Sledging at Moléson, Gruyeres

It's hard to imagine a more pristine winter wonderland: a jagged summit soars towards the clouds above a landscape of rolling hills deep in snow. It is a Sunday in early March, and we (me and Tim, and Dad and Will) are standing at the top of the sled run on Moléson, a 2,000-metre mountain above the renowned cheese-making village of Gruyeres in Canton Freiburg. In summer, the pastures are studded with small-scale dairies and grazing cattle wearing jangling bells; today, after a flurry of snowfall, the landscape is white and unblemished - the kind of scene you'd find on a Christmas card. It's silent, too, until we set off ...

We hurtle along, descending the four kilometres of snow-deep piste, whooping with delight and chuckling as one or the other of us loses balance and ends up stuck in the verge. It's all the funnier, as Dad looks a little tin man-turned-Bond baddy with his vintage mountaineering sunglasses and Buff headwear! There are occasional breaks in the trees, allowing for glimpses of Moléson, which looks Matterhorn-esque, its sheer face piercing through the haze.

If its setting is to die for, the sled run's gradient is a dream: never too steep, but steep enough to keep going. All too soon we reach the end. Evening is falling; if it weren't, we'd take the funicular back up for another go ... P.S. Don't judge us on the photo below: Will said do 'Blue Steel' à la Zoolander, and Dad and I took it too seriously ...
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