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The Downhill Only Club

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

A Success, a successor and memories

A Success

Initially

Traditionally around this time of year we set off in teams of 4 in search of success. The success we are searching is to complete the All In One. Success in the All In One. Well, that is to use all of the open cable uplift in the full Jungfrau Region in one day!

In order to finish in Wengen we need to start to Murren. To start in Murren we need to leave Wengen on the 07:03 train! Coming in from Staubbachbankli with an 8 year old meant a 05:15 alarm. Actually Lachlan did a sterling job, Hayley and I readied a stream of food of water for the day. There would be just the three of us until Rebecca joined us in the afternoon. Rebecca was not being lazy or anything, she just wasn’t available in the morning.

So success stage 1. We could have had another few minutes in bed as we were suited and booted and ready for the train by 06:45. At 07:03 the train set off and we were on route.

Down to Lauterbrunnen and another few minutes to wait for the bus to Stechleberg.

Then

From the very Top the skiing starts. Of course with this route you need to be comfortable with the ski from the Schilthorn as your first run of the day. That’s a 40 or so degree slope. However, in the morning freshly groomed the odds of success are good. The sand stood out again. I don’t know what the wind had done but, we seemed to be skiing on white but sending up plooms of yellow. Very cool, although the film I took did not catch it.

And so we were off. It’s a funny old day, because, it’s all about the lifts. However, the skiing is magnificent, nobody around on groomed pistes. First Riggli, it stopped for a bit, aargh! Then Muttleren, it stopped too and it is oh so slow. Kandahar, not the fastest lift either. A smooth run round the Kanononrohr (mm spelling?) and that’s the top half done. With the stoppages at the top we only mad it to the Schiltgrat Chair for 09:07. This meant we were on the almost 09:30 Murren Almundhubel cabel driven funicular railway. Then 09:34 on the Allmendhubel drag lift. We whipped down for the Allmiboden chair, then repeated the run for the Maulerhubel chair and finally the Winteregg Chair. A wee rest now as we train, cable car, train and cable car to the top of Mannlichen.

Next

Froggy was with us for nourishment. From the top of Mannlichen a magnificent long ski down to the terminal for the bus to Firstbahn. It’s always a delight that ski. I love it. Although it was getting a little heavy, it was a warm day. Yes! We caught the 11:19 bus. More resting brought us all the way to the top of the Firstbahn gondola. Here, we even had time for a toilet break! That felt better. Now, Schilt chair is out of commission so following lots of traversing we managed the two T-Bars and the last chair lift and were on the super run down to the Bus Stop. We could still ski to the Kirche stop and so we were on the 13:08 bus to Grindlewald bahnhof, the 13:18 train to the terminal and By 13:23 we were on the Mannlichen Gondola! Phew! Success, First Completed.

And so to the home run! Except, when you do this challenge in the future, you may be pleased to be back on home soil. But, you’ve only done half the skiing! Mannlichen Chair, Lager Chair, Tschuggen T-Bar, Gummi Chair….. and then, all the way to the bottom again! All the way to the bottom at 14:30! Oh, the slow snow. However, more success. We got on the 14:45 Eiger Express. I know, its exhausting writing about it. However, we had had an input of fresh energy and legs, Rebecca joined us. Beautifully timed she got into the same Gondola with us at Holenstein. It’s amazing how much that fresh energy helps!

Now we are really feeling close. A whip down the Salzegg bowl and we are on the Arven chair. A whizz down the Arven red and we are on Honegg. a weeeee! Down the Honegg red and we’re on the Eigernordwand. The skiing was still great, Lachlan’s little legs still seemed to be going strong and our sense’s of humour were holding out too. Did we tell you the one about the one-sided conversation on the lift with a stranger! Well, that’s for another time.

Finally

And so the familiarity builds. Black rock to Wixi, Lauberhorn red to the Lauberhorn Chair. Can you believe we had time to let Lachlan do Lillies fun run? Then over to the world cup run. We took red to the first corner and then, whooosh!

We made it to Bumps T-Bar for 15:59 and seconds. My goodness. In fact it wasn’t running as the decision had already been made to move to weekends only. But the clicker works and it appeared on our skiline. So, that’s all that matters really.

Here’s the run to the end:

Finally a wiggle down to the finish and up the Innerwengen chair for a well earned hot chocolate and chips at the Allmend Restaurant (Takeaway of course). I don’t think you’ll be surprised when I tell you Lachlan was asleep by 17:50 and didn’t wake until 06:17 the following day.

What a day. When you’re next here, I recommend giving it a go. Once a week is normally enough!

A Successor

So next week we have the new guy coming for a look around and some introductions. You’ll be pleased to know that the changes in restrictions here in Switzerland mean that we can have a bit of a party. I wouldn’t want the pool to feel too shallow! Outdoor gatherings of up to 15 are allowed. So, we are having paella on the street, prosecco will of course be included too. More about this next week.

A memory

Let’s be clear I’m no videographer. However, digital moving memories are cool. A conversation on facebook reminded a few of us of this one and Simon said he didn’t mind if we shared it again. So here’s to a day I persuaded Simon to get up early for a ski!

Cheers ears.

When are you coming next winter? Fancy racing in the AICC? Here’s some info.

Amateur Inter-Club Championships AICC – Downhill Only Ski Club