Until last summer, I had no idea that the Mythen (pronounced MEE ten) region even existed, but I read several trip reports on Alpinforum that talked it up as an insider tip -- that it was a) way more extensive than you'd ever guess from looking at the trail map, b) like something from your ski childhood: uphill transport was predominantly via t-bars, c) it was cheaper than most places in Switzerland, d) had a total "your own private ski area" vibe, and e) got a fair amount of snow.
Even through the previous evening, the forecast for overnight snow called for little more than a dusting: 3-5 inches. However, Fraser Wilkin mentioned that this was "one of those annoying (to forecasters) faintly unstable airflows that can swing either way." It certainly did -- we ended up with 12-16 inches. He also pointed out that moist northerly airflows are purged of their moisture by the Mythen range, which gives it comparatively a high seasonal snowfall average: typically 7-9 meters at 1800m compared to 3.5 meters in St Moritz. St Moritz, however, preserves its snow better, hardly gets any mid-winter rain, and does far better with mild spells. It's similar to the difference between the Portes du Soleil (high snowfall/low elevation) and Val d'Isere (less than half the snowfall but excellent preservation).
I booked a room at a small, reasonably-priced hotel right at the base of the ski area, and this morning there were a total of six cars in the parking lot across the street at 9 am... on a powder day! Alta/Snowbird, this ain't.
First chair, I mean t-bar:
The next four hours were a blur with snow anywhere from calf- to thigh-deep, no wind, and occasionally tough visual orientation due to the driving snow and intermittent fog. The terrain was mostly double-blue in pitch, like a massive Grand Targhee.
Here's a guy getting ready to launch off a boulder:
And landing in a powder cloud as his friends watch:
By noon, it was getting nuts. Even though the snow could hardly be called champagne powder, I had my first white-room experience in many moons: ten straight turns on a steeper pitch while being completely blinded by spray.
Later in the day: a couple barns, one to sell tickets, the other a lift shack:
As I approached, there was the unmistakable smell of wood being cut. I dig the pipe, as if it had been staged by the Switzerland Tourism Bureau: