Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Andermatt, 14-17 Apr 2006

Where to go skiing when Easter ends up in the middle of April? Somewhere high and north-facing would be good, and Andermatt, only three hours on the Austostrada from Torino seemed worth a shot.

Despite something of a heatwave on Friday and Saturday, there had been enough snow during the previous week to keep things interesting, and there was enough snow to ski into the village (1436 m):

Margo's new helemet is not aligned with her new haircut!

There was even sun and powder on Friday afternoon when we arrived, and on Sunday morning:

Apart from this, it was melt / freeze spring skiing, with a deeper freeze on Monday night getting the better of us, as it left most of the off-piste rutted and littered with death cookies, with the inevitable result:

Still, not bad for the middle of April, especially when the lift pass only cost 150 CHF per person (and that's valid till the end of the season on 1st May!)

I tested some free-ride skis from a very small outfit, Birdos (www.birdos.com) who hand-make them in their workshop in Andermatt:

Birdos Workshop, Gottardstraße, Andermatt

The model I tried, the "Ghetto Chicken" (185cm) is an excelent all-round ski, good for big fast turns as well as more delicate moves in couloirs, with a good grip on-piste and in ice to boot:

The tips of Birdos Ghetto Chicken 185's (with the 11 graphics, just to confuse things) just after Margo skied over them ;-)

We'll definately be back earlier in the season next year, and I'm dreaming about skiing these couloirs already...

The Alpetligrat (West side of the ridge between Rossbodenstock and Badus / Six Madun)

Lower down, a complex of Couloirs runs into the Unteralp, which leads into Andermatt. Relatively accessible, and promising earlier in the season.

Unamed couloir N. of the Uss. Tüfelstal off the road just N. of Andermatt. Whereas the Uss. and Inner Tüfelstal don't look like they would be skiable by mere mortals, this looks like it has some promise earlier in the season.


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