The Snow Gardeners

The Snow Gardeners
StoriesThe Snow Gardeners

Raking, filling the furrows and plugging the holes

Yes, every day and with loving attention to the smallest detail, the team of seven at the Grindelwald-First Snow Park do their best to ensure that freeskiers and snowboarders can do their thing in a perfectly-groomed snow environment – with half pipe, jumps, rails and boxes.
Although the "garden" at 1,725 metres above sea level is usually covered in a thick white blanket of snow during the winter season, the seven members of the team spend time each day pottering around here. This is because, instead of growing flowers and carrots, they are attending to the half pipe, the jumps, the rails and the boxes. These are precisely the things that make a snow park so attractive to snowboarders and freestylers.

Snow sports aficionados regard the Grindelwald-First Snow Park as being one of Switzerland's most attractive such parks because the mighty Eiger North Face, the Schreckhorn and the Wetterhorn form the perfect backdrop for the park. The team uses the PistenBully, rakes and shovels to make sure that no jump is ever too high or too low and no landing ever too shallow, and that the furrows and holes left behind by users at the end of the day get refilled. The jumps and rails are continually rebuilt so as to ensure that the guests do not get bored with the terrain.

There is no doubt that the team has a dream job. Each of the elements is tested by the team members themselves before being opened to the public. The team’s shapers also spend their free time on the jumps, rails, boxes and in the halfpipe.

Grindelwald Snow Park Team’s-Tips

Stop off at the "Bus Stop" Après Ride Bar

While some might enjoy a quiet beer at the "Kreuz" or the "Ochsen" bars, we prefer to do our drinking at the "Bus Stop" après ride bar. The bar is actually a bus that was discarded in 1960 and then parked up a few years ago at the end of the Grindel valley run. It is now a popular meeting place. With a mojito in hand and sweet strains of music in the ears it is no wonder that people think that a visit to the orange bus is a great way to end the day.

Sip a "Hairy Cow" at the Bar Avocado

This is the coolest bar in all of Grindelwald! Over the years, Alex has developed it into a popular rendezvous for freestylers. With its upbeat ambience, the bar is usually jam packed with patrons in party mood. Sometimes there is live music played by a band and now and again Alex will pick up his guitar. Even though there is a big selection of cocktails and shots, I prefer the "Hairy Cow" – an aromatic Indian pale ale beer from the brewery with the same name located in Interlaken.

Glide High above the White Landscape on a Tandem Flight.

If you have ever wished you could be like a bird hovering high above the slopes then you really do need to treat yourself to a tandem paragliding flight. This starts on the 2,150 metre high First summit. From here you take off with an experienced instructor and spend 20 minutes hovering up in the air where you can admire the surrounding mountain scenery and the colourful goings-on down on the slopes below. Then you make a soft landing at Bodmi only five minutes from the valley station for the First aerial cableway.



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