Today was the first day of the ski season. Notwithstanding the foehn wind, the pandemic and political pressure from Switzerland’s neighbours to forbid skiing, the Jungfrau region followed some of the country’s higher resorts and opened its lifts. Not many lifts, but it was a start. The railway to Scheidegg was open of course, along with Lauberhorn, Arven, Eigernordwand and the new Eiger Express from Grindelwald.
It seemed that half the village was on the 8.54am train from Wengen to Scheidegg. A little later in the morning, the ski clubs from around the Interlaken area showed up as well and the slopes which were open were well used.
The Eiger Express has been built mainly with Jungfraujoch tourists in mind, but they are still missing for the most part and skiers formed the first customers. The runs down to the base station are closed at the moment, so it was only those skiers starting in Grindelwald who used the lift today.
The new lift has been controversial and faced strong opposition from the environmental lobby for a number of years, but on the face of the mountain, it is not the eye sore it might have been. The lift cuts through the rock face near the top of the Eigernordwand chair and on the far side, the top terminal is quite a building. The Idle Skier carried out a quick inspection and it is a little like being at the airport, but an airport where everyone is carrying skis.
Snow is forecast for the next few days and more of the mountain will open up as well. Hopefully, the season will be a success, despite everything. Those working in the holiday and ski industries have their fingers firmly crossed.
A mainly grey day brought 5,250 vertical metres in 21 lift rides and 33 kilometres travelled.