Switzerland’s Ultimate Alpine Guides
June 4, 2017
For over 115 years, the Alpinschule Adelboden (previously named Bergführerverein Adelboden) has been providing alpine courses and undertaking private guided tours around the Swiss Alps. With close to 30 professional mountain guides based in the centre of Switzerland (near Interlaken), the organisation accommodates a demanding clientele from around the world, from international celebrities to the ordinary tourist desiring an extraordinary alpine adventure.
Having heard about their reputation, I decided to embark upon a private guided tour to the top of the Wildstrubel, a mountain which overlooks the village of Adelboden at 3,243m. Not for the faint-hearted, this tour involved a 1km ascent (4 hours of snow walking), however the prize was certainly worth it – a spectacular view from the summit to many of the famous Swiss mountains (including the Matterhorn) and, of course, the 1km descent on virgin powder snow.
In the lead up to the tour, and during the expedition, the team were very helpful, going out of their way to cater to my specific requests. My request for a splitboard, for example, was organised without hesitation, allowing me to walk up with skis and rearrange the equipment at the summit to form a snowboard in order to take advantage of the powder runs on the way down. Upon further inquiring where the board came from, I discovered that as the Alpinschule did not have such specific gear, they organised it exclusively for me from the leading snowboard shop in the area – Crazy Sports. This act, coupled with the thoroughness of their additional equipment (electronic avalanche kits, among other pieces) and knowledge of the terrain was an indication of their excellent service that went beyond my expectations.
Martin, the director of the organisation, also explained to me that the guides literally do go out of their way for their clients as they are also available for hire as external guides internationally. Considering that these guides are some of the leading guides and most highly-trained mountaineers in the world, it is understandable why alpine enthusiasts hire them for adventures from Heli-skiing to private tours up their chosen mountain.
While Martin also indicated that the Alpinschule typically undertakes local courses (such as avalanche training and ice climbing in winter and mountain biking and rock climbing in summer) as well as private ski and snowboard mountaineering tours in the Bernese Oberland, they certainly proved that they are capable of tailoring their tours and catering for a discerning luxury clientele.
I would recommend Martin and his team to our readers and very much look forward to my next expedition – this time, with the helicopter.