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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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.