March 19th, 2010: Piz Cotschen

Our destination for the day was Piz Cotschen, just outside of the beautiful old town of Ardez. We left the house well before sunrise to ensure we would be off the mountain before the sun-baked snow got too soft. The sun was just rising over the southern ridge as we began skiing, which I deemed worthy of a semi-alpine start.

Mikael and Orsolina (I am surely spelling both of these names incorrectly) guided us across the open faces and towards the eastern ridge for our ascent to the peak. Along the way, in true Swiss fashion, they stopped to pull out their binoculars and identify various birds and animals they had spotted in the distance.

Renzo let Elena test the snow before he chose his line. She, and the rest of us, were able to find some pretty decent snow on the higher portions of the mountain. Pretty good for her first time on skis in four years.

The beauty of getting on the mountain with the sun is that you can get off the mountain in time for an early afternoon beer in the sun. Ardez proved to be just the place to do just that. At the urging of our hosts, I tried out lemon soda and beer... and I'd do it again.

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