The World Economic Forum takes place in Davos, Switzerland, a snowy ski town carved into the Alps.
So after a week of trudging through a few feet of snow back and forth to the conference and staring longingly at the mountains, I finally got my chance to ski.
On Saturday, Reuters sponsored an event for a few hundred WEF-goers to ski or snowboard for the day at Parsenn, a local resort.
Business Insider’s executive editor Jay Yarow and I got to Ettinger Sport, the the ski rental place in Davos, at 9:3o AM. We got suited up and hit the lifts.
Here’s what it’s like to ski the Swiss Alps.
Reuters sponsored a skiing event at Davos and asked everyone to meet at Ettinger Sport Shop at 9:30 AM. The Reuters staffed greeted us, gave us wristbands and our lift passes (normally about $77 for the day), and the journey began.
For a gift, Reuters gave each skier a new pair of gloves, goggles, sunscreen, chap stick, hand and toe warmers, along with an Amazon Fire tablet.
Here I am all decked out. I rented the jacket, snow pants and helmet on Reuters. Basically the only thing I'm wearing that I brought with me are the neck warmer, ear band and t-shirt.
Here's a map of the resort, Parsenn. Reuters had ski instructors ready for all of us, so Jay and I found one and headed for the mountain.
Our instructor led us to a train, which was right next door to the ski shop. You ride a train or two up the mountain to start your first run, rather than a Gondola or a ski lift.
The first few runs were just like this. Not really visible and a little icy because it was windy, and the wind was blowing away all the fresh powder.
I got to the top, but Jay lost his balance and fell off the T bar mid ride. He had to walk all the way back to the beginning and board the T bar all over again while I waited at the top.
We did one or two more runs before lunch, and the conditions weren't much better. I was beginning to think the Alps were just meh, and not anything special compared to skiing out west in the US. But things got a lot better after lunch.
Our table included CEOs and executives. Google's chairman Eric Schmidt was at a table in the back of the room, enjoying his Reuters lunch.
The Rosti was awesome. Everyone at our table ordered it. It's a Switzerland special -- a potato patty with cheese, meat and eggs. Nom nom nom!
With the conditions being meh, Jay and I asked our Reuters-provided guide, Caroline, to show us how to ski down the mountain.
Here's Caroline on the right. She's been skiing since she was 2, and it will cost you $400 per day if you want to rent her out as an instructor. She lives in Davos during the winter and Zurich during the summer.
But the sky began to clear and with the Rosti in our bellies, Jay and I decided to stop being lame and asked Caroline to show us some more runs instead of take us home.
With the sun out, we ended up having awesome skiing conditions. The wind died down and we found lots of powder. A run from the top to the bottom of the mountains took about 30 minutes.
The resort was a true ski-in, ski out situation. Here I am skiing straight into the town. We stayed out skiing with Caroline until 4 PM.
Here's Jay skiing in, not far behind. So, what's the key takeaway here? I've been lucky enough to ski a bunch of places out west in the US and Canada -- Whistler, Lake Tahoe, Keystone and Park City. When the whiteout cleared, the Davos/Alps skiing was right up there with the best of those resorts -- arguably even better -- with unmatched views and piles of powder.
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