Canton Zug, 06.03.2020

A winter season you'd rather forget

The summer-like winter is already in its final days. And it appears that the Zug ski and cross-country areas didn’t have a very stressful season. Even last week's snow couldn't save it - the amount of snow that fell was far too small. What are the consequences of the lack of winter for the ski lifts and cross-country trails? "This winter was the worst in the past 15 to 20 years," said Jürg Rogenmoser, President of the Raten AG ski lift. It snowed a few times, but almost always not enough for regular operation.

The snowfall that did come was often coupled with strong wind, which, in turn, made it impossible to prepare the slopes: "The snow was moved along by the wind and didn’t lie properly on the slope," said Rogenmoser. Skiing was only possible on around eight days. "There were crowds at the ski lift on those days, which showed the demand for local skiing," continued Rogenmoser. It’s a shame, because all the preparatory work had been done. The dismantling of the ski lift and the facilities is now planned for the end of March.

The same applies at the Nollen AG Ägeri ski lift. “Unfortunately, it was not possible to prepare a usable slope, even after the last snowfall. The ground was too warm,” says Mark Grüring, Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Skilift Nollen AG. The extraordinarily bad winter will leave its mark on the book-keeping. “Thanks to our sponsors and a notable contribution from the Unterägeri community, the Skilift Nollen AG will survive this winter,” says Grüring. He’s already motivated to plan the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Nollen ski lift, which is to take place in January 2021.

Beat Weber from the Menzingen ski lift remains calm, despite the lack of snow.

The Zugerberg cross-country trail never managed to open this winter, and the committee of the Zugerberg Cross-Country Ski Run announced last week that no cross-country ski runs will be prepared this winter. "There’s simply not enough snow on the mountain at the moment, and the weather is and remains too warm," says Peter Schnurrenberger, Vice President of the Zugerberg Trail Board of Directors. Even the new snow cat, which enables cross-country grooming in low snow conditions, could not help in these spring-like temperatures. We’re not happy about it, but it is survivable, said Schnurrenberger.

"Weather conditions like these are certainly more serious for large tourist areas, as the many shops or ski schools depend on the income."

One person who won’t let the lack of snow spoil his goos spirits is Beat Weber, from the Lindenberg Ski Lift team in Menzingen. "It seems to me that the grass has become fuller this winter season," jokes Weber. The ski lift motor was about the only thing that stayed cold this winter, as the Lindenberg ski lift was also never in operation this season. The new year started well for the voluntary ski lift team, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in early January. "In these 50 years, this season is the fifth to be without snow," says Weber. The operation is currently also suspended because, according to Weber, there’s usually nothing doing on the mountain after the cantonal sports holidays.

After half a century, a single loss doesn’t dispirit him and his team so quickly. He did not find one thing funny, however: "I feel sorry for our visitors who bought season tickets in advance and were not able to use them at all."

Peter Zürcher, the president of the Menzingen Ski Club said that “We had to switch to Hoch-Ybrig or Andermatt for our skiing sessions. And we also drove to Andermatt or Langis auf dem Glaubberg, near Sarnen, for cross-country skiing”. As far as he knew, a cross-country ski trail was only prepared on the Gottschalkenberg in Menzingen on a few days.

All the club's scheduled courses in the region had to be cancelled. The youth ski day, which should have taken place last Sunday, couldn’t be held due to the weather. “The reason for this was the lack of snow in the Alpthal in Schwyz. The local ski lift in Brunni-Alpthal officially stopped its operations at the time of our cancellation, at the beginning of last week,” said Zürcher.