From July 25, 2014 till July 30, 2014 the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp took place in an amazing place high above the Rhône valley in Switzerland. Mountain hiking, crazy group games, sauna, swimming in wild mountain lakes – a unique and intense experience that brought us back in balance!
Join the Crazy Mountain Balance Camp if you are in for a total experience!
We’ll have a mountain hut just for our group high over the Rhône valley in the Alps, at an altitude of 2.250m and far away from “civilisation”. In the daytime we will be hiking in the overwhelming mountain landscapes with picnics and a bit of 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 3.100 metres above sea level, canyons, rivers, fields and forests. As we are very high on the mountain, it is as if we are on a balcony, and the human theatre of stress and prejudice is somewhere below, far away from us. 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).
From our hut, it is around 1,5 hour walking to get to the nearest village. 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 wooden hut is simple and with a very natural feel. All beds are in one big sleeping room. There is an open kitchen with a wood stove. Outside is a dry toilet. Please do not expect luxury things like comfort, privacy or electricity. There will be max. 12 people in our group. 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 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. However, everybody is expected to participate in the group life at the end of the day and in the evening.
The program might look something like this:
Friday We’ll all meet in the afternoon at the bus stop in the village. Walking up to the hut (T2). Luggage can be brought by car (but not all the way to the house, still some 20 mins to walk with luggage).
Saturday As a warming up we will make a hike (T3) that is not very long – but it will take us up to the summit (2.650m) of the mountain that is closest to our hut.
Sunday A longer hike. We will leave a bit earlier in the morning, hike to a small mountain lake, have a dip and then continue to a summit that is also 2.650m high, but has a bit of rock scrambling near the top.
Monday No hike programmed. This day we will be doing 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.
Tuesday This will be the biggest and most rewarding hike (T3 and at the summit a bit of T4). We’ll first go to a mountain lake for some swimming and feeling happy. After that we will hike to a summit that is just a bit over 3.000 meters high – you will not get much higher in the Alps without using mountaineering equipment. From the summit we’ll go down on the other side and back to the hut through another valley.
Wednesday Vacate the hut in the morning, than we will visit a nearby summer farm and learn about their artisanal way of making cheese. After that we will make a hike through the forests (the other hikes are all above the tree line). 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.
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 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 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…)
If we complete 10 people, price for these 5 days and nights is EUR 245 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!
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 Valais, in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Distance from Geneva airport is 175km, Zürich airport 250km, Basel/Mulhouse airport at 270km, Milano airports at 250 km, Lyon airport at 325 km. Easy to reach by train (and then one bus). From The Netherlands/Belgium/Luxemburg there is a ride share available, approx. EUR 75 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.
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 are out of luck… it’s a past event! Please check out the Crazy Snow Camps, this winter. And I invite you to sign up for the newsletter and I’ll keep you updated about the other upcoming Crazy Camps.
Confirmed participants Crazy Mountain Balance Camp – Switzerland 2014 Edition