Snowboarding in Switzerland

20 03 2010

We spent the first few nights at one of Tobi’s friend’s apartments in Zürich.  Melanie is awesome and a truly unique individual, and she lives in the red-light district of Zürich (Langstraße) in a sweet little rooftop studio apartment which she calls the “princess dome”.  We had a lot of fun one night dancing while eating Magnum ice cream and recording this all with T.’s Macbook. Fun, fun, fun!

Here is a video, uploaded by Melanie, of us dancing with our ice cream!

Then we spent one night at T.’s brother’s apartment.  We had fondue for dinner and got to play with their little 7-month-old daughter.  They let us borrow a lot of snowboard gear.  That was really nice of them!  We left early the next morning to go to the train station and head on our way to Braunwald.

Braunwald

Tobias and I had gone there on my fall vacation at the end of October / beginning November for some hiking.  We went back to the same Gästehaus as last time – a lovely, traditional log cabin of sorts with a nice room, two stoves and a wood stove and a common area dining room.  We had nice company – for the beginning of the trip, we were the only ones there apart from one other couple with a 6-year-old girl, with whom T. and I had a lot of fun talking and playing and being silly.

Snowboarding

It’s true when they say that you have to survive the first 3 days.  True in two senses of the phrase.  Physically, I felt like I was going to fall apart.  Everything hurt.  Even muscles I didn’t know I had.  Like every beginner, I spent most of my time falling on my butt, or on my knees, and sometimes on my head.  I wrote in my journal, “I wonder how many times one can hit their head without getting permanent brain damage?”  I was a little bit of a wimp, and the pain (and frustration) brought me to tears several time.

On the ground...trying to muster the courage to get back up! (Photo by Tobias)

Every time I fell down, it was a mental challenge to get back up and do it again.  To face the mountain nose-down.  So, you also have to survive the mental part of it: 1)  Speed is a good, desirable thing.  2)  Steep is good.  3)  New, thick, deep snow is heavenly.  Although I’m still not sure I believe all three of those things for myself, I started to get the hang of it.  Mostly because of Tobi’s help and encouragement.

Tobias was an incredibly good teacher.  He not only taught me the skills and techniques I needed to make it down the mountain in the true snowboarder fashion, but he was also extremely encouraging and motivating and cheered me on.  He was (and is) awesome.

Tobias, my handsome boyfriend and the best snowboard instructor. (Photo by Tobias)

On the fourth day, I started to be less afraid of trying the turn, and by the 7th day, I was doing a much better job.  There were a few close calls, though.  I did almost fall off the mountain and literally hugged the edge of the slope with my snowboard stuck into the edge for at least 5 minutes before the next person came down and helped me up.  (See video!)

The injuries were minor overall – just a few strained muscles and bruises.  We are thankful and lucky that we did not break any bones.

By the end, I was feeling a lot more comfortable.  In the beginning, I never thought I would like snowboarding – it hurt too much.  I am surprised to find that I like it quite a lot, and am looking forward to going back next year.

Tobias and I really enjoyed our time together there! (Photo by Tobias)

Here are some photos I took from my cell phone (crappy quality!), followed by some high-quality photos taken by my most favorite photographer, Tobias Stäbler.  For the record, it’s nice to have a photographer boyfriend, especially when you forget to bring your own camera battery and therefore can’t take any of your own pictures.  ;)

Thank you, Tobias!

me in my snowboard gear, riding the gondola back up the mountain

my board (rented from Kesslersport)

feet strapped onto the board
I like that they had my name written on it on tape, haha

with the goggles on

an American board for an American girl - it made me feel patriotic

at one of the chalet restaurants, Tobias bought some Ovomaltine (hot chocolate)

Ovomaltine!

And now, for the better photos by Tobias!

Playing in the snow! (Photo by Tobias)

Back protection! (Photo by Tobias)

Me with my board.(Photo by Tobias)

The beautiful Braunwald mountains. (Photo by Tobias)

Finally riding pretty well! (Photo by Tobias)

One of my favorite pictures. (Photo by Tobias)

Me on the ski lift. (Photo by Tobias)

Goggles up! (Photo by Tobias)

Me with my board, ready to tackle the red slope at Gumen (Photo by Tobias)

Beautiful snow! I can't wait to go back! (Photo by Tobias)


Actions

Information

One response

20 03 2010
Karl

So schoen ist es dort!! Makes me reminisce of the times I’ve spent in Thun, Interlachen, on the Eiger und Jungfrau! Haven’t learned to snow board yet, just schilaufen!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s