are your thoughts already in the winter season and you don´t care if the birds sing? Well, sometimes it helps to talk to someone – or just decide if you would want to see the winter in Switzerland. XC-marathon.com have talked to Roland Kuepfer, he organizes skiing holidays with an abundance of white snow, skiing and friendships.
First Roland, could you explain who or what xcskitour Switzerland is; a company or a concept?
-Xcskitour Switzerland is a 7 day long cross-country ski trip (1.-8. feb 2020) in Switzerland without time keeping. The total distance is 250 km and the daily distances are between 20 and 45 km. The ski trips will be in different landscapes of Switzerland, beginning in the french part of Switzerland, going over to the pre-Alps, the impressive Gotthard area, the magic Engadine and finally the region of Lenzerheide. The xc ski tour will be held on regular cross-country ski tracks and can be done in skating as well as in classic technique.
Roland Küpfer – a ski teacher with an idea
-The xcskitour will be operated by bus company Edelline (www.edelline.ch) and the initator, xc-skier and xc-ski teacher Roland Küpfer (www.go-flow.ch). Edelline is responsible for the commercial part, lodgings and transfers. Myself (Roland Küpfer) had the idea for the tour and I’m responsible for the xc-ski part. The idea for this new tour got born after I participated in similar tours in Slovenja (www.ppslo.com) and Finland (www.rajaltarajallehiihto.fi)
Can you give the customers a glimpse of what they can expect? The social aspects, the group as a whole (that they will be skiing with), usual nationalities, histories from earlier seasons and so on?
-You can expect beautiful cross-country ski trips in different landscapes, in open areas, in forests, with great views, with immediate proximity to high mountains and glaciers and so on. It will give the participants a great overview of the wide range of scenic views of Switzerland.
Participants from all over the world
-I’m expecting participants of Canada and USA, from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, middle europe like Germany, Austria, Slovenja France, Souhern part of Europe like Italy, Spain and Andorra, then the UK, Russia and so on. Finally, it will be a multicultural group with one common part, the cross-country skiing. Especially when eating the soup after the ski trips, during the transfers and in the evenings there are many opportunities to get to know each other. Finally, the xc ski tour is a great event with a sporty aspect, socializing and sightseeing.
Which scenic highlights would you especially highlight?
-Each day offers great and different scenic highlights. But to put two of them forward, it will be day 4 with the train trips via Oberalp pass and the Rhine canyon and the bus transfer afterwards to the Engadine via Julier pass. Secondly, day 5 with ski trip in upper Engadine passing St. Moritz, Pontresina and especially touching the glacier of Morteratsch (look picture above with glacier of Morteratsch visible between the trees). Even when it will be sunny these two days will be unforgetable afterwards.
Are there any other parts of the program except the skiing?
-Quite a big part of the tour will be the transfers by bus. Due to the fact we’ll start and end at Zurich airport the participants will get a great sightseeing tour more or less of whole Switzerland.
Is there any risk of snow shortage, and what would you do then?
-There are risks of weather and snow. Snow shortage can happen especially on day 1 and day 4. But there could also be situations with too much of snow and danger of avalanches, mainly on day 3, 4, 5 and 6. These situations are not foresee- or planable and have to be solved if they happen. Thus, there could be some short term changes of the daily ski trips or of the main tour. The beginning of February usually has good snow and weather conditions in Switzerland, but who knows ?
Who are the guides for the trip? Skilled skiers? Are they also culturally knowledgeable (to tell about the areas, etc.)?
-The guides of the tour will be me and as planned so far, Mariette Brunner. Both of us are skilled skiers and cross-country ski teachers for a long time with good local knowledge. I had the idea of the implementation and I’m the initiator of this xcskitour Switzerland. Mariette Brunner is the President of Loipen Schweiz (www.langlauf.ch) , the national organization of all local xc ski tracks. She has an excellent knowledge and the best connections. On some locations we also get support from local persons. Last but not least a bus driver and a hostess will support us during the transfers.
What other things would you want potential customers to know?
-Xcskitour Switzerland is an experience ski tour to enjoy and it is not a race. Due to the fact that daily has to be skied 35 km in average in a certain time, the tour is recommended for skilled and practiced skiers. It is not made for beginners. But don’t be afraid if something happens, there are daily possibilities for shortening.