From August 11, 2015 till August 16, 2015 the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp took place in an amazing remote valley high in the mountains in Switzerland. Mountain hiking, crazy group games, sauna, swimming in wild mountain lakes – this adventure will bring you back in balance!
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Far away from stress and noise, high on the mountain: Enjoy simplicity! It liberates the mind.
This event has taken place in August 2015 and therefore is history. So you can not sign up for this event anymore
We’ll have a mountain hut just for our group at an altitude of 2.000m 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. In the evening we will organize crazy group games, cook and eat together, we’ll relax in the unique Crazy Camp Mountain Sauna etc. The Crazy Mountain Balance Camp will be an intense and unique experience that will take you up in the sky and will bring you back on your feet!
We will be in a simple mountain hut in the middle of beautiful nature: mountains with peaks of up to 2.900 meters above sea level, canyons, rivers, fields and forests. There are no villages in our valley. In our proximity 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). We are in the south east of Switzerland, at a walking distance from the Italian border. The local language is Italian.
From our hut, it is around 1,5 hour walking to get to the nearest village (altitude difference: 600m). In that village there is a bus stop; the bus connects to a railway station. The hut can be reached by mountain bike as well.
The mountain hut is simple and with a very natural feel. The beds are bunk beds in group rooms. There is an open kitchen with a wood stove. There is a toilet and an improvised shower with warm water from the wood stove. Please do not expect luxury things like comfort, privacy or mobile network coverage. There will be max. 20 people in our group. A sauna is there for us to enjoy in the evenings. In and around the house clothing is optional (except in the sauna) (faq). No smoking in the house or in the sauna.
The days in 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:
Tuesday We’ll all meet in the afternoon at the bus stop in the village. Walking up to the hut (2 hours, T2). Luggage will be brought by car to the hut.
Wednesday As a warming up (and to give ourselves time to acclimatize to the altitude) we will make a hike (T3) that is not very long – we’ll be going to the two lakes that are above the hut. The water will be cold but we’ll enjoy a swim! Picnic and sunbath afterwards before we go back to the hut.
Thursday A long hike. We will leave a bit earlier in the morning. Our goal of the day will be the summit of the 2.900 meters high peak that is right at the border between Switzerland and Italy (T3 with T4 in the last ascent/descent of the summit). We will go up on the Swiss side and go down on the Italian side.
Friday We will be revisiting the two lakes for some swimming and there we’ll do some meditations, some yoga-ish stuff and we’ll be discovering and unlocking our creativity, finding our inspiration in the mountains, each other and ourselves. We might be making a cairn sculpture, do some photography sessions, do some improvisation, or something else. You don’t have to participate in this; if you want to make a hike on your own, you are free to do it. Or maybe you just want to be on the mountain and spot wildlife.
Saturday This will be the biggest hike so we’ll get up early for this one. We’ll first go to another mountain lake for a dip. Here we can decide to either take a ‘short’ way back (T3) or we can continue to the next valley with yet more lakes and two small rock glaciers. Until there all T3 and on our way back a good part of T4.
Sunday Vacate the hut in the morning. Then we can make a hike through the forests (the other hikes are generally above the tree line); partially over Italian grounds (T2 with a bit of T3). After this hike: 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.
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 :-)
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, 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. 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.
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 photoshoot or make us sing the traditionals of your native culture? Just some ideas… it really can be anything. Another fun activity that we’ll be doing together is… cooking! (and cleaning afterwards…)
Your participation in the cost for these 5 days and nights is EUR 265 per person for accommodation, food (that we will cook together) 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, spending fun evenings together, doing crazy games, and enjoying the mountains together!
What is included/provided and what is not?
+ Simple lunch (sandwiches, leftovers of yesterdays dinner)
+ Dinner (we will cook together)
+ Coffee, tea, milk, water, juice
– Snacks, fruit, energy bars, energy drinks, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages
+ Tourist taxes
– Sleeping bags
+ Unforgettable fun
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 the other extreme of the group table during dinner, and accept that someone else than yourself might be giving your partner a salt scrub in the sauna.
How to get there
We will be in Grisons in the south east of Switzerland. Distance from Milano Bergamo airport is 135km, the other Milan airports at 165 km, Innsbruck airport 230km, Zürich airport 260km, Basel/Mulhouse airport at 340km. Can be reached by train (and then one bus). Train from Milano or Bergamo is cheaper and faster; train from Zürich is very scenic.
From The Netherlands/Belgium/Luxemburg there is a ride share available, approx. EUR 85 two-way per person (faq)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.
Don’t miss these 5 nights in the mountains!
LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN TOGETHER!
If you want to participate in this event, then you’re out of luck… It is a past event! Please check out the other upcoming Crazy Camps or sign up for the newsletter and I’ll keep you updated about new Crazy Camps.