Stephen Senn's Skiing (and other outdoor) Pages


Downhill Skier An actor in a theatre of snow awaiting his queue.
The Devil's Outdoor Dictionary

If you are looking for the Glasgow Ski-Touring Club look here

 

SJS Telemarking Lurcher's Gully 1984

Serious Ski Stuff

The serious links below are highlighted in blue. They are external to this site. The links highlighted in brown are to other pages at this site.

In addition to enjoying most forms of skiing actively I am also an armchair skier. If you want to know about World Cup Skiing then this a good site.

On the other hand if you are actually looking for a practical website that will help you plan your next ski trip then why not check out Richard Sinclair’s ‘ski resorts http://www.sno.mobi/  guide and ski holidays on your  mobile phone’ site? (Please note that this link here does not constitute an endorsement of the ‘phoning while skiing habit: telephone manners would go rapidly downhill if this were to become common not to mention that fact that ringing on runs would run rings round any reasonable approach to mountain safety. However, one can imagine the conversation: not ‘I am stuck on a train’ but ‘I am buried in an avalanche’.)

My skiing has been carried out mainly in Switzerland, Scotland and Norway but I have also skied in Canada, Sweden, Iceland, France, Finland and Romania. I first put a pair of skis on in Montana-Crans in 1962. My parents still live in the ski-resort of Villars in the canton of Vaud in 'La Suisse Romande', where I was brought up. I used to ski there most days of the winter and still go back regularly. It is linked by ski-tows to Les Diablerets where you can ascend to Glacier skiing at 3000m. I have done a large number of ski-tours, at nearby Solalex and Anzeindaz.

Other resorts I have skied at in Switzerland include Arosa, Verbier , Flumseberg, Davos, Samedan, Kandersteg and Melchsee-Frutt, the latter being a good place for cross-country skiing and having, in the nearby mountain of Rotsandknollen, a very fine destination for a ski-tour. My most recent downhill skiing trip was to Wengen. 

My first ski-tour was undertaken at age 13 using Alpine touring equipment. At my school, Aiglon College , this formed a regular part of the winter activities. Since then I have toured extensively in the Alps, Scotland and Scandinavia, since 1982 mainly on cross-country equipment. (The Haute-Route from Chamonix to Zermatt , which I did in 1989, is an exception.)

 

I lived in Scotland 1978-1987 (returned to Scotland in 2003) and became an enthusiast for cross-country ski-touring after having gone on a ski-tour with Dave Dytch and Raymond Simpson in 1982 in which Raymond, with Nordic equipment, left Dave and me, using Alpine equipment far behind.

Raymon Simpson and Dave Dytch on Glas Maol. View to Glas Tulaichen (with prominent corrie centre) and Beinn A'Ghlo (left)

Together with the Tayside Nordic Ski-Club and (occasionally) members of the Ancrum Mountaineering Club, I climbed quite a few Munros on skis. The 1983/84 and 1985/86 seasons were especially fine, although both started late and in 1986, although January, February, April and even the beginning of May were excellent, March was a dead loss. Particularly memorable ascents during my time in Scotland were those of Ben Chonzie (1984), Monadh Liath (1984), The Monadh Mhor (1984), Ben Wyvis(1985) (An exceptionally good tour in March in an otherwise barren season), The Round of Glen Isla (1986), The Drummochter Hills (1986), Bein Iutheran Mhor (1986), Lochnaga from Glen Doll at the end of April (1986) and Beinn A'Ghlo (1987) (exceptionally, this was carried out on Alpine rather than Nordic touring skis). An account of a ski-tour I made in May 1982 on Tom Buidhe is given in High 6, 36, 1982.I have returned for skiing to Scotland a few times since leaving, most recently between Christmas 1995 and New Year 1996 where, with my wife Victoria, I had a very fine few days ski-touring in the Angus Glens.

I have also been downhill skiing in Scotland, in particular at  Glenshee but also at Cairngorm and at  The Lecht. Although such skiing in Scotland can be an enjoyable experience, I much prefer ski-touring.

My first skiing trip to Scandinavia was to Jotunheim in Norway in 1991 for a circuit of the mountains. Since then I have visited the Rondane , 1992, Synnfjell, 1993 (see Fire and Ice for a description), crossed the Hardanger-Vidda in 1994, been back to Synnfjell leading a party for Waymark in 1996, visited Geilo in 1998 (twice!) and been to  Abisko in Arctic Sweden in 1997. This latter is very fine for cross-county skiing, handily situated on the Kiruna-Narvik line and you can use the train to take you to nearby stations and then ski back through the mountains. The nearby resort of Riksgransen , which I can highly recommend can also be reached by train. Wait until after 21 March to go!

 In 2000 I had a very fine ski-touring holiday in Iceland and also managed a ski-tour in the Jura . In April 2003 I went skiing  in Canada, Lake Louise. This was mainly downhill skiing but I did manage a cross-country tour to Moraine Lake. Over New Year 2005/2006 I had a skiing holiday in Romania with my son Mark and in 2007 had a fine ski-tour in Arctic Norway . Since then I have been on a cross-country skiing holidays in Akaslompolo Arctic Finland (2010) and a weekend in Norefjell, Norway (2011).

I have been a member of two Scottish ski-touring clubs Glasgow Ski Touring Club and Tayside Nordic Ski-Club


SJS on Beinn Iutharn Mhor April 1986

Less Serious Ski Stuff

These are various pieces written at one time or another for High Magazine or the Tayside Cross-Country (later Nordic) Ski Club as well as some verse contributed by McFake.


Miscellaneous Prose

May, Skis and Tom Buidhe (1982/1983) (With kind permission of High Magazine .)

Ticks in the Tables (1984) (With kind permission of High Magazine .)

The Devil's Outdoor Dictionary

Ben Chonzie Cross-Country(1984)

A High Level Route Diary (1989)

Letter from Switzerland 1991 (On tour in Jotunheim)

Letter from Switzerland 1992 (On tour in the Rondane)

Fire and Ice(1993)

Hardanger Hot-Dog (1994)

Letter from Switzerland (1994)

Letter from Switzerland (1995)

Jurassic Park (2000)

Steamy days, steamy nights(2000)

Rovings in Romania(2005-2006)

Land of the Midnight Senn (2007)


SJS Telemarking in the Cairngorms: Geal Chearn of Glen Feshie 1986

Scotty McFake's pages

The Ballad of Glen Shee

The Song of the Tayside Tourer

The Telemac


 

SJS Telemarking near Geilo 1998

 


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This page last updated 17 February 2013.