With a helmet, without, or with a bald head, we wait until the minute hand reaches the right position. Tick tock, tick tock. It won't take long now. The waiting has an end. The cable car brings us into the night.
Someone obviously didn't pay the bill. It's really dark here. We could have left the sunglasses at home. Never mind. Let's be honest, a helmet without glasses looks weird.
No, no. No fear. The sun's only saying goodbye in order to make room for the darkness. We want to go night skiing. We need the night, not the day for this. Otherwise it would «just» be skiing. So: bye, bye day.
Admittedly the sun makes a grand departure. Topping this is going to be difficult. Let's wait.
So that the piste doesn't look like this during night skiing...
...we've got quite strong, big lamps – also called floodlights. These things are also known to be useful whilst driving.
Snow is usually white. We can assume this to be true. That's why we say «snow-white» and not «snow-blue». But there are exceptions. Another common colour is yellow. A little tip: We don't eat yellow snow. Either way, the white of the snow in the floodlight creates a wonderful contrast to the darkness of the night.
We just can't wait. Before supper we have a great skiing session.
Floodlights for night skiing didn't exist before. The first ski lift in Haslital couldn't «see» very well at night either. But it was always patient. It pulled the skiers up the mountain tirelessly. Today, we ride up with modern cable cars and down again on superbly prepared slopes. And all of that in the night. Thomas Edison had dreamt that his bulbs would be used for skiing as well.
The first ski lift in Haslital didn't have floodlights and ate straw.
former snow sports teacher at Hasliberg
What more could we wish for? The welcome orchestra strikes up. We immediately feel like Swiss skiing stars.
Anything else would really not be fitting. In an ambience like this we follow the local tradition of course: a cheese fondue please. Ok, raclette is always welcome, too.
Obviously. Up here, there can only be meringues for dessert. This thing is huge. The meringue is supposed to have got its name from Meiringen. We like to believe that.
Three of us search for the bottom of the plate. Delicious. The giant dessert can be worked off during the descent.
At high altitude, it's important that the airways are kept clear. So: Snuufff.
Beer-bellies in action, let's hit the slopes. They're open until 10 pm.
Someone has misunderstood something here. We're going night skiing, and he comes along with a snowboard. Just a joke. Everyone is a star – whatever boards they have on their feet. The only prerequisites are bindings. Sledge-lovers are out here unfortunately. Never mind. Don't panic. They can come on Wednesday evening.
Freeriding off-piste is an excellent challenge – completely without night-vision devices. You really have to ride with feeling. We won't leave the piste of course. We have no reason to. Everything superbly prepared and floodlit.
The miserable minute hand did its rounds quickly. How impolite. The church tower bell chimes ten times. A fatal signal. It can only mean one thing: lights off. The darkness is coming. Let's go – into the bindings again and off to the last ride.
Before we say goodbye to Haslital, we'll visit the mouse trap. Er, not this one...
...and not the mouse trap in Kitzbühel either.
Voila. That's it. Directly next to Hotel Reuti. OK then: one beer please...
No, that's going too far. We'll stop that now. Stupid word play. Night has fallen and the new day is waiting patiently to begin – guaranteed with a lot of sunshine.
Photos: Jungfrau Region; Bergbahnen Meiringen-Hasliberg
Story: André Wellig
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