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Little Gstaad in Bern

«How cool is that!» Gstaad comes down from the mountains and builds a ski lift in Bern next to the artificial ice rink Weyermannshaus. The practice slope for all small skiing champions is made up from the shavings of the artificial rink. Lela Engel (3) reports on her first descent.

There’s no stopping little Lela. She is only three and a half years old. And she has just rented her ski equipment with her Mum, Anne. «I want to ski now» she says, loud and clear. Last year she stood for the first time on skis – and now she wants to learn, on the gently sloping practice slope «Schneespass Weyerli» at the Weyermannshaus ice rink in Bern.

A gripping slope
Hey presto! She stands on the magic carpet, one of the first on this Saturday afternoon, as the snowflakes float down. The basis for the snow strip was not personally provided by Mother Hulda, or ‘Frau Holle’, but by the ice rink next door. It consists of the shavings, which are prepared to create a perfect base for the small talents. Combined with the delicate dusting of new snow, a dream slope is created – almost like an original in the Gstaad mountains. Lela accelerates, she likes to go straight ahead. She stands confidently on her skis – rarely falling over, and  if she does, she pretends nothing has happened. As soon as she reaches the bottom, she is already going up again.

Up and down on the moving belt
She tackles the descent at least ten times. Even after three hours she doesn’t take a break, which leads to a little spat with Mum who tells her it’s time to go home. The little one makes two more descents before it is possible to get her to leave. She already has made another deal, as her mother Anne in her youth was often in Schönried and Saanenmöser thanks to a schoolfriend who owns a chalet in Saanen. «This year I’m going to ski school in Gstaad», explains Lela. She has decided.