“It’s simple really,” Moos began as he stood at the top of the mountain, bathed in the light of headlamps from the other Outdoor Guides that had accompanied us up the gondola. He sat on the bright blue sled and demonstrated to us how to turn, stop, and gain as much speed as humanly possible.
“If you see white, you are ok. That is the snow on the track. If you see black in front of you, turn away from it because it is going to be someone, or something else that won’t be too nice to run into.”
And as the strobes of light move past the Swiss Chalets of Insenfluh, I stop and look out from our perch on the mountainside. The town below sparkles as bright as the stars and the Milky Way above; the faint outline of the snow-covered mountain range looming in between.
Not many people have gone night sledding before. And that included most of the Bus2alps guides on our orientation. Some fumbled nervously with their glow sticks (used as “break lights” on the track) while others, including myself, looked out at the beauty around us. But the silent moment of awe was soon replaced with the screams of us careening down a dim-white track of snow through the trees. And I don’t think I’ve ever had such a fun experience in my life. Sledding turned into a Mario Kart-style race. Breaking with your feet, flying past co-workers, and that view still flickering through the trees.
Welcome to Orientation – Bus2alps style. Where “conferences” involve having chats at the top of a black diamond trail in the middle of the Alps. Yes, sure we were seated in front of Power Points occasionally (though the distraction of paragliders out the window does not help with attention span) and we did have meetings brainstorming ideas for the upcoming semester (make sure to keep checking in on our YouTube channel in the next few months) but those in charge at Bus2alps make sure to keep a pretty good balance of work and play, though most of us think the work IS play!
From night sledding followed by a cozy little fondue dinner, to skiing and sledding the alps the next day to learn the trails above the tree-line in the shadow of the Eiger peak of Switzerland. We here learn so we can show you. Fun, adventure, adrenaline, experience.
This is our job. We do it and learn it, so you can experience it.
We are getting ready for a bus2awesome adventure this semester!