Women on Ice

26th - 30th June, 2019

instructors | what to expect | history | registration

Connect. Inspire. Discover: A unique women’s expedition to grow personally while observing and exploring a Swiss glacier and high-alpine landscape.

Inspired by the international program Girls on Ice, Women on Ice is a unique personal development program for women taking place in the spectacular Lötschental, Canton Valais, region of the Swiss Alps. This 5-day outdoor experience aims to challenge you physically and intellectually as you step back from your daily routine; engage with other women; and explore and discover the alpine, glacier environment. Uniquely designed by women for women, our goal is to accompany you to discover, connect & move out of your comfort zone.

Led by professional scientists, leadership coaches, and mountain guides, this program is part retreat, part wilderness challenge and all exploration - of yourself and the environment around you. The program is designed to challenge you through hiking, walking on a glacier, embodiment practices & meditation, reflection activities and information about the alpine environment. You will discover and learn about the glacier landscape through scientific inquiry side-by-side with a professional glaciologist. You’ll grow individually as certified coaches lead you to deepen your understanding of your own emotions, confidence & limitations. And lastly, you’ll be challenged physically on “peak day” where our goal is a nearby destination under the leadership of a mountain guide. While this expedition is physically challenging, it is open to everyone, we only ask that bring a sense of curiosity and desire to learn.Please contact us if you are not sure if your fitness is sufficient. We cannot wait to accompany you on this journey!

“I can do what I want to do, if I believe in myself I can do it. We climbed a glacier [thousands of] feet in the sky, that was pretty amazing and I don’t think I would have ever believed I could have done that without this program. It was funny and memorable, and difficult and hard but I loved every moment of it.”
K’sana, British Columbia
Girls on Ice - Cascades 2016


 

Overview of the itinerary

Photos from Girls on Ice Switzerland 2017

We will start the program Wednesday 26.6.2019 at 13.30 at the village of Fafleralp, where the program starts already with check in, introductions and a hike to the Anenhütte where we will arrive before dinner. Thursday morning, we will start with a quiet observation of the landscape by acclimatising on a walk to the glacier, stimulating your questions as we jump into our work of sharing, discovery and connection with guided exercises as a group, pairs and individually.

Friday, we will meet the mountain guide and explore the landscape more as we prepare for an excursion to the glacier.

Weather permitting, Saturday is the peak day, where our aim is a nearby destination that helps us to grow by pushing ourself out of our comfort zone, into our “growth zone”. We then have the late afternoon for further deepening of our personal exploration and reflection of the experience and open discussions of the observations we made of the glacier landscape.

After the breakfast on Sunday, we will close the program and then hike back to Fafleralp, where we will say farewell and depart for home at 15.00. Each day will start and end with guided meditation. Everyday, we encourage observing and asking questions about the landscape around us.

What to expect

  • Unique 5-day mountain experience in the Swiss Alps: A personal development experience designed to move you into your growth zone while exploring the glacier environment. Expect to be challenged physically, emotionally and intellectually in a supportive, all women environment.
  • Experienced leaders: Professional scientists, leadership coaches, and mountain guides will lead you on a journey designed to challenge you physically and intellectually and aims to build your confidence and sense of courage. The leaders bring their knowledge and enthusiasm from a combined 40 years of experience in their fields.
  • Peak experience: You will hike to the hut and learn how to walk as a roped team on the glacier. Working together as a team, our goal is a nearby peak that stretches you physically and reminds you of all the amazing things you are capable of. Our team will consist of women with all levels of outdoor and mountaineering experience. We will leverage your strengths and support your needs as a team.
  • Science: Learn about the alpine environment and in particular about glaciers. Explore and observe this unique environment with a sense of curiosity and deepen your view of the natural world both here and when you return home. Understand the interaction of the different elements over time and experience glaciological work conducting a small hands-on experiment on the glacier.
  • Personal development: Coaching, discussions and activities, both individual and with the group, will deepen your self-awareness. Proven exercises from leadership and embodiment training will support you to explore what is important to you and in which direction you want your life to go.
 Anenhütte - Lötschental

Anenhütte - Lötschental

  • A chance to disconnect from day to day and invest in YOU: Feel yourself come alive as you experience the restorative beauty of nature and the wonder of a glacier up close. The program aims to help you connect and build awareness in yourself, others and the environment around you.
  • Daily reflection & meditation: We will start and finish each day with meditation practices, enabling calm and centeredness, and helping you reconnect with your best self.
  • A licensed mountain guide for our time on the glacier: Our guide will lead us on our peak day experience. Before peak day, we will complete introductory training with her for safely hiking on a glacier. Safety is our top priority.
  • Traditional mountain accommodations: Called the “most luxurious cabin of the Alps”, the beautifully located and carefully designed Anenhütte, is the only privately managed mountain hut in the UNESCO world heritage Lötschental. The owners provide excellent service and hospitality, combined with a deep passion for the alpine environment.
  • Traditional, delicious meals: Meals prepared daily at the Anenhütte include fresh, local products. Evening dinner include a 4-course meal comprised of local specialties. Vegetarian options are available. Lovely selection of wines.
  • Small, intimate group size: We intentionally keep the group small to create a trusting and supportive environment that enables reflection, connection and growing together. Max 14 participants, 3 leaders and 1 mountain guide.
  • Optional coaching: We offer a special coaching package for those who are interested in deepening their focus on a specific theme or topic as part of this program. The coaching can take place before and/or after the program with one of our coaches of your choice.

History

Developed in 2018, Women on Ice was directly inspired by Inspiring Girls Expeditions. It began with a simple question of “why not a program for adult women?” Started by the American glaciologist, Erin Pettit, Inspiring Girls Expeditions leads wilderness science education programs for high school girls. Since the first expedition, Girls on Ice Cascades, in 1999, additional Girls on Ice programs have developed, including Girls on Ice Alaska, Girls on Ice Canada and Girls on Ice Switzerland. Over time, as the organization and impact grew, feedback continued to be heard that adults would be interested in a program like this too. This planted the seed that would eventually become Women on Ice. In 2017, Chris Nassivera and Andrea Barrueto, trained professional coaches and volunteers with Girls on Ice Switzerland, began discussing with Marijke Habermann and Kathrin Naegeli, founders of Girls on Ice Switzerland, to bring Women on Ice to life in the glaciers of the Swiss Alps. The vision for Women on Ice is a development experience for women that includes physical and intellectual challenge, connection and inspiration relevant and designed especially for women AND consistent with the purpose & mission of Inspiring Girls Expeditions, specifically personal leadership, curiosity, confidence and success.

To learn more about Inspiring Girls Expeditions, click here. To help us offer more of these empowering learning expeditions to girls all over the world, learn how you can get involved or donate.

Registration

The price for this one of a kind 5-day experience is 2900 CHF.

All of the proceeds of Women on Ice will be donated to Girls on Ice, the international organization that inspired this program. 

Don’t miss this chance to invest in yourself, recharge and explore the spectacular alpine environment. Spots will sell quickly for this retreat-adventure due to limited availability, so if you are interested in joining us please register immediately.

Important Details

The price includes meals and accommodation in the luxury mountain hut, Anenhütte. Honoring the traditional Swiss alpine hut experience, accommodation in Anenhütte is in a shared dormitory style room. We do have limited private & semi-private rooms available for supplemental costs.

The costs of outdoor gear, personal insurance and materials such as boots and crampons are not included in the price. Each participant is required to bring their own outdoor equipment. Equipment for the glacier hike, such as crampons and harness can be rented at many outdoor stores. Stores in major Swiss cities are included in the equipment list. We are here to help you with any questions you may have about the gear.

Professional coaching sessions are available before and/or after the trip. We offer a free 30 minute introductory session to learn more. You may choose either one of the coaches: Chris Nassivera (English) or Andrea Barrueto (German or English).

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver

 

Questions about this workshop? Contact us at swiss@girlsonice.org