A day in the life of a ski patrolman

7 February 2019

Early morning in Engelberg on a snowy winter’s day. My alarm clock goes off at 4:30 a.m. I get up, drink a double espresso, dress warmly, and at 5:30 a.m. I head on up the mountain in the staff cable car. I am Pirmin Kündig, and I have been a patrolman in the Engelberg-Titlis ski area for seven years. Today I am one of five patrollers on our way to make sure the Titlis is safe. 

In the cable car on our way up the mountain, my colleagues and I discuss our approach to avalanche control. Last night, there was a fresh dumping of almost a metre’s worth of snow. The weather is unseasonably warm, so the snow is rather wet. At the top, we prepare explosives for the controlled triggering of avalanches. There are various ways to deploy the charges. They can be tossed from a helicopter, sent by cable car, triggered via radio from avalanche towers, or fired from a rocket launcher. 

Tired but happy
This time there were three of us girls from Engelberg on the tour. On some days there are as many of seven of us on these wonderful days out. What brings us together is our common passion and our shared experiences and memories. We may be exhausted at the end of the day, but we are always beaming from ear to ear. We absolutely love our ski tours and can hardly wait for the next one – so it’s a good thing the Engelberg valley has a big choice of tours and, usually, plenty of snow.

Text: Pirmin Kündig on behalf of Intersport Titlis Engelberg
Image: Primin and Bergbahnen Engelberg-Titlis


Ski and Snowboard Engelberg