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Assistant County Commissioner International

Helen Birchmore

St Nicolas 9th Guildford Visit Kandersteg


St Nicolas 9th Guildford have just returned from having a great time on the high ropes at Interlaaken, the tobogganing course at Oeschinensee and all the other activities of Kandersteg in Switzerland.  11 Explorers, 1 Scout and 3 Leaders from St Nicolas 9th Guildford spent a brilliant week at Kandersteg in July.  The group take up the tale, “We crossed a real glacier, and all of us climbed the narrow paths and rocky outcrops to stay overnight at a remote alpine hut.  We managed to get onto the summits of the Bunderspitz (2,546m) and the Hockenhorn (3,293m), where the views were fantastic and we were amazed to have got over 10,000 feet.


Alongside this high adventure we paddled up to our knees in a glacial lake, rowed boats under ice-cold waterfalls, and sampled genuine Swiss cheese made before our eyes in a real mountain top cheesery.  Of course, we also shopped till we dropped in Kandersteg village, mainly for Swiss Army knives.


We got to develop skills, like walking on snow and using ice axes, which are not normally possible in the UK.  We saw the most amazing and varied flowers and insects as we trekked through Alpine meadows.  We found the peace and stunning views in the mountains unlike anything we’d experienced before.


Most of all, we learned that wherever they’re from Scouts from other countries are much the same as us.  They love adventure outdoors, campfires, joining in games of football and ultimate Frisbee, and doing crazy things.  It was a privilege to be in their company: we hope they felt the same about us.”


If you’re considering going to Kandersteg, the group are happy to share their experiences.  For Explorers and Leaders organising a trip, it’s easier and cheaper than you might think.  The programme section of the kisc.ch website is an inspirational place to start.