Dreaming of the Swiss Winter Wonderland?

Things to Do, Travel Tips, What's New — By Sonja Holverson on January 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Couldn’t make it to Switzerland this year during one of the heaviest snow falls in decades sticking right down to the shores of Lake Geneva (Lac Leman in French) as well as all the other gorgeous lakes in Switzerland? Well, it was unusual this year as you will see in this gorgeous slide show from Swissinfo.ch. But don’t worry about missing it as there are always snowy winters in this tiny Alpine country dusted with dry winter powder snow. There are always exhilarating Swiss Alpine slopes waiting for you of various degrees of sporting challenges (some even in summer!).

You may just have to go up a little higher (but not much) than the main city altitudes. But skiing and other winter sports are available in less than an hour’s drive or by SwissRail train ride (the most fun) from most Swiss cities. So begin now planning your Swiss dream winter holiday for next year. You can start by viewing what’s available in Zermatt for you, your friends or all of your family. Then explore some other amazing ski areas depending on which region in Switzerland you are interested in visiting.

RiederAlp in the Valais region. Image courtesy of Dominique Schreckling

The Swiss Tourism Snow report will inform you of the conditions in all of the regions. Select the region that interests you. Still not sure? Then ask me online at Ask Locals!

You can even select the type of winter sport that you would like to do such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snow shoeing or Ski peau de phoque (“seal skin” skiing where you apply traction strips -not real seal skin- to your skis and wear boots with heel binding releases to walk up the Alps.  Then after you are so amazed that you were able to hike to the top, you can ski down in off trail areas of untouched fresh powder. Only do this with people who are familiar with the area and snow conditions or with professional guides. (There will be more on this Ski peau de phoque and other Swiss Alpine winter sports in my future blogs). And then there is always that all-time favorite of winter sports: sitting and sunning yourself on an Alpine chalet terrace with your legs up on a bench holding a glass of hot spiced wine, Glühwein, and just taking it all in …..

Image courtesy of ca.wikipedia. Photo by Andreube

There’s a reason why they have taken off their jackets in the photo above; this is a major warm-up workout but the reward is blissfull when you can ski back down in virgin powder.

Want to see what Swiss Alpine ski resorts look like live? Here’s the Riederalp web cam (not far from Lausanne in the Canton of Valais). Do consider the time difference. Switzerland is GMT + 1 hour and when you view it from North or South America you may find only darkness so time it accordingly for a good view.

Allalinhorn Saas Fee: image courtesy of  ch-info.ch

See you on the Swiss slopes! I’ll be  the one in the bright purple jacket covered with snow from frequent falling during my early morning warm-ups!

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Tags: “Lac Leman”, “Lake Geneva”, “Saas Fee”, “Ski peau de phoque”, “Ski Touriing”, “Swiss Alpine”, Alpine chalet, Bern, cross country skiing, Geneva, Lausanne, skiing, snow shoeing, snowboarding, SwissRail, Switzerland, Valais, Zermat, Zurich

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