Sledding in Grindelwald (Ritas Speedway) Schlitteln in Grindelwald
Hello fellow Steemians and fans of the wintersport.
This weekend I went sledding in Grindelwald. What a great place to spend the day.
First we took the 30minutes train from Thun (very close to the capital Bern) to Interlaken. Interlaken is the start of most mountain excursions since it is located in the heart of the Berner Oberland. From there we boarded another small train to take us to Grindelwald mainstation.
In Grindelwald Grund you can lend some sled's. There are the normal wooden Davoser or the newer speed-sleds to choose from.
My girlfriend with a famous Davoser
Since I brought my own Davoser we decided to rent a speed-sled to compare the two next to each other.
Keep in mind I used mine the first time this winter-season so you can imagine the runners were quite rusted. Luckily we met a speed-sledder in the train who gave us some good tips for the day.
He tried to find some sandpaper for me but we ended up just pulling it over the snow and the asphalt to get rid of most rust. I know as a mechanical engineer this sounds outrageous but it is really the cheap way to clean your runners.
After the small rework we were ready to go to the top of the mountain.
Before we start with the fun part lets talk finances.
The train from Interlaken will cost you about 30CHF which is quite a lot if you ask me. I have a general ticket for the whole year though, so it dosen't bother me really that much. The ticket to the mountain is not for free too. To ride the whole day by ski or snowboard you'll pay about 60-70CHF but the sledding tickets is slightly cheaper with 33CHF.
As you see it's not for free at all but it's worth it for once or twice a year.
You can come here by car but if you choose the wrong time to leave you'll be in a slow moving metal avalanche until Interlakens highway.
Now we boarded the gondola which takes us to the top of the mountain. This particular cable car takes 30 minutes to reach the hilltop so plenty of time to picnic and prepare your GoPros or whatever you brought with you. Once you reached the top you can enjoy beautiful views of the nountains around you. There are the famous Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Probably the most known mountains after the Matterhorn.
In a gondola
Now you'll start with your journey down to the middlestation. Sometimes you can sled all the way down to Grindelwald but we had some warm winds in the last days so the snow melted on the lower more sunny parts of the road downhill.
After a few minutes the ride splits apart in the normal one mostly on the flat-angles streets or the Ritas Speedway which joins the ski-track at some point. There you can really get some speed down. The professional sledder told us he reached almost 90km/h one time but that's just his word. I'm not sure how comfortable he was at that speed because your feet are your breaks.
Both of us in the sled
You have about 15-20minutes of sledding time until you reach the middlestation but believe me you are happy to take a small break after that.
Sledding is all about aerodynamics and strength of your body. Two days after I can still feel the muscles in my stomach and thigh. Since we arrived in the afternoon we did the track three times. We might have done a forth time but it was ok this way. We rather enjoyed the beautiful views at some point and spend a little time just overlooking this fabulous art of nature.
Mountain view #1
Mountain view #2
In Grindelwald is (at least) europes longest sledding track which gives you close to two hours of sledding time. You'll have to walk for an hour to reach it in the first place though. We will do that next time but since it really is an experience we like to take some friends with us to enjoy the time even more. And maybe race each other a little. Who dosen't like a little competition :-)
In conclusion it is worth the visit. We visit this place every year and always have a lot of fun.
Hit me up if you like to know more about sledding in Switzerland and enjoy the pictures.
Sadly I did not had the courage to bring the DSLR with me in case of a crash so you have to be happy with the pictures from the smartphone. I'll visit the mountains mit the DSLR at some point
Make sure to follow @road2somewhere to get even better blogs about traveling in the future. I'm still working on the blueprint of the posts but that way you are ready when we start.
Cheers and steem on!