From Saturday – With so little snow, the ski area celebrates its season opening


The people in charge of the Elsigen-Metsch mountain railways in the canton of Bern announce the start of the season for this weekend. However, there is almost no snow to be seen on webcam images and temperatures of around ten degrees have been announced for the start day.


Patrick McEvily

Denis Molnar

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The Elsigen-Metsch ski area in Bern starts the winter season in mid-November.


Away from the slopes, there is almost no snow on Friday morning (November 12th).

Away from the slopes, there is almost no snow on Friday morning (November 12th).


“Traditionally, we are one of the first to open because the site is particularly suitable,” says the managing director.

“Traditionally, we are one of the first to open because the site is particularly suitable,” says the managing director.


  • The Elsigen-Metsch ski area in Bern starts the ski season tomorrow, Saturday.

  • At 1800 meters there is currently almost no snow.

  • Despite concerns about the environmental compatibility of slopes covered with artificial snow, those responsible are sticking to the opening date.

The Elsigen-Metsch ski area in the Bernese Oberland is 1,800 meters above sea level. Brown and green tones still dominate the webcam on Friday morning. Temperatures around ten degrees are expected for Saturday. Nevertheless, those responsible for the mountain railways are happy to start the season particularly early. «Juhuu! The winter season 21/22 starts on Saturday, November 13th, 21st, 8.30 a.m. », says the website.

In neighboring Adelboden-Lenk, the season doesn’t start until two weeks later, namely on November 27th. This is also the reference date in other large Swiss ski areas, such as Samnaun GR.

The hair dryer cleared away natural snow

The season opening is unlikely to cause any joy among climate protectors. The little snow that can be seen on the webcam images of the ski area is on the slopes, which suggests that artificial snow has been used en masse here. The managing director of Elsigenalp-Bahnen, Christian Zenger, explains to 20 Minuten: “We started with the snowmaking at the beginning of November as usual and actually everything looked good until Monday.” But then the hair dryer came. «This has cleared away the natural snow all around. In the past two nights, however, the slope could freeze again and so we can start operations tomorrow, Saturday ». However, this afternoon a section of the lift route has to be covered with artificial snow, explains Zenger. From Saturday, the Elsigenalp cable car as well as the main and children’s lifts with one slope each will be in operation, and the Elsigenalp mountain hut will also be open.

The Greens are not happy

Beat Kohler, President of Ggreen Bernese Oberland finds, es you are nonsensical, at these temperatures in such low-lying areas the To enable skiing: «It is in itself a schizophrenic behavior, already skiing in mid-November wanting to drive and thus contribute to the fact that even more energy is wasted and climate change is further fueled. ” But he adds: “You cannot blame the mountain railways alone. These meet a demand from ski tourists, which An the beginning of the winter season is particularly high and not at the end of the season when there is usually a lot of snow.»

In Austria you could already ski in October

Elsigenalp-Bahnen defends itself against the allegations: “Traditionally we are always among the first to open because the terrain is particularly suitable,” says managing director Zenger. “We don’t produce more or less artificial snow than other ski areas.”

In Austria, the Bergbahn AG Kitzbühel ski area heated people’s hearts. In Salzburg you could already ski at the end of October, even though the hill is practically green.

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