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The Downhill Only Club

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

The Eiger Express transformed the normal. You must use it when you can.

Normal Transformed

Like if you haven’t transformed your membership status, then join the club here: Membership – Downhill Only Ski Club

What other normals have been transformed? Well, I’m referring to Wengen and Skiing in the Jungfrauregion. 2 winters ago it was normal to avoid the Holenstein midstation in all but the quietest of times, now this is transformed. The piste from the bottom of the Laeger chair lift to Holenstein is magnificent: It is so good you would suffer the queue at Holenstein just to ski it. But only once.

Then last year the Maennlichen Gondola was completed. That transformed our attitudes. Why stop at the Chairlifts when you could zoom on to Holenstein. Brilliant, even in the morning a short wait and you’d be in a Gondola and back at the top in 10 or so minutes! It was a whole new world. The well linked mountain improved again. Suddenly from the use of Holenstein midstation being a once or twice weekly normal, it was transformed into a thrice daily delight.

We knew this was only part of the plan. The Eiger Express 24 seated person Gondola was going to be ready for December 2020. It was. Many a Swiss project has transformed my ideas of how likely a construction project is to be finished on time. This success I add, is not to do with the nationality of the workers; early in the project we witnessed British Licenced trucks and machines being specially brought in for their efficiency and expertise. So it must have something to do with the management. Given the nature of 2020 the year, to finish on time was astounding!

The Eiger Express has transformed our skiing options

We used it immediately. It is fast. It is a long way back down to the bottom. All Wengen Ski Routes and plans have been transformed. Now, imagine it is 2019 (or earlier) you’ve skied down the old Ladies Downhill (Red 21, Tschuggen Piste, the McMillan race course) you’ve arrived at the Aspen Hotel. You want a coffee. What is the time? How long till the next train? Will there be people rushing at the last minute trying to catch it? Am I better to have a coffee and get the next train? Oh the stress, the worry!

Now it is 2021, you’ve skied down, you’ve arrived at the Aspen Hotel. What is the time? WHO CARES! Want a coffee? Have one. Want to ski on, then do. Got to go through the caravan park. So what.

Talk about transformed!

It is a total game changer. No more clumps of people aiming for the same train. No more undesirable stress and rush because you know the train is soon. Just get to the Terminal, walk inside, join the queue, head on up to the top.

What about ski to uplift ratio. Brandegg run to the bottom is that 30minutes? Catch a train perfectly 3ominutes back up. 1:1 (1 minute skiing for 1 minute of uplift). Lauberhorn Chairlift, lets say it is 2 minutes down to 8 minutes up, 1:4 (I know for some it is more like 1:8). This is Tranformed too, it is still 30minutes Kleinescheidegg to the Terminal, it is then 15 minutes up. That is twice as much time skiing as in the uplift………………………….phenomenal. I know not everyone cares about these things, I think it is awesome.

White Hare, transformed

A transformed mental image. Have you ever looked down on the White Hare lines? What about with your own eye’s? Have you been closer than you get from a helicopter? The new Gondola whizzes along, no longer blocked by protective tunnels.

There’s a line!

There’s a hazard!

You have to remember it when you finally get in there, but still, very cool.

Near the top:

The top:

Our long runs

We’ve often enjoyed our long runs at the right time in the right conditions. You could do Eigergletcher to Grund a poetically licenced vertical mile. A few 100m less from Kleinescheidegg. The same from the top of Wixi or Lauberhorn or Honegg, make your way to the McMillan piste and all the way to the Gondola Station. (With a pang of concern about timing and the caravan park). You can do the same from the Laeger chair or choose red 3, which you can access from the Maennlichen Chair, Cable Car and Gondola. But you never did. The chair lifts always got you more skiing.

It has been transformed. From 1, 2, 3, …. 10 (11 if you count the slightly lower T-Bar) you can ski all the way to the bottom more than 5km for every one of them (some getting close to 10km) and it never matters what time you get there!

Want to stop here: Aspen alpin lifestyle hotel Grindelwald – Ihr Ferien Hotel am Fusse der Eiger Nordwand – Luxury alpine lifestyle in an authentic Chalet for relaxing or active holidays in the Bernese Oberland (hotel-aspen.ch) Then do.

What about here: Holzer Bar | Après-Ski Bar | Grindelwald | Skigebiet Kleine Scheidegg – Männlichen | Berner Oberland | Schweiz if you like.

When you get to the bottom, get on the next Gondola, they are both just going round and round!

We did a wee test ski today. Only skied from 0900hrs to 1300hrs, 7 pieces of uplift: 5326vm of Skiing!

Check this link for information from the Jungfraubahn themselves: Eiger Express – Jungfrau V-Bahn Special EN

Not Gauranteed.

Sadly I’m afraid the seeing of awesome sunlight, snow sparkles and funky coloured things in the sky can not be relied upon. However, at that end of this day we were treated to this:

A Twinned Rainbow, Parhelion, sundog! Dam beautiful!

Lots of love from Wengen.