“You need nerves of steel”

The last descent belongs to them. They trigger avalanches, position piste markers, and rescue injured skiers. Head of mountain rescue Albert Hegner on danger and his team’s role in ensuring guests can ski safely. “He needs to turn off the engine.” Bärti, as Albert Hegner is better known, needs to focus. Right now, nothing else matters, not even the helicopter waiting to fly him to his next port of call. An ...

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Snowshoeing on glacial moraine

We're hiking from Kreuzboden to the Hohsaas mountain restaurant on snowshoes; enjoying the fresh powder on the sunny side of the Saas Valley, and a coffee at the Weissmies Hut. The snow crunches underfoot. Now and then, laughter drifts towards us from the ski slopes. I stop for a moment, squinting in the sunlight. Huge mountain peaks, freshly covered in snow, tower in every direction, topped by a clear blue sky ...

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Climbing past her limits: Vivien Labarile defies gravity

Vivien Labarile, from the Upper Valais, on life as a climber, how to overcome fear, and the role of the psyche when it comes to climbing. Vivien bites her teeth, a fierce expression on her face. She pushes powerfully off one foot, swinging herself upwards – and missing the small hold by mere millimetres. Hanging on the rope, she breathes heavily and pauses for a few minutes to rest her ...

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