From July 15, 2014 till July 20, 2014 the Crazy Mountain Camp took place in a remote valley in central Switzerland. Mountain hiking, crazy group games, hot tub, spending a week in a unique location!
Join the Crazy Mountain Camp if you are in for a new experience!
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 picknicks and a bit of swimming in wild mountain lakes. 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, we’ll enjoy the sunset while having a glass in our outdoor hot tub etc. The Crazy Mountain Camp will be an intense and unique experience!
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, privacy or mobile network coverage. There will be max. 14 people in our group. Inside the house clothing is optional (faq); around the house as well, at least in the quiet moments. No smoking in the house or in the hot tub.
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:
Tuesday 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).
Wednesday An easy hike that is not over steep slopes and always on non-challenging trails (T1 and T2). We will have a picknick in the fields, enjoy the magnificient views and visit the cheese production facilities of one of the summer farms. This day will allow all ‘lowlanders’ to acclimatize to the altitude.
Thursday A longer hike, technically more challenging also (T3). We will leave a bit earlier in the morning, hike to a small mountain lake, have a swim and then warm up with a picknick with warm soup and tea. If we feel fit, we will hike to a 2.500m high summit, and we will hike back to our hut.
Friday A smaller hike for some, maybe an excursion by car somewhere or some creative activities for others.
Saturday From the hut we will directly ascend a summit that is ‘only’ 2.350m high, but technically more challenging (T4). The hike to the summit and at the other side down and then back through the valley will take us all day.
Sunday Vacate the hut in the morning, than an easy hike (T2) to a small museum that explains the life of the summer farmers. We will probably also be using one of the 3 small cable cars that connect the summer farms with the valley down below. These cable cars are small, steep and low-tech, not to be compared with the cable cars in eg. ski resorts.
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 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 or taste their cheese. 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 photo session, 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 12 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 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 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 side of the group table during dinner, and accept that someone else than yourself might be giving your partner a massage of the sour muscles.
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). Zürich airport is at 100km, Basel airport at 155km, Geneva 330km, Milan at 215km. Excellent train connections (and then one bus) from mayor cities in Europe.
From Benelux (and NRW or Alsace) 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 Camp – Switzerland 2014 Edition