Group: 16 youngsters (male, aged 15-22), 7 adults (2 cooks)
Location: Chalet Edelweiss, Arolla, Switzerland
Weather: mostly brilliant, 17°C, cooling wind, evening downpours
1 juli: Transfer to Arolla (2000 m) via Vosges and Jura
Bus ride of 13 hrs with stopover at Sion airport
2 juli: Cabane de la Tsa (2607m) (=872 HM; GPS 8,7 km)
3 juli: Cabane des Aiguilles Rouges (2844m) (=1089 HM; GPS 16,1 km)
4 juli: Cabane des Dix via Pas des Chèvres (2855 m) and Col de Riedmatten (2928 m) (=1329 HM; GPS 16,1 km)
5 juli: Resting day
6 juli: Cabane des Vignettes (3160 m) (=1233 HM; GPS 11,9 km)
7 juli: Lac Bleu – Les Haudères (1452m) (=387 HM; GPS 9,3 km)
8 juli: Arolla – Cabane de Bertol (3325 m) (=1450 HM; GPS 9,9 km)
9 juli: Tête Blanche (3724 m) – Arolla (=860 HM; GPS 19,4 km)
10 juli: Café belge (Pension Lac Bleu) (=301 HM; GPS 7,5 km) and Transfer home
Total up = 7500
Total down = 7900
Total km = 98,9
A Few Thoughts
Weather: in spite of inevitable rainy day towards Cab. des Aiguilles Rouges brilliant weather circumstances with sun, clouds and cooling breeze.
Conditions: lots of snow, facilitating ascents on otherwise rocky debris; relatively few blossoming flowers, no wild animals this year, 3 noisy nutcrackers in the village
Group: excellent behaviour, patient, good-humoured, cooperative, easy-going
Conclusion: We started our mountain camps in 2002 and after 12 years I feel proud and relieved that we have been able to offer this unique mountain experience without any accidents. Many thanks to all participants and co-leaders.
Hikes of round and about 10 hours between 2000 en 3800 m.; stay-overs in huts like Bertol, Dix, Vignettes, Prarayer, Pra Fleuri, Moiry; mountain tops like Pigne d’Arolla, Tête Blanche; cols like Col Collon, de Tsaté, de Chèvres, Tsarmine, des Roux, Tête Noire; mountain lakes like Lac des Dix, des Places de Moulin, de Moiry, and that little diamond Lac Bleu.
Our mountain camps originate in a long school tradition that started somewhere in the seventies under the capable leadership of Mr Bert Geudens. Many things have changed over these nearly 50 years of tradition. In these days of affluence it has become much more difficult for teenagers to appreciate physical and mental satisfaction in mountaineering during summer holidays. Luxurious beach holidays seem so much more alluring, not to forget the distractions of digital worlds. Often we met with admiration and appreciation from foreign mountaineers when our group of pupils reached a distant hut. They said such a thing would be unthinkable in their own country; no one would take the risk or the effort of organising voluntary mountain camps and never would their youngster be as well-behaved as ours. For all that it is with boundless gratitude that I look back upon those wonderful years in the Swiss mountains, in that tiny colourful village of Arolla. Will that fantastic tradition be continued…???