shoulder season and entered full-blown winter. Since the end of autumn, faint flakes of snow have been descending on the mottled orange leaves, slowly piling up to form a blanket over the land. The moments of calm silence that defined the landscape in summer still, at times, prevail. Snow absorbs sound, swallows distant noises. In other, less sedate moments, trampling snowstorms rock the terrain, piling up on eaves and automobiles and displaced skis.
What we’re saying is, there’s a lot of powder, dude. And a lot of steep terrain for it to coat. Skiiers, snowboarders, there’s a slope with your name on it, somewhere within the country’s 200 ski regions. Perhaps you head to Stoos, Laax, Grindelwald, St-Cergue, Engelberg, or Flumserberg — or perhaps further afield, right away from the cities, maybe off-piste; maybe cross-country (there’s more than 5,000 kilometres of XC trails throughout the nation), skiing into your hotel, then out of it again. Or perhaps you don the snowshoes and make your way along the Jaunpass Trail, Dünzenegg Trail, or the Ober-Altberg-Schneeschuhtrail — just a few of the winter hiking opps that exist here.
If that’s not for you, there is always, on the other side of this long hard winter, a rejuvenated landscape. The earth will ceaselessly endure its circuit of the sun and as it rounds the arc again, on will come the longer days, shorter nights. The snow will melt, run clear into bone-chilling creeks, enrich the soil, spring up in green bursts of energy. Over the landscape, superficially ice-burned but ready to shine, will dance the teetering paws of critters and the crunch of hiking boots — perhaps belonging to you.
PICTURE CREDIT: cdbrphotography/Getty Images
Up your alley? Venture to myswitzerland.com.