Gear fairies for Girls on Ice Switzerland


Girls on Ice spends 8 days in tents next to the Findelen Glacier, and for such an expedition it takes a lot of material and food. The participants pack their backpacks full, but still we need women to help us bring the rest of the gear to the base camp at the beginning of the expedition and bring it all down again in the end. Here you can get involved as a 'gear fairy'!

The material is distributed in Visp at the station, then we go together by train to the station Riffelalp above Zermatt. From here it is about 8.5km and 770 vertical meters to the base camp at 2900 m.a.s. First, you walk 2/3 of the way on trails, the last 1/3 is then on trails and partly without trails on the moraine of the glacier. The ascent takes about 3 hours, the descent another 2.5 hours.

To help as a gear fairy you need a big backpack (65L is ideal, at least 45L) and hiking equipment. Good footwear is especially important as part of the way is off trail and through scree. We do not go onto the glacier, so you do not need special equipment. Hiking poles are highly recommended, especially because of the weight of the backpack. We also have some extra backpacks and sticks that you can borrow. Everybody can pack as much weight as they like, usually around 15kg per person.

Every year we need gear fairies on two days: on the second day of the course and on the third to last day. The helpers are only needed for these individual days, so you go up and descent in one day. With a full backpack on the way up, or full backpack on the way down. Especially for people with a long journey to Zermatt it is a very long day, if you want you can of course plan a night in Valais. The helpers are, for the most part, among themselves, we plan a break on the way in which you get to know the participants and leaders of the course briefly. Unfortunately, we have no way to compensate the helpers financially, so each is responsible for travel and food. We will only buy the ticket for the Gornergratbahn for you. For the train ride it is worthwhile to inquire early with your ‘Gemeinde’, if they still have discounted day tickets (about 45.-) available.

For Girls on Ice Switzerland 2019 the gear fairy days are:

- 13 July with a full backpack up and an empty backpack down (german-speaking expedition)

- 20 July with a full backpack up and an empty backpack down (both expeditions)

- 29 July with an empty backpack up and a full backpack down (french-speaking expedition)

If you are interested in helping as a gear fairy, then write us at swissvolunteer@girlsonice.org. Without our gear fairies these expeditions are not possible!