Sat between the Thun and Brienz Lakes, the town of Interlaken looks small and remote on the map; a town of just 5000 people close to the centre of this mountainous country but for the adventure seeker and adrenaline junkie it's a worldwide magnet in a chocolate box setting.
In a follow up to the article The MyOutdoors Guide to Chamonix between the seasons from Dave and James, one of our Mountaineering Team, Alan 'Tosh' McIntosh and his wife Sam, headed for the Alps earlier this year. Alan describes how they developed their Alpinism skills from Ice Climbing to Snowshoeing to an Introduction to Skiing with details of the areas they visited and some costs associated with their experiences.
The last time I visited Switzerland was Gstaad in early February, snow on the ground and low cloud raging in the valley.
They say that the first time you take heroin you get a high so perfect you can spend your whole life chasing it. Well I've never taken heroin but for a few fleeting seconds on the snow of the Austrian Tirol I think I understood the feeling. Beneath me my skis ran smoothly across the surface of the snow, my body in balance and I was somehow both totally in control but at the same time totally free. The feeling didn't last long but lasted long enough to want it again and again and again. This was my first time on skis.
It all looks so easy on Ski Sunday, gliding effortlessly and carving turns like a computer controlled precision instrument. The reality, of course is an entirely different scenario; it's one of preparing for the next inevitable tumble as some 3 year old toddler flies past as though born with skis rather than feet.