• Engelberg
  • Engelbergertal In November

    One of my favourite books – Moominvalley in November * – includes a nice description of autumn/early winter mood. Which goes especially well with this November. And my own mood and hustling.

    Currently it’s windy – even a bit stormy (föhnsturm) – in the Engelbergertal (Engelberg valley). And I sit here writing, season’s first mug of glühwein in my hand. Before this, I have fixed a new job for the season. Secured few important things and supplies for the winter and the tiny home (Ikea mainly).

    Bought the first bottle of glühwein and other supplies for christmas bakings and parties. Created two new websites and planned some challenges and purely fun things for the ski season.  And studied german,  details of which I like not to talk so much of (because it’s hard).

    With the new snow, it looks like the mountains too have waken up from their summer hibernation to do something. And I have a feeling I am not the only one who wants to get it all done now – kind of a “working holiday” is the style for many this month – to be all set when the best conditions are here and the time to rock properly.

    (In Swiss destinations, many firms have the habit of holding the doors closed for betriebsferien, for few weeks or whole month in November (and something similar in spring). For some, it’s pure holiday, but for most it seems to be the time to do all the things one doesn’t have time for during the busy seasons, and to make sure all is set for the famous winter season in the Swiss Alps. Therefore, even though many doors keep closed this month, it’s lots of cling and clang going on in Engelbergertal as well. )

    Engelberg November 2019

    Engelberg Schwand 2019

    Engelberg Saint

    The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won’t find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight.
    Tove Jansson, Moominvalley in November

    And when all my preparations are done, I will get into my biggest project of the season: Learning to ski. (And the German, but again let’s not talk much about that.). Because for once, I have enough flexible schedule for winter, many ski lifts just few minutes walk/bike from home, and (the best!) big challenging mountains, around which I wanna get more comfortable playing in many ways.

    It will be lots of technique, strength, skills and confidence to be learned and gained. (And many km’s on the Nordic skiing tracks as well, to keep it balanced and to comfort me that at least I know something well.)

    And I couldn’t be more happy to have this playground for it, the enough challenging, inclusive and inspiring.

    But first, one more mug of glühwein and ski service.


     

    Where: Engelberg, 6390 Switzerland

    * If you don’t know about Moominvalley and Tove Jansson, and especially the early cartoons and Moominvalley books, it’s time you google and find out. 

  • BLOG
  • Angel Mountains – Engelberg

    This summer at work, I had many occasions to stare at –  for a long second at least – the mountains surrounding Engelberg. And especially the view south, from the top of Klein Titlis  (3020m above sea level, reachable by cable car from Engelberg village so if you look for a more wild and less crowded experience, go somewhere else).

    Pretty nice bonus, isn’t it?

    And while I currently don’t know exactly what I will do this winter, I know I am pretty happy to be here and ski here. And to stare at these a lot more. Because staring is still kind of the most demanding activity I can think of. Summer was tough (or I’m just old) and I need a bit more time to recover.

    So now you get just some snaps from the angle mountains and a little hint that more is to come. Maybe, hopefully. If not, you can always stare at my insta.

    Fünffingerstöck Tiflis Engelberg

    Tiina Kivelä Creative Swiss Alps

    Gadmental Tiina Kivelä

    Tiina Kivelä Titlis Cliff Walk

    Buddha Engelberg Titlis 2019

    Tiina Kivelä Glacier Pool 2019


    Where: Engelberg/Titlis, Switzerland 

  • BLOG
  • Engstlenalp – One More Time By Bike

    Switzerland Engtslensee MTB

    I will always have a sweet spot for the old two seated chairlifts. The nostalgic, a bit scary and very rusty slow lifts, getting you up and sometimes down, summer and winter.

    And having crown up and learned to ski with a special one – vanha tuolihissi = “old chairlift” as it simply was called in Pyhä Ski Resort in Lapland –  quite naturally the two seated chairlift between Jochpass and Engstlenalp in Engelberg – with the cute wooden old station buildings – became fast my favourite in Switzerland.

    Though not really just for the nostalgic value, but also for connecting Engelberg with the very nice hiking, trailrunning, climbing, mountain biking and skiing in the Engstlensee direction, and further on the Berner Oberland.

    Unfortunately, as the trend goes, it will now be the last week for that cutie. This October, the old Engstlen sessellift will be retired, and replaced with a new modern big shiny fast six chairlift, on time for the winter season. Snif.

    But oh boy, did we get lucky to have this free Monday, on the last week the lift was up and running. A bluebird, semi-warm and full of autumn colors day for a proper goodbye to the old lift and for a tiny enduro ride by bikes.

    Except in downhills and flow trails I was so slow that only got to ride the lift once. Not enough for really say it was a proper goodbye. Though it wasn’t just me slow, it was also the good lunch in Rossbodenhütte (note: October is the hunting season in Switzerland and especially around Engelberg the restaurants of all kinds take the most of it, offering special wild menus and definitely fresh ingredients) which didn’t leave us much time for bike fun but which made it above ordinary occasion.

    And oh boy those autumn colors. And that boy. And the lucky strangers who have cabin like this.

    Haslital Engstlenalp MTB

    Hell's Bells Trail Engstlensee

    Engstlensee Engelberg MTB

    Engstlensee Autumn 2019


    Where: Engstlenalp (Engelberg / Haslital), Berner Oberland, Switzerland 

    How by bike: Down to Engstlenalp leads a Hell’s Bells -named bike trail from Jochpass (titlisbahn -ticket and bike pass needed for the lifts). Engstlensee also sits by the 4 lakes (enduro) biketour, and offers hotel and restaurants for breaks of any length. A very nice tour is also to bike to or from Frutt Lodge & Spa and pay a visit to the best Finnish Sauna in the region.  Because you’re worth it.