This is a secret tip for all Zipflbob enthusiasts out there. The winter season is ending. Most ski resorts have already closed, or are about to close. Why? Probably because the snow is melting, it has been a long season and everybody needs a break, or because people are now getting onto their mountain bikes instead of their skis and snowboards. Now here comes the hint: While the meadows are already green in the valleys and up to about 1200m, there is still compressed snow on the runs, which lasts a little bit longer. As long as you stay away from the grassy bits and try to not destroy the recovering ground, you can still enjoy Zipflbob rides for a little longer. And the best of all – you are almost by yourself as hardly anyone is keen enough to walk up instead of taking the gondola when it is not running.
So before Zipflbob and Zipfljo go hibernating in the basement over summer, they wanted to head for the slopes once again. So here we go. Zipflbob takes the big backpack with all the good food, drinks and the warm and waterproof cloths for the downhill ride. Waterproof turned out to be a bit of a joke, but more about that later…
Since it snowed just a few days ago, walking up was tough. But you really turn into explorer mode when you set your feet in fresh snow and go where nobody has gone before (well, not since the last snowfall at least).
Once you get up, you enjoy the view – green valley, snow covered mountains. You drink some tea, chop some food and then you get dressed up and ready for Zipflbobbing. Here come the tactics: Figure out who has less weight. Let that person go first. Why? Because it will be much easier for a light person to go through 10-20cm of „fresh“ wet snow than it is for a heavier person. That way, the first Zipflbobber already leaves a nice track that the second one can follow at an incredible speed.
Next tip: You do not want to go down where it is too flat. It does not need to be super-steep (beware of avalanches and do not take any risks!!!) , but you don’t want it to be flat when the snow is deep and wet. The one, who is leading has to navigate. Tough job. Tip for the one following. Be prepared to break when the Zipflbobber in the lead needs to break. Or perform a super-crazy stunt to get around them or over them. The latter one is for experts only!
When you increase speed on a steeper slope and you get into more flat terrain, Zipflbob turns into a snow mower. I forgot to mention that you should really really wear some proper goggles. Dramatically increases fun, vision and face temperature.
Now if you follow these instructions and you watch out that you can break at any time, for instance if deer crosses the slopes or you get to some red lights, you should be alright – Park Zipflbob and Zipfljo at the end of your run and let them dry. I cannot over-emphasise drying. I have yet to find waterproof clothing which actually stays waterproof. Believe it or not. I had the equivalent amount of snow of 2 snow balls in the inner pocket of my jacket. Don’t ask me how it got there!
May have been the last Zipflbob trip this season. I need to work out how to make Zipflbobs work in summer. I’ve got the wheels figured out, but the brakes are still a bit of a problem. I am pretty sure you need them, but I have no idea how that would work. So all you engineers out there who think you’ve got the idea to make this work, get in touch!