The Lab

Skiing’s Next Big Secret?

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Jorn Werdelin

The New York Times ran a piece last winter spilling the beans about the mystical locations for unspoilt out-of-the-world skiing being tracked down by powder seekers over the years.  These hidden gems are not to be spoken of by their location name, but simply called Valley X, Y, Z, etc., so that a privileged few can keep these pristine slopes to themselves. When word gets out, the crowds (usually the Swedes first) zoom in, these destinations become famous.

The author went on to reveal the latest ‘secret’ location called Disentis in Switzerland, and detailed his ‘discovery’. It’s an interesting read if you are into skiing: Disentis

Disentis is where I was headed right after the intense Basel show. I must see for myself whether or not it would deserve a worthy mention in our ski guide.

We toured up to the ridge of Disentis. The ridge is long so there are a lot of lines you can choose to ski down.  But before that, you have to climb the iron rungs bolted into the mountain wall, with no rope no safety line, to reach the ridge top.

We took a popular line down Val Strem, a side valley dropping nearly 1,800 vertical metres to the village of Sedrun. We ended up miles away from Disentis and had to take a train in order to get back.  But that is the whole point of an adventure, isn’t it? Despite unimpressive snow conditions this year, I think Disentis is good if you enjoy a very local and remote setting. The skiing is interesting but I have had more amazing experiences in places like Grimentz in Val d’Anniviers in the Swiss Alps.  I cannot see it ever becoming the next big destination.

J. Werdelin

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