BEING A VOLUNTEER – Maddy (Australia)


With less than 2 weeks before we reach the end of our Spring volunteer season, I can’t help but feel sad that my time here is almost over.

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“The girls just want to know when I will take them back!”


Hello and warmest wishes to everyone,

Life has been busy since we got back from our wonderful trip to Our Chalet. 

We have collected everyone’s photos and we are putting together a presentation evening next week for parent’s and people who donated money towards our trip. I am looking forward to the evening to relive the wonderful experience.

I cannot thank everyone enough for making our trip so special and so much fun.
The girls just want to know when I will take them back!
The girls who had chosen not to come with us have heard so much about the trip that they are wanting to book up now for the next time.

Caitness Guides Rangers with Chalet Staff

I hope that this finds everyone well.

Kindest Regards

Caithness Guides and Rangers
Winter Adventure Week Participants, February 2014

STAFF: Make a wish! – Somto (NGA)


I have been here at Our Chalet in the Swiss Alps as a volunteer for the winter season. Taking the decision to come here wasn’t easy because I had to put a lot of things on hold. But from planning my journey and finally arriving it was worth it. My dream of seeing snow came true though, I saw snow, I felt snow, I walked in it and I experienced all kinds of it and waking up every morning and seeing the whole place including mountains tops look white and beautiful always brings peace to my soul. I have seen so many beautiful sites and lots of memorable experiences, each and everything I do daily is new and wonderful.

To start with we had a white Christmas and New Year celebrations, it’s the first time I have spent Christmas away from home, not just away from home but far away from home in a different environment, with different people and cultures. It wasn’t the same but it was fun anyway. We went on a trip to the Christmas market in Bern, it was cool and I fell in love with the city.

somto groupWe have been hiking to different places; Woodcarvers, Engstligen waterfalls and going snow tubing. Walking in the snow always makes me feel like am on the moon! I also used the snow shoes for the magic tree snow shoe hike which was great. It might also interest you to know that two different wishes I made at the magic tree came true; so do try and make a wish at the magic tree anytime you visit our chalet!

Soon it was time to learn how to ski, I enrolled for some ski lessons and can proudly say I know how to ski even though am not an expert.  I am yet to perfect making turns – the skis are their own masters and they never bend to your command until they have flung you on to the ground a few times first!

It’s fun and interesting to know that you have to put in so much energy to control some tiny objects!

I had a great time during the ski world cup held in Adelboden, it was awesome watching professionals ski in real life and listening to the beautiful tunes and background music that were playing. We also managed to get into the village that night to see other events (such as the bib picking ceremony) that were taking place. It was so much fun.

somto ski wc

One of the best activities that I enjoyed doing here was sledging, it’s so much fun, especially sledging at night – I will really miss that! I also had a go on the airboard and another of my dreams came true when I went paragliding. I lack words to describe how I felt but it was very good!  One thing I learned here is just how cold it can be, it is never this cold back home in Nigeria!

somto para1somto para2

It has been a wonderful experience and I have enjoyed every bit of it, there is so much fun in the Swiss Alps, there is so much fun high up in the mountains and much more fun lies beneath the roof of Our Chalet.

Chinweoke ‘Somto’ Orakwute (NGA)

Our Chalet Assistant – Winter 2013/14

GUESTS: The Big Brownie Birthday – 2nd Croft Brownies (UK)


“We had an amazing weekend! We’re already planning our return! Thank you so much to all the staff again for such a life changing experience which we will never forget! You all helped my international licence weekend go swimmingly!”

Charlotte Nash

“We had the most amazing time, it was worth every minute of planning and travelling to have such a brilliant adventure, and for it to be snowing when we left just completed the trip with many many fantastic memories.”

Karen Nash

2nd Croft Brownies, Cheshire Forest, UK

STAFF: 101 ways to get down a mountain – Kate (USA)


Hi everyone! This is Kate, one of the winter volunteers from the USA. I’ve been having an incredible time living and working here at Our Chalet.

Some of my favorite activities happen out and around the Chalet in the beautiful Swiss alps. Besides the traditional downhill skiing, which I have been perfecting on my days off (I did my first black run on Saturday!), we can go sledding (or sledging for you UK folk), skibok-ing, and airboarding. There are lots of ways to slide down mountains!

Sailee, Kate, Emma on Mountain

Did you know that Adelboden has specially groomed pistes just for sledding? I’ve gone sledding at home, but the little hill at the local park is nothing compared to these mountains. One of my favorite day programs is to take a sled up Silleren mountain and sled down the piste (that’s about 5km long!). The best part is that you don’t have to walk up the hill again- just take the gondola back up to the top!

kate snow tubing 2

Night sledding on Tschentenalp is one of the best things I’ve done in the evenings. Every Saturday night they keep the gondola open until 9 to sled down the slopes in the dark. The Tschenten slopes are especially steep, but once you’ve done them once or twice to learn the twists and turns it’s super fun.

Sometimes you see some local kids going down the slopes on skiboks. A skibok is an Adelboden invention that is made of half an old ski with a wooden seat screwed to the top. When you ride them, you can go almost as fast as regular skiing. Of course, every time I’ve tried it I’ve just fallen over. This month I definitely want to work on my skibok-ing, though, so when I go home I can build one for myself and show off next winter!

On my day off recently I tried my hand at airboarding. An airboard is basically a bodyboard filled with air, or an air mattress with handles. You lie on it and slide down a hill. Head first (wear a helmet!). It was such an adrenaline rush! If youlove adventure then airboarding is definitely something to try.
I can’t forget to mention the awesome sledding that we do here at Our Chalet. The hill going from Baby Chalet to Main Chalet is perfect for sledding, and it’s nice not to have to go too far from home.

We have lots of different kinds of sleds at the Chalet to use. My favorite is affectionately dubbed “the little red thing” (the LTR). It actually has a handle for you to hold on to, and it has a hard plastic bottom that lets you go really fast even in the deep snow we have here!

Can you tell I love to sled? I think it’s wonderful how seriously the Swiss take their sledding. In the US, sledding is something done by children (and university students, at least at mine!). If you tried to take a sled up a ski slope people would laugh at you. But here you seepeople of all ages riding down the mountains. It’s great!

ShadowsWho says you’re too old to have a little fun?


Kate Marie Kemmerer (USA)
Our Chalet Assistant – Winter 2013/14