Jessie Stone 21/03/2017 | Posted in 2016 Rock Star Competition, River Running, rivers, Whitewater, WW Disciplines
What’s the best Spring-soon-to-be day you can have in the Northern Hemisphere?? It goes something like this: You wake up to beautiful sunshine and cloudless skies on the mountains of the Berner Oberland in Switzerland where it was cold enough to freeze the previous night, but the forecast is for bright sun and warm temperatures during the day.
Because there has been plenty of snow during the season, there will be great Spring ski conditions in the morning and mid- day, but maybe a little too slushy by afternoon. What that also means is the too warm slushy conditions in the afternoon will make very nice melt water especially since the temperatures will be in the low 60’s. By 9am, you have set off for a spectacular ski tour to climb up the Ruflihorn in about 2hours and ski down in perfect soft Spring snow. No crowds, no waiting in line and incredible views everywhere you look. Also, quite a good work out to boot!
By 1pm, you are back at your car, ready to drive 20 minutes to the amazing Saanen river, a gem in the area. Usually, you can easily run the shuttle on a path next to the river but today, a very nice ski guide offers to be your shuttle bunnie. Your legs have had enough of a work out anyway from your ski tour, so you can use the drive to rehydrate before your start part two of your perfect day – paddling the Saanen’s first two gorges!
Even though the water is snow melt and a little chilly, it does not matter because the air is so warm and there is plenty of play on this run to keep you very warm. Snow still lines the sides of the gorge but little bits of Spring are popping through the frost and ice. You startle some frogs when you pull into a moss lined eddy in one of the gorges and all jump into the water except one who embeds itself into the moss – hoping you won’t notice it!
The icey water is even refreshing on this balmy March day in Switzerland – who would imagine that? And better enjoy it while it lasts because cold temperatures and snow are on their way next week! This is also good news because it means you have the chance for more of these perfect Spring days!
By 4pm you have finished your amazing Swiss Ski-Paddlathon, and you are very ready for a hot bath and a beer! But honestly, what could better than that for a March day? It’s pretty hard to beat!!