Wengen – learning to ski

Today’s images are all from Wengen, home of the famous Lauberhorn Men’s Downhill ski race, shot on my first Digital Compact 3yrs ago, and resurrected from the dark recesses of the hard drive.

View over Wengen to the Jungfrau - click to enlarge

A ski holiday is less than a week away, and my mind is in two or more places at once, although the body remains rooted at home. A host of tasks, all fairly mundane, wait to be completed. The usual things – deciding what to take, packing, buying foreign currency, last minute purchases, checking, charging and cleaning the camera gear. And the specifics – ski hire and pass to pre-order, registering with a Ski Club leader, getting out the Piste maps, checking the ski boots still fit, going running, visualizing ski techniques.

And with all the anticipation come the memories of past ski trips – Wengen in Swiss Bernese Oberland is one of the places that I always think about because that was where I first learnt to ski when I was a teenager many years ago. Those were the days of ill-fitting leather laced up boots, skis that were about 2 foot taller than your height, and fairly primitive uplifts (by today’s standards). But the snow, the experience and the joy were the same then as they are now. Those were the days when I was young, and Winter was predictable! But not quite as young as these Tiny Tots!

Kindergarten Ski School - click to enlarge

A demanding career, especially in winter months, meant I didn’t get back to the ski slopes for over 40 years, but latterly I’ve made up for it with 2 or more trips each winter including a trip back to Wengen 3 years ago. It’s a very ‘English’ resort, family friendly, car-free, served only by a cog railway, and stuck in a bit of a time warp – which is a good thing. It still has rustic charm, it hasn’t overly expanded or become over commercialized. And high above the main ski area at Mannlichen, from were you can ski all the way down to Grindelwald, the mighty mile-high North Face of the Eiger stands guard.

North Face of the Eiger - click to enlarge

This image was captured on the only one good day we had all week. Over a metre of ski fell through the week and visibility was poor, with low light. Images were atmospheric.

Jungfrau and Silberhorn - click to enlarge

Like this one of the Jungfrau (top left) and the Silberhorn, and the next image of the Wetterhorn seen through a gap in the clouds.

The Wetterhorn - click to enlarge

The Swiss are always well prepared for winter. Few events disrupt the precision, efficiency and punctuality of life and travel for which the Swiss are renowned. It even extends to the way they store their wood.

The Wood Store - click to enlarge

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About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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8 Responses to Wengen – learning to ski

  1. Len Saltiel says:

    Great series of images Andy. I love the one with the little kids. Not being a skier (I grew up on flat land), I can only imagine the anticipation of visiting these beautiful ski resorts.

  2. Eden says:

    Great black and white shots 🙂

  3. Really digging those B&W shots Andy. And having people in the last one really creates a sense of scale.

  4. Wonderful images Andy. I can hardly wait to see the shots you come back with.

  5. Jimi Jones says:

    Love the light in that first shot, Andy. The North Face of Elger image is breathtaking. What a great series, man. Looking forward to seeing more of these.

  6. Ginnie says:

    WOW WOW WOW. No wonder you like skiing! I love the image of the little kids. So cute. And that wood bin at the end…so perfectly ordered!

  7. Wow, what a GREAT set of shots here, Andy, they are ALL top drawer! Those black and whites of the mystique of the mountain-range in the middle of the weather event are astonishing, my friend!

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