You might have seen one before, one of skiing’s most awe-inducing sights: one of those gnarly older gentlemen with tans the color of rich earth and more laugh lines than a comedy special. Yes, I’m talking about those legends who brave the slopes with neither a hat nor a pair goggles—a rare and a most treasured species. No matter what Mother Nature has to throw at them, they stand grinning against the storm, their sage heads bared to the snow gods above and their tips pointed towards the valley below. If any category of skiers can be instantly classified as legends, surely it’s these guys.
Among this rare breed, there is perhaps no one more famous than Snowflake—the face of Engelberg’s new winter PR campaign, The Way to Happiness. His real name is Heinrich Giesker, but this fact is irrelevant—there’s no one in Engelberg who calls Snowflake anything other than Snowflake.
Heinrich Giesker, aka Snowflake. Photo: Adam Falk
What makes Snowflake special, besides the lack of hat and goggles? Well, for starters, the 77-year-old logs more ski days in Engelberg than anyone—an average of 150 days per season. (Last winter he got 168 days.) For frequent visitors to Engelberg, his all-white suit and free-flowing locks are a regular and cherished sight on the slopes.
More than that, you will find him skiing everywhere on Engelberg’s storied freeride terrain. I myself have witnessed the sight: A major freeride descent, thousands of vertical meters, butt-puckering terrain, where people strapped up with helmets, beacons, shovels, probes, backpacks, UV-filtering goggles and expensive outerwear are struck speechless by the sight of Snowflake drifting gently down the slope past them, his hair blowing in the breeze.
Imagine getting pumped up for one of the most epic powder runs of your life when you see this guy fly by you. Only in Engelberg. Photo: Falk
In fact, Snowflake has become such a legend that Engelberg has now made him the star of his own PR campaign. According to the campaign, the Way to Happiness is best pursued by following Snowflake’s mantra: “Worry less, ski more.” And, should you choose to follow these wise words, there’s no better place to do so than in Engelberg: Switzerland’s powder paradise with a 2000-meter vertical drop, spectacular freeride terrain, reliable snow coverage and a regular ski season that runs from October until May, one of the longest in the Alps.
The campaign invites you to get to know Snowflake and his way of life better with five episodes that will be released throughout the winter. The first two episodes are already online on the Way to Happiness page. In the first episode you can learn why Snowflakes dresses all in white; the answer might surprise you! And you can sign up to win a ski holiday in Engelberg, complete with a ski day with the man himself.
Not all of us can be legends like Snowflake—but we all can worry less and ski more. And anyone who manages to do that these days is surely a legend in the making.