We spent the first few nights at one of Tobi’s friend’s apartments in Zürich. Melanie is awesome and a truly unique individual, and she lives in the red-light district of Zürich (Langstraße) in a sweet little rooftop studio apartment which she calls the “princess dome”. We had a lot of fun one night dancing while eating Magnum ice cream and recording this all with T.’s Macbook. Fun, fun, fun!
Here is a video, uploaded by Melanie, of us dancing with our ice cream!
Then we spent one night at T.’s brother’s apartment. We had fondue for dinner and got to play with their little 7-month-old daughter. They let us borrow a lot of snowboard gear. That was really nice of them! We left early the next morning to go to the train station and head on our way to Braunwald.
Tobias and I had gone there on my fall vacation at the end of October / beginning November for some hiking. We went back to the same Gästehaus as last time – a lovely, traditional log cabin of sorts with a nice room, two stoves and a wood stove and a common area dining room. We had nice company – for the beginning of the trip, we were the only ones there apart from one other couple with a 6-year-old girl, with whom T. and I had a lot of fun talking and playing and being silly.
It’s true when they say that you have to survive the first 3 days. True in two senses of the phrase. Physically, I felt like I was going to fall apart. Everything hurt. Even muscles I didn’t know I had. Like every beginner, I spent most of my time falling on my butt, or on my knees, and sometimes on my head. I wrote in my journal, “I wonder how many times one can hit their head without getting permanent brain damage?” I was a little bit of a wimp, and the pain (and frustration) brought me to tears several time.
Every time I fell down, it was a mental challenge to get back up and do it again. To face the mountain nose-down. So, you also have to survive the mental part of it: 1) Speed is a good, desirable thing. 2) Steep is good. 3) New, thick, deep snow is heavenly. Although I’m still not sure I believe all three of those things for myself, I started to get the hang of it. Mostly because of Tobi’s help and encouragement.
Tobias was an incredibly good teacher. He not only taught me the skills and techniques I needed to make it down the mountain in the true snowboarder fashion, but he was also extremely encouraging and motivating and cheered me on. He was (and is) awesome.
On the fourth day, I started to be less afraid of trying the turn, and by the 7th day, I was doing a much better job. There were a few close calls, though. I did almost fall off the mountain and literally hugged the edge of the slope with my snowboard stuck into the edge for at least 5 minutes before the next person came down and helped me up. (See video!)
The injuries were minor overall – just a few strained muscles and bruises. We are thankful and lucky that we did not break any bones.
By the end, I was feeling a lot more comfortable. In the beginning, I never thought I would like snowboarding – it hurt too much. I am surprised to find that I like it quite a lot, and am looking forward to going back next year.
Here are some photos I took from my cell phone (crappy quality!), followed by some high-quality photos taken by my most favorite photographer, Tobias Stäbler. For the record, it’s nice to have a photographer boyfriend, especially when you forget to bring your own camera battery and therefore can’t take any of your own pictures. ;)
Thank you, Tobias!
And now, for the better photos by Tobias!