Verbier is a world-famous ski resort in the Valais region. As we drove there the snow began coming down for real. We drove higher and higher into the Alps. Freddy had forgotten to bring chains, a fact he chose to bring up as we were navigating through the falling snow. He had remembered to bring snow tires, but had not bothered to put them on yet. “When did I have time?” he asked. “So far so good,” he said, “but we still have to climb a half a mile up.” He seemed to think that pure cojones would power him up the hill — but the ice turned out to be even slicker than old Freddy. The van slowed to a slippery crawl, as a line of angry French drivers began to gather up on our rear. I asked if we should get out and push. Freddy hesitated for a second then nodded his head yes. We all hopped out and got behind the van as the wheels sprayed us with sleet. I’m not sure that our pushing was doing much, and after a bit, the van started sliding sideways along the road. That’s when we decided to just get out of the way.
We ditched the van on the side of the road and hitched the rest of the way to Verbier. Eventually we comandeered a car with chains and drove back to the van, unloaded all the gear and got it to the club. Wonderbar is home to the many British and Swedish chalet workers who live their winters out in this mountain retreat. They come to Wonderbar on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, which are their days off. Our timing was pretty bad — not only was everyone partied-out from New Year’s Eve, but we had arrived on the eve of the season’s first big snow, and everyone was resting up for the next day, when they would have all day to tackle the slopes. Still, a sizeable crowd materialized, and as always, we managed to get a few heads nodding and bodies rocking. After a two-night stand, we were ready to head back to Germany.