I've posted enough reports and articles so you know that when on a destination trip, given the choice between a well-known major ski area and a comparatively smaller one that's off-the-beaten-path and frequented mainly by locals, I almost always go for Door #2. Still, there are a few bucket-list places that have been on my radar for many moons and the Jungfrau region is one of them. There are three separate sectors, each of which can be given their own day: from left to right Grindelwald First, Kleine Scheidegg/Wengen, and Schilthorn/Mürren.
With the exception of my sunny afternoon at Axalp on Monday, we'd basically had five straight days of less than stellar visibility so with Wednesday's absolutely perfect forecast, there was a fair amount of pent-up demand and a long procession of cars going up to Grindelwald:
Still, we got a great parking spot only a two-minute walk from the base area at Grund, where you buy your ticket ($66: expensive for Europeans but a bargain for Americans), which includes a train ride in a cog railway to the village of Kleine Scheidegg -- about half an hour covering 3,700 vertical feet. The only thing I like more than skiing is skiing + trains, so this was right in my sweet spot. Once there, it's basically like an urban train station at 6,700 feet with several platforms, scheduled departures to Wengen, and a separate train that takes you up to the Jungfraujoch (the "Top of Europe") at 11,300 feet:
Here's the Hotel Bellevue des Alpes, where Clint Eastwood and film crew headquartered during the shooting of his 1975 spy movie "The Eiger Sanction" -- haven't seen it in decades so I have to make a point of checking it out again soon.
Despite all the people on the train, once on the mountain, every single lift was ski-on. The three major peaks that are staring you in the face most of the day are the Eiger, the Mönch, and the Jungfrau. Here we are directly below the Eiger North Wall:
There are 100km/60 miles of marked trails in this sector, plenty for a day of sublime cruising. About five inches of snow had fallen overnight but due to a refrozen subsurface, the offpiste looked better than it actually skied. No problem, the groomers were that good.
We eventually headed toward Wengen on the World Cup course:
... and stopped for refreshments with a view before dropping into the village:
Gorgeous conditions in the Männlichen sector:
Around 3 pm, we completed the circuit by returning to Kleine Scheidegg:
Then skied 2,500 verts down through the woods to Brandegg:
And caught the train back to Grund:
In short, the Grindelwald absolutely lived up to its advance billing and the photos don't really convey how spectacular the setting is.
My god James you live it! I got to ask, how do you do it? Were you born into big $ or did you work ridiculously hard to afford this lifestyle of yours or is it sort of a mix of both? Regardless I'm super stoked for you! You live the dream and are happy to share it with us on here and I'm super appreciative of that. Good on ya man!
James might spend less than you think. Also you probably see, here in the forum, a signif chunk of his disposable income.
Nice to see Mrs Deluxe out too!
I'm not judging nor do I care how he does it! I'm just stoked that he is and then posts these super awesome Tr's.
My good friend just became the new CEO for Gore. I couldn't be more proud of/for him. He's gonna kill it. He's a guy in my edits. He's gonna be able to travel like this and my god, he's worked so hard for it. I couldn't think of a better person to get that position.
I'm just stoked that he is and then posts these super awesome Tr's.
Thanks for the comments and no offense taken about the money question. I can virtually guarantee that my Alps visits cost less than most people's trips out west (using FF miles for flights is the great equalizer).