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Dropbear's Achievements

in the Crossfire

in the Crossfire (10/30)



  1. I was down in Perisher for a bit in August but with the season pass the downhill slopes were pretty appealing. There wasn't enough snow on the open plains for kiting for the first part of the trip anyway. Later when it did snow more we headed out to into the sidecountry after all the downhill spots were tracked out. Especially on weekends - it was important to escape the crowds. My brother and I managed a fun session at Betts Creek on a random southerly, and another in a very small but fun spot at Farm Creek in a westerly. Perisher obviously isn't a good base for kiting. As for kiting around the bottom of Perisher, that'd be horrible for winds and for crowds, I wouldn't recommend that at all. For a kiter a season pass at Thredbo would be a much better option, but we're tied to Perisher... Here's hoping that Thredbo releases something like a 10-trip pass for the Crackenback Quad for the BC peeps - now they've got RFID that's easy for them to manage. Back in Sydney now. If anyone's interested in making a trip when good winds are forecast then give me a bell?
  2. Not a great base depth at the moment, due you think the main range (or Tate more specifically) would have enough coverage for beginner-intermediate kiting, or do we need another dump first?
  3. Ankle deep snow now down to 1000m, which is awesome. I've spent the past 2 days walking around the villages and forests below the Jungfrau, specifically Murren yesterday and Wengen today. Bring on the season! I noticed in line for the pool at Interlaken had an Ozone bag so I asked him if he was a kiter, he said no, he was a paragliding instructor. Ah of course, I forgot they made those too. Anyway he suggested the Fritgen airfield as a good kiting spot, which surprised me 'cos it's at the bottom of the valley. I suppose that makes it either terrible for kiting, or great for snowkiting and great for buggying and boarding in the summer! I don't know enough about the interactions of the winds with the Swiss landscape to know the answer.
  4. Dropbear


    Dave Shepp would be the expert on that. Some of what he's told me is that there's quite a few frozen lakes and other similar places where you can kite, and there's lots of backcountry, so I presume you'd be avoiding resorts when you're wanting to kite. As for resorts which are close to good kite spots so you can work on the hill and get off it for a quick fly... I have no idea. Good luck with it!
  5. Awesome! Ok, I'll try and head over that way. The problem I've found is that most of the hostels are closed until closer to Christmas - opening after I start back at Kandersteg. I'm in Interlaken tonight principally becuase it's open! I'm thinking of heading up the valley slightly to Lauterbrunnen next, that valley seems quite scenic. After hearing from some Aussies at the hostel that the train up to the top of the Jungfrau costs 150CHF I think I might give it a miss - maybe work will sponsor a trip... I reckon that sort of money would be better spent on paragliding or one of the other adventurous things here. Cheers for the suggestions
  6. Cheers for the ideas Yep I'm in Kandersteg now. Took the scenic route from Zurich via Luzern and Interlaken - I've been that way before and new it was worth it, and besides I've done the Zurich-Bern route several times before so I know that's not very special terrain. But anyway it was a superb day in the alps. Some clouds to start off with but it opened up to a bluebird day by 10am. Got to Kandersteg, and despite being dead tired after 3 days of hardly any sleep (packing, flying,flying) I had a long arvo walk around town. No snow, but the frost is hugely thick in places, obviously it's not burning off each day so the ice crystals just build and build. Shallow parts of the Kander river are frozen too, as are some of the waterfalls. Snow predictions pushed back to early next week apparently. But I'm actually quite glad there's no snow. It means I've arrived before the season has started, and to see a season in its entirity has always been a dream of mine. It's about balancing the amazement of the snowfalls and the awesomeness of the peak season with the pain as it all melts away again. Sure I'm not going to see the end of the season here, but I am quite excited to be seeing it properly begin So I'm gonna stay at least 1 more night here, best spot to fight the jetlag. I'm thinking of hiking up to the Daubensee tomorrow so that I can see what it's like before it becomes white, that might be nice. And some research, so cheers for the suggestions. There's a Swiss girl here that is most insitent that the eastern part of the country is the best, and I haven't seen it - never been between Zurich and the border nor south of St Moritz. So going there this time would make a lot of sense. Going up the Jungfrau is also a must do considering it's so close. I'm gonna leave that one though until I start work - there's a chance we might go up there on the job, or if that doesn't happen, it's close enough for a day trip with work buddies. And with that I shall crash mightily. Missing the beach already. I'm told the pool here is closed too. Bad news that.
  7. I'm now at Changi airport waiting for my flight to Switzerland Kandersteg tomorrow night, then probably hitting the road (or more specifically the tracks). A question for Sand Yeti and anyone else who could help answer it - as there's no snow for kiting, and I'll be travelling around the country on the trains (or post buses etc...) and staying at hostels, can you recommend any smaller towns with good scenic options like walking trails or even lakes where I could rent a kayak? The sort of place where I could explore for a day or two from the one hostel before moving on to someplace else? I'm interested in getting off the beaten trail somewhat, perhaps away from ski resorts considering I would likely be visiting a few of these later in the season when they're snowcovered. I'll be armed with a "Swiss Flexi Pass" - probably for 5 travel days in the month, so every couple of days I can move around instead of travelling every single day.
  8. Reports are from Switzerland that there's no kiteable snow and fine weather predicted for the next week Oh and as predicted, the Wildstrubelhutte is closed until February. So the only option for kiting this early December is a day trip up to Plaine Morte. Still, that's a better option for snowkiting than Sydney at the moment
  9. Nice pics! Looks like a wilderness to me. And that image of the Plaine Morte - it looks PERFECT for kiting! The extended expedition idea is awesome, though I won't have the gear for that personally, I'll have to wait to see if they've got anything like that planned at Kandersteg.
  10. Ok, cheers, that's pretty clear info Sand-Yeti. So for the Plaine Morte, day trips would be possible on the cable car from the Valais side but not from Lenk. Good idea about the Swiss Alpine Club huts. http://www.sac-cas.ch. It looks nice and cheap too! The Wildstrubelhütte http://www.sac-cas.ch/index.php?id=416&L=3 looks the closest to the glacier. They've got a topo map on the website which is quite helpful, and it shows the glacier is open to the north, but probably closed to the south. I'll try and get in touch with them. Anyway thanks to the SAC site I now have topo maps of the Plaine Morte, Daubensee, Simplon Pass, and Kandersteg too It's nice to think that the Swiss are so used to the weather patterns of their alpine home that they even give names and attribute personalities to the winds. I was previously heard of the winds being referred to as the north and south Föhns, and I had heard about complaints about headaches and such being attributed to them. It seems amusing. The Bise is news to me, but it makes sense that it is differentiated from the Föhn. It also makes sense as north wind = cold and fine weather = high pressure system dominates(?) whereas south wind = wet and warm wind, hopefully with snow but probably with poor visability = low pressure system dominates(?). I loved Zermatt. I was originally intending to spend just the one day there (2 nights), but that day (in early Dec) it was snowying heavily (and windy as buggery) so I spent the day walking around town and up the hillsides taking pics. I stayed another day so I could spend a day on the slopes, and had an awesome day snowboarding with an Aussie and a Brit from the quaint but shambolic hostel I was staying at. Suprisingly we were getting fresh tracks all day as we found an off piste spot where nobody else was going. And it was amazing catching lifts and having the Matterhorn *right there* like you could reach out and touch it. Anyways after that I had to rush off as I only had a few days left in Switzerland before I met up with a friend in Berlin.
  11. Wow that's hugely informative. I had picked up on that likely translation for Plaine Morte but I spose I didn't really think too much about it beyond that. But it does sound like a good option if the snows don't arrive early enough for me to kite on the Daubensee or the Simplon Pass. I don't think the Plaine Morte is listed on unhooked.ch, what winds does it like, the north or south fohns like the other spots? And what's the way to get up there from the north, catch the train to Lenk and walk the rest, or is there an easier way? From the south, does the Crans Montana cable car get you all the way to the kite spot? I'll take your advice to focus on high German. I knew Swiss-German was distinct to German but not that it wasn't a complete language with an accepted written form and all... I have also head of school-educated German speakers (like exchange students) who've visited places like Switzerland and Austria and found the language to be completely different to their textbook education. And if a native born Swiss like you has had problems communicating with Ober Valaisers then that counts for double! It's nice that you've got nice things to say about Kandersteg. I have caught the train through there before - on that trip I went from Zermatt to Bern via Brig of course. That was in 2007 - I was in Switzerland for a week so I bought a Swiss Pass and spent most days on the trains trying to cover as much of the country as possible. Unfortunately I didn't know much about the Scout chalet at that time so I didn't stop there. It sounds like an ideal place for a traveller in that you can go both ways on the train, and yet at the same time it should be peaceful 'cos there's no road tunnel through to the Valais side. Though it sounds like I'll miss the sun badly. I didn't realise it would be so shadowy in winter down there, but it makes sense when the mountains are on the south side... I already knew I'd miss the Aussie summer big time - I've been spending most days at the beach (it's my job!) - but to go to the shadowy end of a Swiss valley will probably be extra tough. Anyway all the pictures I've seen of the place look very beautiful. I could very well understand you missing it, like I know I'll miss Australia.
  12. Cheers for all that info Sand-Yeti It's awesome to hear about the Plaine Morte and Blümlisalp glaciers being other close options, though I'd be sure look for some local guidance before trying out these places. Mine Deutsch is nicht sehr gut - more like appalling actually - much of my German learnt in school has been lost sadly. The place where I'm staying has people from all over the place working and staying there so English is the main language. So while I'm hoping to learn as much Swiss German as I can, I fear I'll have limited opportunities to converse in it.
  13. Cheers for that info, that's great. *Goes and notes down some more kiting spots... Not too many snowkiters eh? Sounds familiar. But at the same time if every man and his dog was flying kites it wouldn't be so special. A mate of mine who paraglides was telling me that they have a easy time travelling as paragliders everywhere are very welcoming. From what I've seen so far, kiters are the same, but then I've not kited overseas yet. But if kiting (or paragliding) was as popular as surfing say then we wouldn't have as much in common with others overseas who do it... As for Zermatt, I've been told it's not ideal. But like you say it's a great place to ski so that's no bother. When were you there? What did you do for transport and accommodation? Apparently you can get a post bus up to the Simplon with SBB for CHF6.60! (I never cease to be amazed by the quality of the public transport in Switzerland). Thanks for the tip about the DNT in Norway - it's the first I've heard about it and it looks a pretty neat setup. Gosh those Scandinavians (and Europeans too) are way ahead of us with these things...
  14. Cheers gcdave Yeah unhooked.ch is an excellent resource, the "kitespots" section has lots of info. As has been pointed out to me, it's currently set to show summer locations (I never expected such a mountainous country to have a kitesurfing scene like they do), but at the bottom of the page is a link to the winter spots section. And guess what? Apparently there's a decent spot on a frozen lake ("Daubensee"), a gondola ride away from the town I'll be staying in. How cool is that? There's another good spot (the Simplon Pass I mentioned earlier) a train and bus ride away to the south. Yee At that spot there's a hotel (and a road open all winter) literally beside the kite spot, but annoyingly I'm told the hotel doesn't open until Christmas There's also a big stone statue of an eagle out in the ranges there somewhere. I gotta see that. The Swiss kiting community I've been looking for appears to be at http://forum.kitesailingworld.ch/index.php.
  15. Well according to the mob I linked above, the two passes they like (both close to or on the Swiss - Italian border) work in both north and south winds. So I suppose in theory, anywhere along that border range where the terrain is suitable for kiting, you've got a kite spot. I'm struggling to find a online presence for a Swiss kiting community though And I saw it mentioned that Zermatt could be kited. Has anyone heard of anything along those lines?
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