After finding little to no ice in Kandersteg for the Ice Climbing Festival we travelled to Lauchernalp. Called a Freeride Secret Spot we had to discover ourselves. Compared to Kandersteg we were well equipped, bringing along not only a book with routes but also a map.
I think it is because of smartphones that we stopped preparing trips in advance with sufficient literature. Whenever encountering a problem en route you can rely on 3G connection and Google Maps. Something ruled out by the fact that we were reluctant to pay for data roaming.
Although we are familiar with walking up a mountain and skiing down thereafter, freeriding is somewhat different. Being forced to find a way from above exclusively can prove to be more difficult than we thought. I nearly skied down a cliff, because I made a mistake reading the map.
Lauchernalp as such was quite a nice place. Beautiful scenery, but the people were not so friendly. Not only did they charge for a lot of things nobody told us about beforehand, they even did this in an un-charming way. Thanks to the euro crisis a trip to Switzerland is quite costly these days. Nevertheless, the Swiss have got a sound understanding of how to make it even worse. Enough for the German nagging.
Overall I’d say the spot is worth three or four days hanging out there. For the weather we were really lucky and got an awful amount of sunshine. Snow could have been better, as the last snow they got already lay there for a fortnight (imagine that in January). So the slopes happened to be quite icy. In early January there is hardly anybody around – just don’t expect great après ski parties. Do expect: solitude on the slopes. When leaving the skiing area, you can be on your own for the next three to four hours.