Ski Trip: Hoch-Ybrig

Half a dozen ski trips in December is not bad, not too bad at all. Number six turned out to be a trip to a small place in Kanton Schwyz that I’ve been meaning to try for a while, a place called Hoch-Ybrig. Even the name screams out its rural nature; it’s in the region of Ybrig, but just “hoch” (high) up! Having heard one or two things about it I wasn’t expecting too much, but I figured I’d check it out.

It’s one of those places that’s kind of ridiculous to get to by train; it takes almost twice as long as by car. Fortunately, some German friends of mine were heading over, so I took a 20 minute train to Zug then rode over with them for another 50 minutes, thus shaving 40 minutes off my travel time. Turns out Matthias is a much better skier than I gave him credit for, and far better than me; the man could fly down the slopes.

The snow was kind of crappy, which has little to do with the resort, so I’d like to go back and try it sometime when the snow is better. There were 3 primary chairlifts but almost no lines most of the time, and there were some fairly steep fun pistes. It’s the sort of place where you can see any piste from any other, though, so you don’t have the wandering feel of exploring a mountain. All in all fun for a day trip, but I wouldn’t put in on the “must visit” list, despite a typically Swiss panorama (I didn’t get any shots, but at the top of this page you can see a borrowed picture of the mountain).

Two points did stand out as being worth noting, though. First, there were more restaurants per skier than any other mountain I’ve ever been on. There must have been a seperate restaurant on every piste! Some at the top, some at the bottom, some halfway down; in any case, I had a good raclette for lunch.

Second, I saw more pairs of Stöckli skis there than I have ever seen before. A local brand, I purchased a pair last year and have always been surprised by how few I’ve seen at the bigger resorts, where people apparently prefer Head and Rossignol and other big-name brands. Apparently more local Swiss ski at Hoch-Ybrig, however, and like people everywhere, they prefer to buy local.

Anyway, if you’re in the area, give Hoch-Ybrig a try; but not till you’ve already had your fill of the bigger placse like Flims-Laax or Davos (or even Flumserberg).

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