Crazy Mountain Camp – Switzerland, September 2013

From September 21, 2013 till September 26, 2013 the Crazy Mountain Camp took place high in the mountains of Valais, Switzerland. Mountain hiking, swimming in mountain lakes, crazy group games, spending a week in a unique location with an international group!

Past event: Crazy Mountain Camp!
date September 21 till September 26, 2013
duration 6 days / 5 nights
location An ‘eagles nest’ high above the Rhone valley
accomodation Simple mountain hut in the middle of nowhere
comfort
privacy
group fun
target # of participants 12
mountains
water
culture
unforgettability

This event has taken place in September 2013 and therefore is history. So you can not sign up for this event anymore. The next Crazy Mountain Camp will take place in June or July 2014. Please sign up for the newsletter to stay informed!


We’ll have a mountain hut just for our group in a unique location in the Alps, at an altitude of 2.000m 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. In the evening we will organize crazy group games, cook and eat together, and most probably there will be a sauna or outdoor hot tub etc.

Location

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 2.900 metres above sea level, canyons, rivers, lakes, fields and forests. There are no villages in our vicinity; there is only a summer farm 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. Probably the farm near our hut is not in use by end september).
From the nearest village it’s a trip of several hours to get to our hut. In the village there is a railway station. Then there is a cable car but it doesn’t reach the hut so we still have to bridge an altitude difference of 900 meters by foot. The hut can be reached by mountain bike as well.

Hut

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. There will be a simple improvised way of showering in the open. Please do not expect luxury things like comfort, privacy or electricity (there is light in the house thanks to a solar panel but there is no 230V). Bring a sleeping bag liner/sac à viande or a sleeping bag. The target number of participants is 12. Inside the house clothing is optional; around the house as well, at least in the quiet moments. No smoking in the house.

Mountain hiking

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:
Saturday We’ll all meet in the afternoon at the train station in the village and go up by cable car (costs not included; SFr. 6 per person). Walking up to the hut (T2). Luggage can be brought by car.
Sunday A short and easy hike that is not over steep slopes and always on non-challenging trails (T2 with a bit of T3). We will have a picknick in the fields and enjoy the magnificient view over the Rhone valley. This day will allow all ‘lowlanders’ to acclimatize to the altitude.
Monday A longer hike, technically more challenging also (T3). We will leave a bit earlier in the morning, hike to some beautiful mountain lakes, have a swim and then warm up with a picnic. We will hike back to our hut encircling a high peak. Highest point in our hike will be at 2.450m.
Tuesday An easy day again. Small hike not to far from the hut. Picnic, group games, feeling happy.
Wednesday A big hike that will take us all day. The most challenging one that we’ll make, including the ascent of a 2.650m high peak (T4).
Thursday Vacate the hut in the morning, than we might go for a swim again in that beautiful lake (T3). The way back to the cable car and village will take us a couple of hours. 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. It will be the last week of september, which means that the weather can be anything, from snow to +25 degrees Celcius!

Preparation

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 some warm clothes. 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 around the hut. Also some other huts here and there have a little terrace where you can have a drink or lunch. 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.

Workshops

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…)

Cost

If we complete 12 people, price for one week is EUR 245 per person for accommodation, food (breakfast, a simple lunch and the dinner 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! Bring some SFr. 30 in cash for cable car, a drink in a hut, etc.

Couples

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 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 opposite end 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 french speaking part of canton Valais (Wallis) in the southwest of Switzerland. Geneva airport is at 130 km, Basel-Mulhouse airport is at 225 km, Zürich airport is at 250km, Milan and Lyon at 270km. Good train connections.

From Benelux (and NRW or Alsace) there is a ride share available, approx. EUR 80 two-way per person. Most probably, as time passes by, ride shares from other directions will be added.

Don’t miss these 5 nights in the mountains!
LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN TOGETHER!

Interested?

If you want to participate in this event, then you’re out of luck… It is a past event! Please check out the upcoming Crazy Mountain Camps or Crazy Snow Camps! And if you sign up for the newsletter I’ll keep you updated about new Crazy Camps.