With Joana Hählen in Lenk

A day at home

Joana is small and fast and today we have a double pack of them. Joana Hählen has a twin sister, Simona. The two of them live together with their friends in Münsingen. Once again, they are out and about together on the Lenk. You quickly realize that Joana can ride the route through the Simmental almost blindfolded. And also that speed is really her thing. Joana doesn't race, she somehow makes speed feel controlled. That probably happens over time when you regularly drive at twice the speed on two thin slats without any sheet metal around you. Joana's dark gray Audi e-tron is labeled Swiss-Ski and winds its way up the Simmental almost by itself in the early morning.

But today it's not primarily about speed. Joana and her sister show us what they love about Lenk. Together with their older sister, they recently took over their father's medical practice when he retired and now use it as a shared vacation apartment for the three sisters. The parents have always lived in Lenk and when the whole family meets up, they all come together here.

Home in sight

The mood becomes brighter with every kilometer further up the Simmental. At the end of St. Stephan, after the right-hand bend at the large parking lot, a smile flits across Joana's face. This is home from here. The wide valley with the huge mountain at the end. The Wildstrubel stands as a mighty barrier high above the valley. Soon there's nowhere else to go. This end of the valley, less than 90 kilometers from the Bundeshaus, is a world of its own. Over the last few kilometers, it looks like Canada in some places, Iceland in others and then again like the Emmental. The whim of geology has created a special mountain valley here. Secluded, without any through traffic, you are up here on your own. Perhaps that's why the feeling of coming home is so special here.

Ski tour on the Betelberg

Once they arrive at Lenk, the two sisters get ready for a short ski tour. The sun has barely climbed over the Strubel when the two Hählen powerhouses put the skins on their touring skis at Leiterli. They set off at a brisk pace from Leiterli through the fresh snow.

Joana Hählen loves going on ski tours, especially in spring when the weather is warm and the season is over. Lenk is the perfect place to enjoy the last days of skiing in the Alps.

Back to the beginnings

Joana learned to ski here in Lenk, of course. Not in the newly developed Kinderland Stoss, but on a small platter lift in the valley. Here, the two Hählen sisters were regularly "dropped off" by their mother with a small mountain of snow sports equipment. "She drove us there after school, unloaded everything and left again." So they had the whole afternoon to try everything out - skis, snowboards, bobsleighs, sledges - everything. The old ski lift owner had probably always kept an eye on them, as one does in a small village in the Bernese Oberland.

Kinderland Stoss - a paradise for children and parents alike

Joana visits the new Kinderland Stoss for the first time, which now has guaranteed snow even before Christmas thanks to the construction of the new reservoir. In addition, the terrain here has been leveled to such an extent that the ski school now has a much larger park than before.

The two Hählen sisters clearly enjoy trying out the conveyor belts and games in Kinderland. If it had been like this 20 years ago, they would have loved to romp around here.

Ski school

The Betelberg ski area with its gentle slopes is particularly suitable for families with small children and beginners. The ski school here is one of the most advanced and children from all over Switzerland learn to ski here every year. It is no coincidence that the Swiss Youth Ski Camp has been based in Lenk since 1941.

Skiing with children has always been very popular at Lenk. On our website, we have compiled the most important tips to make skiing with children the fun leisure experience it should be.

Winter hiking above the ski area

Goofing around in Kinderland naturally makes you hungry and the sun has finally come out. So Joana and Simona treat themselves to a little picnic on the winter hiking trail at Leiterli. Thanks to its high altitude, this trail is a pretty safe bet even in less snowy winters and guarantees winter fun without the need for high-performance sport. The well-prepared trail leads around the Leiterli ridge with little difference in altitude.

The winter hiking trails can also be explored virtually on the Lenk Bergbahnen website: 360° winter hiking (VR tour). Those who prefer a more challenging experience will find numerous extensive winter hikes on the Betelberg. Or you can switch straight to cross-country skiing.

Cross-country skiing with the altitude factor

Lenk is a safe bet for many cross-country skiers because the high-altitude trail here is at around 1800 meters. This is not only an advantage because of the guaranteed snow, but the mountain air is also helpful when preparing for events at higher altitudes.

Joana Hählen is also occasionally to be found on cross-country skis. Either down in the valley, between the Simmen Falls and St. Stephan, or here on the Betelberg on the high-altitude trail.

Free riding on the Metsch

After a quick lunch in one of the mountain restaurants, Joana is drawn to her local mountain - Metsch. The Stand-Xpress takes us from the valley floor to over 2100 meters in 15 minutes. The Metsch stand is the starting point for what Joana and her sister call "free riding".

Over the next two hours, they make the area unsafe with a few friends who have joined them. Carved turns at a speed that leaves most unknowing spectators with a mixture of amazement and shivers.

The sun will soon be saying goodbye. Joana and Simi round off the day at Lenk in the snow bar. Together with childhood friends, they enjoy the last rays of sunshine on the terrace. They laugh and joke a lot.

Joana may be one of the fastest women on alpine skis, but here she is simply a woman who skis very well and enjoys being out in nature with her friends. She's one of the locals, she doesn't just say that, you can feel it when you're out and about with her.

We are proud and delighted to be able to support and accompany Joana Hählen on her sporting journey.