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The Downhill Only Club

The Director’s Office, Imperial Hotel,
London WC1H 0DG

A funky bunch, a funky race and a new leader!

We are a funky bunch!

This week we welcomed Mark to the Village, the Club and the Mountain. You’ll all be able to meet him when you come next year. I think, everyone is looking forward to meeting up again, meeting in a way we all consider normal. Even here, we’ve not been restriction free. I know it is not the same. But, last week we were allowed to meet outside in groups of 15 again. So, this meant we were able to have a bit of a welcome party that all DHO’ers would be proud of. There was paella outside, with tarps, welcome banners, funky labelled cocktails sticks, the works. Thank you Clayton Et Al! Funky and Fabulous.

Funky Fives:

So, the other thing we are allowed to do is have private gatherings of 5 indoors. This meant that each night in our pretty emotionally forlorn club room, we were able to invigorate the atmosphere with a gathering of 5. Over the week I shared the invites around so we maximised the number of people getting to meet and chat with Mark. For instance, following todays (12/3) outdoor gathering including a start hut, gates and timing. We had the 3 fastest skiers round for a blether and a celebration.

Funky Clubroom

3rd, Winner, 2nd

During the week we’ve had engaging chat about important things like bar stocks and club room rules. Energising chat about expeditions and adventures. And, of course, we also had hilarious chat about who knows what! You have much to look forward to when you come next year and start getting to know our new guy.

Mark!

I’m not going to spoil his stories. Of course we are (Hayley, Lachlan and I)  all sad about moving on from this chapter of our lives, we will miss so much. I am very pleased to be conducting a considered and careful handover. I’ve been posting on some of the social media platforms glimpses of Mark. Therefore, for those of you not following elsewhere, here they are again.

funky jacket

An orange jacket and a black bag.

Coming out of DHO gap. the Jacket carries a New Generation logo. An expanding Ski School.

ready to chat

Here he is on the platform using his hands to help tell the story.

Yep, its a chairlift.

I think his gloves are quite new, traditional guide brown leather, very fitting.

Back of Wengernalp

Here you can see Mark looking up at an area we had skied the day before, hotel fields, Wixi trees. The spring snow was great.

Racing and Training

We put lots of effort into having a timed ski event. We were almost weathered off entirely on the Thursday. However, although we cancelled the race, we actually managed an impromptu training. Mary (there in the picture) may have a found a new love! Ski Racing, not Mark. 

Then I saw his face…..

Yes, Mark did remove his goggles and facemask on various occasions. We met Urs Kessler in his awesome new V-Bahn and Eiger Express. Beat & Elizabeth on their funky party terrace at Molitor Wengen. As well as some Wengen regulars in the Club Room. We even skied with Steve Donnelly!

Steve in green

Actually Skiing with a shopping bag!

So we’ve discovered Mark skis very well (officially confirmed by Bob!). He has been jovial friendly and interesting in all of our chats. And seems to be likely to be able to change for the better some things and keep the good in others. Why, because I think he brings the wisdom to know the difference. Good Luck Mark, here’s to good things. The sadness of all endings brings the excitement of new beginnings. I’m looking forward to being in Wengen as a DHO Leader too; so hopefully, I will see you again as well.

A little more about the Eiger Express:

When we went to meet Herr Kessler, he took the opportunity to show off the engineering and the hospitality.

The second two pictures there are of the entirely new platform at Eigergletcher. Get on one side, get off the other, no need for signs, there is only one way to go. The first two are of the Platinum Lounge and the VIP Cabin! Now, this is super exclusive. Very Limited membership available. 12000chf per annum for one or 18000chf for a pair. This obviously includes the annual travel pass and all winter sports. But, also Jungfraujoch, ski locker, parking and of course the lounge and the cabin. The first two Platinum Club Members have been confirmed!

Modern Loading

Under the terminal is the loading bay for all things functional. This brand new systems is automatic from the loading bay at the bottom to the removal at the top. There are levers, pullies, buttons, tracks, rods galore!

Stuff comes in down here and is loaded on pallets by a forklift truck

It comes out here and is loaded automatically on to the passing gondola cabin

This is where it arrives at the top

Magnificent engineering.

Training, preparing and timed skiing

So, some funky weather closed the Wixi lift on the planned day for an outdoor gathering. We planned to ski down the Lauberhorn course, just from the Start Hut to the first corner. But, it wasn’t to be. However, after cancelling the main event we agreed with Heinz that we could set a short course and traverse round to the Lauberhorn lift for repeat goes. This meant we were able to run a practice session. Everybody loved it. Mary, the one mentioned before, did 6 runs and was getting quicker every time.

Then, we went up again on Friday morning. I set my usual slow tight course. You could call it technical! The timing worked. Second run, slowest to fastest worked. The sun shined. The piste was grippy. Mark was wearing a funky little hat. This meant we have another cup to engrave and another set of results for next years journal. Amazing.

Odling Results

Bib# Name Class Run 1 Run 2 Total Time
14 Alex Maienfisch 30.481 30.043 60.524
16 Max Bastendorff 35.439 35.269 70.708
9 James Wilson 38.157 38.388 76.545
15 Neil Clayton 38.924 37.645 76.569
8 Rebecca Myles 40.191 40.274 80.465
7 Anthony Schwarz 41.537 40.828 82.365
6 Hayley Davies 41.898 40.586 82.484
10 John Pailthorpe 42.583 42.26 84.843
3 Vivien Stern 43.082 43.639 86.721
2 Mary Darcy 43.868 45.529 89.397
12 Colin Stone Tele 46.047 45.157 91.204
5 Lachlan Davies U10 52.376 DNF NS

And here are some photo’s from the day.

The winner Alx

Mach boy wins the Cup

A riveting briefing as always

Funky Max   The Gathering  

Other interesting bits from Wengen

I said earlier that we had the pleasure of Skiing with Steve Donnelly. This winter he obviously hasn’t done any live gigs. However, back on Valentines Day 2021 he recorded this:

Also, the quiet streets have provided space for some of the kids to get adventurous too:

Finally.

Have you booked for next year yet? This is of course one option:

Hotel and Restaurant Jungfrau Wengernalp (jungfrauregion.swiss) If not your whole stay maybe a night or two between weeks!

This week coming it seems winter is returning!