Quaint and traditional, even by Swiss standards, Mürren has no discothèques and the pubs stay quiet most of the week. It’s only accessible by cable car, which arrives every half hour, on the dot. The skiing is incredible. The 9,744-foot-high Schilthorn, with tram access, provides 4,300 vertical feet, and even more in a big year when you can ski all the way to Lauterbrunnen—though these days, a lot of people simply opt to BASE jump it. You can ski long, exposed couloirs right off the summit, and encounter herds of chamois scampering over impossibly steep, rocky crags.
Though Mürren is certainly unique, it is just one of numerous small, unassuming ski towns found all over Switzerland. The country, which is smaller than the state of West Virginia, has over 120 ski areas and more than 1,000 lifts, ranging from cog railways and 100-person trams to little T-bars and pomas.
The next morning, we pilot the van three hours to an even smaller ski area called Lauchernalp, inside the Lötschen Valley. Until the middle of the 20th century, the only way in or out of Lötschental was via a small footpath. After parking our van on a train that takes us through a nine-mile tunnel, we drive 20 minutes up a valley rimmed on either side by towering mountains. We eventually arrive at a dirt parking lot and, of course, a tram.
We’d come all this way—some 300 miles—on a lark, just to see what was at the end of a little blue squiggly line on a map.
Finally, Bushfield drops in and throws a massive back flip mute grab, shirtless. It’s slow and beautiful and he puts his skis perfectly to the snow on the landing. He too skis down onto the sundeck, where he is greeted with shouts of “Bravo!” and free shots of grappa.
Read the full feature, "A Small Place, A Good Place," written by Matt Hansen, photography by Christian Pondella in the October issue (44.2)

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