So which travels faster? An object moving on snow or sound? The object moving on snow apparently. I was missed narrowly by a runaway snowboard this morning on Mannlichen and it was only when it had passed me that the cry reached me “Achtung snowboard”. It careered past and hit the netting where the racers practice, just below the first steepish pitch on the hill.
It wasn’t a great start to the day generally. I left home and indulged almost immediately in a bit of ice dancing. Early season can be difficult like that, with traps everywhere for the unwary. Before I knew it, I was on the floor bleeding profusely from my left hand and with a ripped ski jacket.
I returned home to sort things out and started again. I went through the usual routine – putting on boots, collecting skis and so on – and finally made it to the cable car. There I found a technical hitch; I had left my ski pass behind. Now I know you can get a day pass which is refunded later against production of a season pass, but the queue was too long for that. So I went home for the offending pass and repeated the whole process.
It was over an hour from when I first set out that I made it on to the cable car. At the top, it was grey and icy. The large crowds disappeared, to the Berghaus presumably, and all was quiet.
Perseverance is often rewarded though and in the afternoon, the sun made an appearance, the crowds were missing still and all was well with the Wengen ski world. Okay, it was still icy on the racecourse and I have had easier runs over the Hundschopf, but the day picked up enormously.
Tonight, my ski jacket has made a trip to Grindelwald where it will be sewn back together. The ice outside the chalet has been chipped away. My hand has stopped bleeding. All is well.
A delayed start to the day allowed 8,085 vertical metres in 18 lift rides and with 42 kilometres travelled.