National Geographic : 1961 Jan
Find out what they can expect if they go skiing in Switzerland." It was decided that we should go to Zer matt, where the skiing was reported to be high, hard, and handsomely set among such famed peaks as the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. The village maintains some 30 pistes, or ski runs, in three different areas - Gorner grat, Blauherd, and Schwarzsee. And from Zermatt a skier can climb to the Theodul pass and swoop down to Breuil in Italy (below). Such an assignment fitted Kathleen like a pair of stretch pants. An accomplished skier, she had gained broad experience at ski cen ters in the United States and Canada.* As for me, it was a jump into the unknown. Once, years earlier, I had stood laced to a pair of skis only long enough to conclude it might be fun to head down a mountain on them. Obviously, I had to learn how to ski in or der to write about the sport. So, to introduce KODACHROME o NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY of Switzerland's Davos, whose ski school is ODmeM to bscecnis anlto, NputOa tn The author, locking the safety binding of her ski, prepares for take-off from the summit of Gornergrat SWITZERLAND (page 112). On tumbles, a spring automatically releases the binding's grip on her boot. Ankle straps prevent a GMANY loose ski from skidding down a slope. Red bag worn FRANCE Base across the back serves as a purse. Z rich A onetime newspaper reporter, Carolyn Bennett (LIE HTENsT Patterson joined the National Geographic staff in Luzer AUSTR 1949. She is a native Mississippian. Switzerland intro- Weith+ Davos duced her to high mountains and deep snow as well 9341 Platz as to the sport of skiing. ng iS Zermatt is Switzerland's southernmost ski resort Tteah ratt ugano (map, right). Its chair lifts, cableways, T-bars, and Mnt m3oln.c1 ENLARGED platter-pull ski tows are lined in red below. STATUTE MILES lERMATT AREA Rn + rated one of the largest and best in Europe. .Do. 14913 2 4 Five days later, with colorful bruises, ach STATUTE MILES :' ing muscles, and swollen ankles, I managed Sto kick-turn down the Parsenn Run from the tWeissfluh to Klosters. The performance uti Tunnel lized all the skills I had by then acquired: aen Blche a how to schuss (put skis together and run 9 Zermatt , straight downhill); how to snowplow (put Winkelmatte 8468 skis together in front, splay them wide in Gornergrat raitw s Findein Schwarzsee t telberg grat10782 back, and slow down or stop by pushing hard 847 te nbodStockhorn on the inner edges); and how to fall down terWI rj 4 o 0 corner 1 Deathof 11588 (position of skis varies, just relax). ero Teo orner Glacer Preview over, we set out for Zermatt. Glacier Our sturdy Swiss train, rooted in cogs, The a(Little Matterlrn 12741 climbed slowly up the defile of the Visp and Plae- Poll 1366 .. *See in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: "Skiing in the rValtournan 13422 r.o United States," February, 1959; and "Winter Brings Car 13865Jo L s nival Time to Quebec," January, 1958, both by Kathleen Revis.