In the last report you could read about Jeron Lohner stomping his ender, from here on we’ll grab our bags and head on the train to Zürich. There awaits adventure with two guys who’ve been driving Emma the RV around in search of the deep stuff. Word on the street was a certain zone in Wallis was gonna get slammed so I head to Hardbrücke where Adrian awaits me with that big, infectious smile of his. We walk to his crib “Resistance” (RIP) and the owner of the beautiful home on wheels; Gregor Betschon, who calls Adi informing him he can’t find his house even though he’s been there a bunch of times. I guess driving around a big RV doesn’t help either in the city. Before I left Laax Blume told me Adrian is the new Nicolas Müller, I don’t think there will ever be another Nicolas Müller, but that aside I just knew the guy rips and has an amazing method. He makes a killer lemon and ginger tea as well as I found out while waiting in this last stronghold in the middle of a massively gentrified area in the middle of Zürich’s technocratic sky-risers. It so happens that some familiar faces inhabit this last green oasis as well and I hug them the moment our man Gregor comes in. I hadn’t met him before but it didn’t take long to get along with this guy. Especially with a massive dump in the near future stoke levels were high, gears were turning and Emma started ascending from rainy Zürich onwards.
A short stop at the gas station shows us Emma has some years under her belt as she refuses to start. So we push and get on. Adi drives to Andermatt where we curve off to Realp and roll on to the cartrain. A bit of an indecisive moment if we should keep the engine rolling but having it spin on a 20 minute train ride isn’t ideal so we take our chances. As the train halts and the car in front of us starts getting off the moment of truth arrives: Gregor turns the key and… Hurray! Emma purrs and we all praise her and exclaim in happiness on being able to continue our travels. Gregor says the train ride cooled her off enough so she starts on her own. In Obergoms we roll out and start driving through little villages where snow is stacked up higher on the side of the road than I’ve seen all season in Graubünden. The closer we get to Brig the less snow there is to be found and by the time we roll into the city there’s no white left. We start climbing towards our ‘secret’ spot and after 10 minutes flakes dazzle onto the windshield. Adi says a hundred meters higher the road will be white. He’s proven right and by the time we reach the parking lot it’s full on dumping. We shovel a level for Emma and let her rest for the night. Gregor makes us tea and we chill for a bit before we crawl into our sleeping bags.
We wake up calmly but super stoked cause it snowed more than half a metre overnight.
Breakfast is served and Gregor keeps adding ingredients to the muesli with oats: fig yoghurt, dates, cashews, pear, aronia berries, blood orange, dried figs, banana, the goodness just keeps on coming. A boiled egg and the classic Swiss ‘Zopf’ bread with ‘anke’ which is butter to complete this all out buffet. Some coffee and tea and we’re out the door.
First thing we see is a couple bikers coming down the Simplon, what a bunch of die-hards.
Since we took it so easy there’s a big line at the bottom of the t-bar. Everyone’s wearing backpacks and gore-tex gear. Massive boards are ruling the scene here. The base is made up of one t-bar and a little restaurant. You can buy daytickets or 6 bucks single rides. Very un-Swiss prices but seeing as there’s so many people we decide to hike a little in our over enthusiasm but sink in to our waists so roll back down and get in line. Cop a ticket and before we know it me and Adi are being pulled through a magical forest. Somehow we manage to get off the track and immediately sink away. I think it best to let go so we won’t both get catapulted or something. Feeling like a total newb I shove my ego aside. The line is so steep it’s pretty much impossible to hitch with someone so I strap in and sent it down the fall line to the bottom of the lift again. There’s no tracks whatsoever and the snow so deep I feel like I’m back in Steamboat getting faceshot after faceshot of the lightest puff. Everyone on the lift is hooting and hollering as I give them spray after spray. I catch a t-bar and somehow it snatches under my camerapack strap and it’s stuck so lifts my skinny ass a couple metres in the air before the frozen t-bar gives slack and drops me back to the ground: okay, that was weird. Before I know it I’m back on top again with the guys who gave themselves the liberty of a coffee in the little hut at 2220 metres above sea level. There’s still trees growing of the ‘Lärchen’ variety which looses its needles in winter. It’s also still dumping and the visibility very limited but the guys know the area from previous visits so we strap in. The boys are in disbelief on how deep it is. They say this is some of the deepest snow they’ve ever ridden and I have to concur.
We hike a bit across a ridge but soon realize it’s a better idea to ride and see what we find on the way. They know about a couloir which is stacked with pillows on the side. We ride it twice and find some cliffs and a good little pillowpopper where Adi cranks his first method of the trip (which you might’ve seen on insta back in March). Since we’re inbounds some skiers ride the chute next to it and a little sluff avalanche buries Gregor’s gloves and backpack who was set up for filming. Luckily we find them pretty quickly. We’re soaked to the bone and everything’s fogging up after a good couple hours hiking and shooting so we decide to take a run for ourselves. Even though the reachable terrain off this one t-bar is fairly tracked we find some untouched parts and rip it up while hollering in excitement. The guys buy another 6 francs ticket and call last run which is my cue to call it good. Gregor gives me the keys and I head over to Emma and what a beauty she is all solitarily snowed in on the parking lot. I read a little Alexandra David-Néel and we fire up the stove when they arrive. Tea and coffee while positioning our wet gear as good as we can over the one little gas-heater. One ciggieround and we play some Yahtzee. We all sit around the table wearing our thermal underwear since it’s best to dry it out with bodyheat. For dinner we have ‘Geschwelte’: which are boiled potatoes with lots of Anke (butter) and cheese. We talk a little politics cause there has recently been an ‘Abstimmung’ (referendum) in Switzerland. Other topics include Swiss development, existentialism, self realization and literature. We drink lots of yogi tea and call it a night at 10. I guess all that tea makes me having to go out twice at night. Maybe it’s all the excitement as well. Either way I expected it to be way colder in the RV but still love creeping back into my sleeping bag while the guys are sound asleep.
FROM HERE ON CAPTIONS ARE UNDER THE PHOTOS, YES, OKAY, GUCCI.
Once set up properly Adi wastes no time and starts dippin these front 5’s with that good flavour and getting all scuba in the LZ.
The sun gets more and more room to shine and warm our faces and back 1 tails like Gregor here.
By the time our session is nearing it’s end the pow is fairly baked and most of the clouds disappeared making for a last blue Method tweaked by Adi.
The guys are beat and since I’d like to get some turns in I hike up a bit. A bit turns into a lot and at some point I spot Max Buri’s burnt orange jacket and the other Absinthe fellas standing on top of a rock. Here’s a little 110 slide from my Ritsch-Ratsch cam.
I pay them a visit and Max hooks me up with a little refreshment. At some point Silvano and the guys drop in but are immediately stopped because his K2 Cool Bean clips a rock and sends him and his Nikon D810 frontflippin from the get go. Of course everybody is dying from the hilarity but his tail is split open like a shin on sketchy downtown ledge. Bummer. They continue on their way and I hear Severin screaming at some point: “Watch the fuck out, this whole zone is sliding!” Luckily it’s a fracture which stops moving right after it broke. I take some fluffy turns on the ridge and join the guys. We pretty much ride down altogether and call it good. It’s been an amazing few days in paradise and it’s time to head home cause the climate change plant project I’ve been working on the past few years needs attending. Adi also needs to get back to work his Uni duties so after we hug our goodbyes with the others I put Emma in gear and get to pop my cherry driving her down the hill and up to the car train in Obergoms. What a wonder underfoot she is but keeping her momentum on the steep switchbacks is crucial and proving shaky in the back. We make it back in one piece but once back at ‘Resistance’ it won’t start anymore. Seeing as Gregor still needs to get back home we gotta push. Having the RV in an awkward spot causes us to push back and forth till we drop. But hey’ Emma’s running again and we wave Gregor goodbye. We conclude the night with a few glasses of fine Grappa from Ticino and dream off re-surfing all that fine fluff in wonderland.
“There’s goodness and then there’s RV life.” – Adrian Oesch