Interview with Melanie Steuri
Melanie Steuri from Grindelwald has been working as a ski instructor for 15 years. She gives us an insight into the world of powder skiing.
The sport of "freeriding" has become increasingly popular. What do you think has changed in the last ten years?
"Today, there are many more people off-piste. As soon as some fresh snow falls, all slopes are skied immediately. Ten years ago, wide skis were not so common. Skiing powder with piste skis is difficult, especially in somewhat treacherous snow conditions. Today, a great many skiers also have a pair of freeride skis in the basement, or the skis can be conveniently rented from a sports store. It has therefore become much easier to make a few turns in the white gold."
What do you think of avalanche airbags? Do you use one and what do you recommend to your guests?
I usually go with an airbag, combined with an avalanche transceiver, a shovel and a probe. It can be an aid in an emergency situation, but it is not insurance! An avalanche airbag must also be able to be triggered in an emergency, however, it does not protect against a fall or against the force of an avalanche. If someone skiis powder two meters next to the slope, an airbag is not absolutely necessary. Otherwise, it's definitely a good investment!
What are the most important things someone can do in order to safely ski powder?
At least a good parallel turn should be mastered. If you want to ski off-piste, you have to know the dangers and prepare yourself accordingly. This means knowing the terrain, finding out about avalanche conditions in advance, taking avalanche safety equipment and never skiing alone. If this is not the case, it is best to book a ski instructor or mountain guide, they are familiar with the area and avalanches and know exactly which areas are suitable for deep snow skiing.
What's your insider tip around Grindelwald?
I prefer to ski where there are not many other tracks. I can't give you any insider tips: Would the secret still be secret? 😉 But whoever books me as their ski instructor, will likely get to ski some of the cool spots.
Taster course off-piste skiing
Basic skills course off-piste skiing