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. Basically 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:
First day We’ll all meet in the afternoon at the bus stop in the village. Walking up to the hut (3 hours, T2). Luggage will be brought by tractor to the hut.
Second day As a warming up we will make a hike (T3) that is not very long and not very technical – but will take us to a 2.750m high peak. Picnic and sunbath on the summit before we go back to the hut.
Third day A not so long hike (T3) will bring us to the ruins of an alpine underground ore quarry from past centuries. We will probably take a guided tour through the interior of the mine! Afterwards we’ll hike back to the hut through the forest (T2 and T3).
Fourth day No big hikes; rather chillax, do some meditations and yoga sessions. Also we might 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.
Fifth dayA long hike, 8 to 9 hours, T3, that will bring us to a dip in the lake and then we’ll ascent another 2.750m high peak before hiking back to the hut.
Sixth day Another day dedicated to meditation, yoga and bodywork.
Seventh day Vacate the hut in the morning and descent back into civilisation. After this hike: the farewell hug in the village!
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. At this altitude it can be that we’ll hike in full sunshine with 27 degrees air temperature – and it can be that we wake up with fresh snow around our hut!
One thing about hiking in groups. Keep in mind that a ‘stronger’ person can adapt to a ‘slower’ person, but a ‘slower’ person can not adapt to a ‘stronger’ person. So when we hike in a group, we’ll set the capabilities of the ‘slower’ group members as standard while the ‘stronger’ people will have the satisfaction of applying their social skills by adapting to the group :-)
As we are in a remote, non-touristic location, there is a chance that we will be able to spot some interesting wildlife. Marmots, eagles and ibexes are the most probable; the chances of seeing wolves or a bear are, in all honesty, very small – even though they do live in our valley.
Although the Crazy Mountain Balance 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 something warmer also. A pair of hiking poles is helpful but not a necessity. If you suffer from vertigo or acrophobia, some parts of 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 around the hut. 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.