Spending New Year's in the Swiss Alps

Mountain
A shot of the Jungfrau mountain region by Christopher Moore.
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A Trip to the Swiss Alps

Going to Switzerland was my first trip out of the country, and boy was it a good one.

Not only had I never been snowboarding, skiing, or anything of the sort ever in my life, I had never even seen mountains. The only mountains I have ever seen up to that point was just in movies or TV shows.

The excitement and complete awe that I felt seeing the mountains get closer and closer was a wild feeling. Never had I seen anything so gorgeous and mystical, it didn’t even feel real.

But I kept my cool, didn’t want to seem too crazy over just seeing the mountains, considering we will be snowboarding them in less than 24 hours.

Not to mention that all this was going down over New Year’s, and just the year prior I spent New Year’s in my mom’s basement. What an upgrade!

Jungfrau Swiss

How Did We Get There?

This one we found through a local travel agency. They were offering a trip to the Swiss Alps for a weekend of snowboarding and celebrating, I believe the trip was about $399. This didn’t include gear rental, so we did have to get that.

On the day of the trip, we all packed our stuff into the giant bus and embarked on our journey. The bus ride was easy, I slept for a lot of it, took in the views of the road, but mainly just day-dreamed about how great the trip would be. In MY head, I envisioned myself absolutely shredding these mountains, and being some expert snowboarder even though I had never touched a snowboard in my life.

My reasoning for thinking I could do it? I used to RipStik… a lot.

The trip was about 6 hours long, including stops, so we got there around 1:30 in the afternoon.

Jungfrau Snowboarding

What Did We Do There?

As you can tell, $399 for a weekend snowboarding trip to the Swiss Alps is quite the fair price, especially when you consider lodging costs were included.

Part of the reason for this was because we stayed in a hostel. Since all my friends went on this trip with me, I stayed in a room with people I knew; and the room had three total beds: a bunk bed and a single bed.

As is common in hostels, there was a shared community bathroom down the hall. We shared the floor with people from all over the world. There were people from Korea, Australia, us from America, and people from a few more places.

That was pretty cool because we all ended up going out to the club beneath the hostel for a New Year’s Eve party.

So we got there on the afternoon of the 31st. Our first day of snowboarding wasn’t until the next day, the 1st. So that first day was spent walking around, getting our bearings, and eating.

There were a few restaurants that we had right near our hostel, which made it easy since we didn’t have a car or anything.

Once night rolled around, we headed out to the New Year’s party downstairs. We were there for a few hours, and I was pretty impressed with it. They played good music, everyone was cool and having a good time. Then once midnight struck they sent off all the confetti and other party stuff.

That was good for us, we had to be up early to hit the mountain, so we called it for the night.

Jungfrau Switzerland

Waking up in the morning wasn’t too bad for us. We called it relatively early; at least compared to everyone else.

When we opened our door, however, we saw just a bunch of people passed out all over the hallway. It was as if an entire zombie apocalypse had came and went all in a night’s sleep!

We stepped over and maneuvered around everyone and made it down to the bus. For some reason, there were random shoes laid out everywhere, no idea how or why that happened.

Friday the 1st was our first day of snowboarding. We took the bus to the main area of the mountain, then caught a train thing up to the top.

Since this was the first time a lot of us had been snowboarding, we spent a lot of time getting set up and making sure everything felt and fit right.

Remember all that mess I was talking? About how I was going to shred this mountain? That didn’t happen. The starter hill was pretty low on the mountain, so we didn’t have to take a lift to the top. But as soon as I stood up, I realized I was screwed. I went down the first small hill and was like a statue, I didn’t know how to move, steer, slowdown, nothing. I was just a frozen person bent over like an animal as I let gravity do its job. That first little hill was a straight shot, so I just rode straight into the snow bank; that was my only option for stopping.

Once we finished the rest of the hill, it came time to ride the ski lift. This was one of the worst experiences of my life.

Jungfrau Region Swiss

Other snowboarders would take one foot out of their board and kind of walk the board up to the lift. I tried that too, trying to pretend as if I actually knew what I was doing, but as soon as I took one foot out, the rest of the board went straight into my ankle and knocked me over. So at this point I’m holding up the line, the lift is coming up fast, and by fast I mean like 1 mph.

I try sitting on it when it passes by me, but I end up getting pushed and dragged by it. They are about to stop the lift but I just throw myself in the seat. I made it; no harm, no foul. Just like I drew it up.

The rest of the day went like that, over and over again.

 
Jungfrau Region

The second day on the mountain went a little better. My first run led to me crashing out and ripping my snow pants off. Great. I’m at the bottom of this hill, pants falling off everywhere, and I still have no clue how to operate a ski lift. Not to mention snow getting everywhere, and I mean everywhere. So I was not the happiest of campers.

We make it back to the main area of the mountain where they have a rental place. I rented a new pair of snow pants for way more money than I care to admit, and then we were on our way again.

About 30 minutes later, one of my buddies and I decided that we had had enough. We were bruised, our pride was shattered, and we just wanted to relax in some nice comfy warm clothes.

I begrudgingly turned in those overly expensive snow pants that I used for 30 minutes, and we were on our way.

At the bottom of the mountain there was a little restaurant, this is where we would spend the remainder of the day until everyone else came back down.

It was nice, tried some hot wine for the first time ever, and that was surprisingly good. I also got this super cool ice cream dessert thing. Now, I know what you’re wondering, why would I get ice cream when I was freezing on a mountain? The answer is simple, because it looked really cool, and it came with a slice of kiwi. And I love kiwi.

Jungfrau at Night

Heading Home

Everyone ended up coming down off the mountain pretty early, so we just headed back to the hostel and packed up our stuff. We got dinner one last time before bed, then called it a night.

Early the next morning we all piled back onto the bus and trekked the 6 hours back to base.

Overall, it was an amazing trip, and the start of my snowboarding career. These days, I am at least decent at snowboarding, and I consider it a pretty fun adventure if you ever get the chance to try it!

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