Visit the site of the Whitepod ski resort in the Swiss Alps between April and November and what you’ll see of it is . . . nothing.
You’ll see no roads. No electrical wires. No place to stay. Just a 19th century farmhouse. And a pristine alpine meadow that’s begging for some von Trapp kids to twirl around in Sound Of Music style. And an amazing view. The vista of the snow peaks from this virtually untouched place 1,700 meters (5,600 feet) above the oceans is among the grandest in Europe. “Untouched” being the key word.
Every autumn, shortly before the snow starts, Whitepod builds wooden platforms and places upon each a geodesic-dome “pod” (that’s akin to a smaller version of the increasingly popular yurt). The pods have no plumbing and no electricity. But they do have oil lamps and a fireplace that keeps them toasty warm. Each pod also has a full bed and stellar south-facing views of Mount Blanc. It is all very romantic in a primitive, middle-of-nowhere sort of way.
All the pods are clustered around the aforementioned 19th century farmhouse. This is where Whitepod guests can use the facilities and enjoy a solar-heated shower or spa treatment. It is also where intimate meals are served and where guests congregate when they aren’t in their pods or out hitting the slopes. The farmhouse gets a few hours of generator-provided electricity each day.
Every spring the pods are then taken down, their platforms are removed, and this area of the Alps returns to its natural state. At least for a few months, when snows begin to fall and the Whitepod resort reappears.