In August 2020 the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp will take place in an amazing remote valley high in the mountains in Switzerland. Mountain hiking, Yoga and meditations, crazy group games, hot tub, swimming in wild mountain lakes – this adventure will bring you back in balance!
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Immersed in overwhelming mountains you will reconnect with nature and reconnect with yourself!
We’ll have a mountain hut just for our group in a remote valley in the Alps, at an altitude of 1.500m and far away from “civilisation”. In the daytime we will be hiking in the overwhelming mountain landscapes with picnics and swimming in wild mountain lakes. Yoga and meditations in the fields and at the mountain tops! Also we will learn things about the unique culture of the Swiss summer farmers. In the evening we will organize crazy group games, cook and eat together, gaze at the starry sky while having a tea in our outdoor hot tub, have massage workshops etc. The Crazy Mountain Balance Camp will be an amazing adventure!
Let’s enjoy this amazing adventure high in the Alps without any external stimulants! We will refrain from consuming alcohol and drugs. Our body will take care of generating adrenaline, endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and lots of oxytocin to get us high :) Read more here. All food is vegan.
In the hut and directly around there is no GSM/mobile phone reception. Also on big parts of the hikes there is no network. In the hut there is no WiFi and if we keep our phones on airplane mode (as there is no network anyway) we will not be generating any radiation ourselves either.
We will be in a simple mountain hut, far away from the noise and rumble of cities and villages, in the middle of beautiful nature: mountains with peaks of up to 3.200 metres above sea level, canyons, rivers, fields and forests. There are no villages in this valley; there are only some summer farms here and there where the farmers make cheese from the milk of the cows that stay on the high fields during summer (more about seasonal migration in the Alps here).
From our hut, it is an almost two hour walk to get to the nearest village. In that village there is a bus stop; the bus connects to a railway station. There is no public road for cars in our valley. The hut can be reached by mountain bike as well.
The wooden hut is simple and reflects the life style of the summer farmers. All beds are in one big sleeping room. There is an open kitchen with a wood stove and there is a toilet. Outside is the hot tub. Please do not expect luxury things like comfort, personal privacy or mobile network coverage. There will be max. 14 people in our group. No smoking in the house or in the hot tub. In and around the house, during swimming activities and during parts of the hikes clothing is optional (faq)
How to get there
We will be in the very heart of Switzerland, in one of the Cantons that founded Switzerland (Federal Charter of 1291). Excellent train connections (and then one bus) from mayor cities in Europe, eg. 3,5 hrs from Milano with one change; 5:40 hrs from Frankfurt with one change; 5,5 hrs from Paris with 2 changes; night train from Amsterdam with 2 changes; also nigh train from Roma with 2 changes; etc. From the international bus station Lucerne (Flixbus, Eurolines etc.) you would take a direct train (and then the local bus mentioned before). The other option is to offer or join a ride share, for example through blablacar or with other Crazy Snow Balance Camp participants; already Benelux (and NRW or Alsace) there might be a ride share available (faq), approx. EUR 90 two-way per person. Most probably, as time passes by, ride shares from other directions will be added.
Switzerland is member of the Schengen agreement. If you can travel in any other Schengen country, you can travel in Switzerland.
Mind & Body
Although just being in this absurdly beautiful, remote mountain valley is already a good reset for your stressed brain, we will be actively working on bringing back balance to your life. Every day there will be yoga sessions and meditations – in the hut in case of bad weather, but more likely in the fields around the hut, at silent mountain lakes, on mountain tops…
Simone (see images below) will be our yoga facilitator and I am so exited about that! Let her introduce herself: My name is Simone and I love the power of breathing. I have learned different styles of “breathing in motion” including Hatha, Ashtanga Yoga and other names given to the same knowledge. When I teach, I like to use asanas (body postures) to picture your own breath and to get into a breathing rhythm. I like breathing exercises for exploration of how we can change our perception and meditation is always a part of every practise. Yoga with quality air and natural ground is a pure joy for concentration and connection- I am super exited to be here. By the way, the yoga sessions at the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp are suitable for all levels; no previous experience needed and of course you are always free to skip (part of) the sessions :)
There are uncountable moments of fun, feelgood and laughter at the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp. And there are moments of emotional release. One of the house rules is “Feel happy at all times – except when you don’t feel happy.” All feelings are welcome and the intention is to not judge any of them. You are invited to welcome all feelings that might arise in you. We will be doing plenty of exercises and games (eye gazing for example) to connect with ourselves and with the others. If you are not ready to engage in those exercises and games, or you are only interested in the “light & fun” side of reality, then please choose another Crazy Camp :)
What if I love mountains but don’t want to join all that sharing and yoga and massage stuff?
Then please choose a different Crazy Camp :) Of course you can opt out of certain activities if you’re tired after an extreme day of hiking, but if all these mind and body things are not your kind of thing, then the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp is not your kind of thing.
Please notice that there is no ‘leadership team’ or ‘staff’ at the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp. The yoga facilitator and Klaas will participate in the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp activities just like the other participants. At best they are ‘primi inter pares’. We’re all in it together :) (faq)
A good part of the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp will be dedicated to mountain hiking. Not mountaineering; no ropes, crampons or helmets. More info on the trail classifications (T1 etc.) here. Please do read!
There is a hiking program set up but it is not an obligation to participate; if you are a seasoned mountaineer you might prefer to go rock climbing by yourself instead of hiking with our group. And also if you want to spend your days relaxedly searching for berries or spotting birds, feel free to do so. In general everybody is expected to participate in the group life at the end of the day and in the evening. (faq)
The program might look something like this:
Day 1 We’ll all meet in the afternoon at the bus stop in the village. Walking up to the hut (T1). Luggage can be brought by car (but not all the way to the house, still some 5 mins to walk with luggage).
Day 2 An easy hike that is not over steep slopes and always on non-challenging trails (T1 and T2). We will visit the cheese production facilities of one of the summer farms, have a picnic in the fields, enjoy the magnificent views and do a meditation during the hike, bonding with the mountains . This day will allow all ‘lowlanders’ to acclimatize to the altitude.
Day 3 A long hike, technically more challenging also (T3, small parts of T4). We will leave early in the morning, hike to an incredibly beautiful mountain lake, picnic, meditate and have a swim. If we feel fit, we will hike to a 2.500m high summit, and we will hike back to our hut. In total this excursion will take us some 12 to 14 hours.
Day 4 No big hikes; rather chillax, do some meditations and yoga sessions. Also we will explore our creativity, expressing ourselves interacting with the mountains and trees, through for example photography, making rock structures, or whatever inspires us. It’s about the process, not about the result.
Day 5 From the hut we will directly ascend a summit that is ‘only’ 2.350m high, but the ascent is steep. The hike to the summit (yoga at the summit!) and at the other side down (intermezzo: swimming and sunbath at another lake) and then back through the valley will take us some 12 hours again. (T3, small parts of T4).
Day 6 Another day dedicated to meditation, yoga and bodywork.
Day 7 A long and challenging hike, T3 and T4, over an exposed ridge, for those who dare; for the others an easier hike with a ride in an adventurous cable car.
Day 8 Vacate the hut in the morning, than yoga and maybe a small hike. After this hike and a last meditation: the farewell group hug!
Weather conditions in the mountains can change fast and often. For this reason, the program can be changed according to what is safe and enjoyable.
Please keep the following in mind: the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp is more a social event than a sportive event. The ‘weakest’ group member will set the pace. If you are a very sporty person that gets nervous if you have to hike a bit slower and/or have a pause more often than what you’re used to, your nervousness might establish a problem for yourself and for the group.
Although the Crazy Mountain Camp is intended to be a relaxed, non-competitive event, mountain hiking is a sports activity that demands some extra attention for two reasons: altitude and safety. You don’t really need to have experience in mountain hiking, but you will need a fair condition, good mountain hiking shoes, a daypack, a water bottle, rain protection and a pullover. A pair of hiking poles is helpful but not a necessity. If you suffer from vertigo or acrophobia, our hiking program will not make you feel happy.
What if I love mountains but don’t want to join that ‘serious’ hiking?
I really like the whole idea and I would really like to join, but I’m really not into all this T3 and T4 hiking. Are there options for me?
Yes there are. You can make easy hikes for example to the village. Also some of the summer farms have a little terrace where you can have a drink. For these kind of hikes you don’t even need mountain hiking shoes; good walking shoes will do the job, but forget about flip flops, heels and mocassins. If you’re into nature photography or drawing landscapes, you will find a multitude of subjects within 500 meters from the hut…
Most probably you will not be the only one that will not join the bigger hikes.
Food and Drinks
Cooking will be done by the group and for the group; no à la carte service :) Because we are high in the mountains, our resources are limited and we’ll all have to be flexible. If you are very precise/specific with your food, then this is not the right experience for you, sorry. Read Details About Diets And Restrictions
All food is vegan. Read Food Details
This is an alcohol free event. Read Alcohol Details
There is space and time for workshop-like activities, so if you would like to share some of your knowledge or skills, feel free! Maybe you want to teach us some capoeira, do a photo session, or make us sing the traditionals of your native culture? Just some ideas… it really can be anything. And if you don’t want to, that’s fine as well!
If you are a couple, please understand that in the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp you can not behave like a couple. In general the beds are allocated through a lottery (faq) and we’re all sleeping in one big space. And you are expected to participate in all activities and group life as individuals and not as a couple. Yes you will be hugging – in the numerous group hugs! So be prepared to sit each at opposite sides of the table during dinner, and accept that someone other than yourself might be giving your partner a massage of the sore muscles.
Your participation in the cost for 7 days and nights is EUR 477 per person for accommodation, food (that we will cook together), guided yoga sessions, guided meditations, massage workshop and tourist taxes.
That is cheap! However, don’t come if you are only interested in an affordable holiday. The Crazy Mountain Balance Camp is all about the group, creating meaningful experiences together, spending fun evenings together, doing crazy games, human connexion, and enjoying the mountains together!
Should the exchange rate between EUR and CHF change dramatically, I will have to adapt these amounts.
If you identify as female or are genderqueer and you choose to use the Gender Pay Gap Compensation (faq) then your reduced participation fee is EUR 405.
The reduced price of EUR 405 is also available for students and people that receive unemployment benefits. In these cases you will be asked to provide a proof of your status.
If you feel that the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp is really the right experience for you and you are seriously struggling with the participation fee: please reach out to me.
What is included/provided?
+ Simple lunch (sandwiches, leftovers of yesterdays dinner)
+ Dinner (we will cook together)
+ Coffee, tea, milk, water, juice
+ Guided yoga sessions and meditations
+ Massage workshop
+ Hot Tub
+ Tourist taxes
+ Unforgettable fun
x Snacks, fruit, energy bars, energy drinks, soft drinks
x Sleeping bag liners
Don’t miss this adventure week in the mountains!
LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN TOGETHER!
If you want to participate in this event, then please use this application form. After review of your application, I will send you instructions on how to make the advance payment (faq) and about cancellation policies. The advance payment is EUR 207. Until you pay the advance payment there is no commitment – not for you and not for me.
For this Crazy Mountain Camp the following special clause applies: if you make the advance payment and either the Crazy Camp can not take place because of governmental regulations in Switzerland, or you can not join because governmental regulations in Switzerland or the country where you reside prevent you from traveling to the Crazy Camp, you will get either a full refund of your advance payment or a voucher for the value of your advance payment to be used for another upcoming Crazy Camp – you choose.
If you can not participate in this specific Crazy Camp, then please sign up for the newsletter and I’ll keep you updated about the other upcoming Crazy Camps.