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24 June, 2016 - Issue 3 – CHF 3.50


Racer Karim Ojjeh Gets New BMW


Redefining "Women's Work"


Damentennis Returns to Gstaad

Le Beau Séjour – Château-d’Oex UNTIL CHF 60’000.OFFERED FOR ANY CONTRACT SIGNED BEFORE JUNE 30TH Already 5/23 appartments sold

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GSTAADLIFE // ISSUE 3 // JUNE 24, 2016

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 T 033 722 40 40

While time slows to a crawl here in the Saanenland during the off-season, the rest of the world can’t seem to slow down.

Photo: Kar Tr – Fotolia

Breaking the Blue Sky Ceiling

As most of our British readers know, the UK has spent the past few months gearing up for a so-called Brexit vote on leaving the European Union. I for one am most happy the vote is over for one reason alone. Whether you fancied the winning campaign or not, what’s most important is that we can now remove that awful portmanteau from our lexicon permanently. Brangelina, you can remain. Brexit, please leave. For the Americans among us, it has been month after month of presidential candidates vying for their respective party nominations. From deranged real estate moguls to aging wannabe socialists, Switzerland has watched with amusement, and perhaps a little disbelief (read: disgust). But with Hillary Clinton as the first female nominee, the United States may finally catch up to dear old Switzerland, which saw its first female president Ruth Dreifuss take charge in 1999.

Ladies First Speaking of firsts, I’m happy to welcome you to this year’s first summer issue of GSTAADLIFE. And now that we’ve got the international stress out of the way, we can relax and enjoy a quiet summer in the Saanenland. If we’re lucky, Mother Nature will be kind, and the biggest breaking news story here will be a sighting of the sun, which must be off travelling with the president at the moment.

She’s a Brick House After the success of our 2015 summer series on animals, I’m proud to present a new collection of pages that will grace our magazine for the next three months. Based on a beautiful hardbound book featuring Saanen’s historic buildings and homes by Bendicht Hauswirth, Saanen – ein historischer Dorfführer is the extraordinary work of a local who has spent his life and career exploring a passion for the area’s architecture.

It wouldn’t be the first issue of summer without a ubiquitous update of Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad. But unlike in years past, now there’s cause to celebrate, as this spring saw the announcement of purely positive news. BDG has happily announced their renewed commitment to artificial snowmaking, new installations, and last but not least, the renovation of selected existing facilities. They’ve also stated that a new panoramic gondola will be installed on Eggli, which will provide residents and guests a ride full of fantastic views.

Climbing Her Way to the Top Let's give a hand to our Profile interviewee this month, Carla Jaggi, a young mountain guide in training. Born and bred in the Saanenland, this avid climber is one of few women to attempt the strenuous and difficult three-year process of becoming a Bergführerin. In doing so, Jaggi proves that

even in this male-dominated profession, a woman’s touch can indeed keep clients in safe hands. On the subject of women, this year marks the return of Ladies Tennis to Gstaad. As the first women's tennis tournament in Gstaad since 1983, the fairer sex will return to play in Switzerland, when from 9 – 17 July, 2016 the Ladies Championship Gstaad will be held. Now tennis will rank as the region’s top summer sport, with nearly two weeks of game play held annually.

Fit to be Tied One of my favourite women, Mae West, once said, “A dame that knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up.” So let’s not get tied up in any more debate. Summer is here–and whether you’re donning a bikini or a burqa, I hope to see you enjoying all the Saanenland has to offer. Best regards, Alexis Munier Editor in Chief



Photo: Desirée Bach

READER'S PAGE Your Vision of Gstaad

I took this photograph at six in the morning on 18 June, 2016 between Feutersoey and Grund. In the background you can see a beautiful panorama of the Sanetschhorn, the Schluchhorn, the Gstellihorn, and even the slopes of the Oldenpiste at Glacier 3000. We started out early, as we do every year, for our alpine transhumance. On this day, we walked with my parents' herd of cows up to Gumm Alp, their summer residence. The journey took us about three hours, which isn't bad considering it's a 12 km hike with all 55 cows to reach the upper alp hut. The cows are owned by my family, but every year I help move them up to the Gumm. On Saturday 6 August at noon they’ll hold a cow sale. All are welcome to join in the fun, as there will be cows galore, as well as live folk music, food, and drinks. Desirée Bach is a media designer who lives and works near Bern. She grew up in the Saanenland and still loves to come back to her home town. In her free time, Desirée enjoys climbing, hiking, and skiing in the region.

If you would like to share your photograph of the Saanenland, please send it with your contact details and a brief description to

Photo: AvS


3 Letter from the Editor by Alexis Munier 4 Reader's Page 18 Events Calendar

Local News

Photo: Epu Shaha


6 Medical Centre Reduces Opening Hours 6 Parking Changes in Saanen 7 Local Eyesore Razed and Replaced 7 Two Road Projects Planned

Gstaad Living

9 Summer Series – Architecture 10 BDG Season Recap 11 Train Collision in Zweisimmen 11 Work of Art Nixed


12 Interview with Carla Jaggi – Redefining "Women's Work"

Photo: zVg


Sports & Leisure

14 Historic Moment for Gstaad Tennis 15 New Car for Local Racer 15 Region Welcomes Back Major


16 Pizzeria Changes Hands 16 Urs Geschwend Wins Top Prize 17 Modern Art's Most Modern Couple

15 Read

Cover Photo: ©Carla Jaggi


Twitter: @GSTAADLIFE // Facebook: Gstaad Life // Youtube: GstaadLife GSTAADLIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse 6, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, // Management Board: Frank Müller // Publisher: Frank Müller, // Publishing Director: Markus Iseli, // Editor in Chief: Alexis Munier, // Contributors: Januaria Piromallo // Layout: Epu Shaha // Advertising: Eliane Behrend,, Phone: 033 744 88 74 // Subscriptions: Flurina Welten,, Phone: 033 748 88 74



Medical Center Reduces Opening Hours At the municipal assembly of 15 April, the people of Saanen voted on the deficit guarantee of CHF 200'000 for the Medical Center to keep its doors open on weekends. Only 76 of 321 voters present at the assembly voted in favour of this motion.

Photo: AvS

Residents Vote to Decrease Funding


After the municipality had decided last year to finance half of the deficit guarantee for the Medical Center to keep its doors open over the weekend, those opposed began to gather signatures for a referendum. The other half of the guarantee would have been provided by the Friends of Healthcare Saanenland, with both this group and the municipality each chipping in CHF 100'000. The voting population of Saanen had to decide in this matter. Saanen City Council President – Albert Bach – presented the motion and its aims, which was the improvement of the emergency medical service and the primary health care of the region. Last but not least, it would bring back the feeling of security that had disappeared with the closure of the hospital in Saanen.

The Medical Center has been controversial since it opened last December.

A long and at times heated discussion followed. Those who opposed the funding argued that this financing scheme would not enhance the emergency service but simply allow a medical practice to extend its opening hours over the weekend. With the ambulances, they argued, the obligatory rota of local practitioners (including

the Medical Center), and the 24/7 hospital in Zweisimmen, emergency service in the region is ensured. The supporters of the public financing for the Medical Center stressed the need to build a base for the future, to relieve the pressure on local practitioners, and to provide the population of Saanen as well as its guests a

feeling of security. After the discussion, which lasted over an hour, the majority of the voters present at the assembly decided against this deficit guarantee. As a result, the Medical Center has reduced its operating times, and is now only open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

Parking Changes in Saanen Drivers Now to Pay Standard Rates

After the construction of the underground parking garage two years ago, the parking situation in Saanen changed again on 4 April. From that point on, the lots at Bahnhofplatz Ost and West (Märetplatz), Floraplatz, and Pfrundmätteli have been subject to a fee. BY GSTAADLIFE

Bringing them in line with the Gstaad and Saanen underground garages, the lots are pay-only from 8 – 12 and 14 – 18.


Per Swiss standard, parking remains free during lunchtime, from 12  –  14. Spaces along the Bahnhofstrasse and Campingstrasse also require getting a ticket, though unpaid, which allows 15 minutes and 15 hours of free parking, respectively. According to Mösching, the to ensure the be both user-


Councilwoman Therese municipality made efforts new parking setup would and business-friendly. As

a result, the system features machines in which the parking space number is entered by the user. This avoids printed tickets which must be placed inside the car itself, which is seen as an inconvenience by users. Mösching also announced the municipality wished to upgrade the parking lots in Schönried and Saanenmöser to the same system, and is working with the BDG to achieve this as soon as possible.

Photo: AvS

Hotel Bahnhof sat on prime real estate just across from the station in Saanen.

Local Eyesore Razed and Replaced Abandoned Hotel Site to Host Chalet Project

The former Hotel Bahnhof, located opposite the train station in Saanen, was finally razed this past spring. The building, which was uninhabited and unused, had been boarded shut for more than a decade. BY G S TA A DL IF E

The historic hotel had fallen on hard times and was known as the "Schandfleck"–eyesore–of Saanen. Hotel Bahnhof closed in 2001 and passed into the hands of new owners. Various renovation and construction projects failed, and the site continued to degrade.

When the property is torn down shortly, another factor for health and safety concerns will be addressed–asbestos. A popular choice of building material in Switzerland until it was outlawed for the carcinogenic effect of its dust in 1989, asbestos requires a special removal process. "An asbestos removal will be performed before the demolition work,” informed the co-owner Daniel Matti of Chaletbau Matti AG before the work began. In place of the hotel, a new project

featuring three chalets will be constructed over a period of 20 months. These chalets will consist of three condominiums for residents, three second homes, business spaces, an office, and a school hotel. "During this time, the portion of Märetgässli adjacent to the construction will be closed,” explained Matti. “In addition, there may be difficulties on Hindergässli due to the diversion of business lines.” Residents who are inconvenienced by the work may inform the company directly.

Two Road Projects Planned

Bissen and Saanenmöser Top the List of Renovations and Reconstructions Two road projects are scheduled for this year: The Bissenbrücke is already under reconstruction, and in Saanenmöser, the crossing of the main road at Bahnhofstrasse will be enlarged. BY GSTAADLIFE

The Bissenbrücke is old and damaged,

says the municipality, and a renovation of the existing bridge isn't possible–it would be costly and extend its life for only 25 years. The new bridge will not differ in size but will allow heavier vehicles to pass. The main crossing in Saanenmöser will be enlarged to improve visibility for drivers

coming from the train station, and to enhance traffic flow. The current supporting wall will be torn down and rebuilt further back. The enlarged space will also be used to have two lanes at the end of the Bahnhofstrasse, which will allow cars heading to Zweisimmen and Schönried to line up in a parallel fashion.



CHUBUT SUMMER EXPERIENCE served by Chef Agustin Brañas Every Thursday throughout the summer, Chubut at the Grand Hotel Park, Gstaad will be letting guests and visitors soak up the summer Alpine air, with an exclusive al-fresco ‘food and fire’ dining experience. Guests at the ‘Chubut Summer Experience’ can savour a special menu curated and served by Chef Agustin Brañas featuring innovative Patagonian-Argentine inspired ‘live-fire’ cuisine, all whilst enjoying the spectacular alpine scenery that surrounds Grand Hotel Park. Inspired by the Chubut province in Patagonian Argentina, known as the ‘land of fire and living wind’, Chubut promises a masterful blend of taste and texture through its dedication to fine live-fire cuisine. Guests can expect to be taken on a remarkable culinary adventure by Chef Agustin, transporting them back to his grandmother’s house in Argentina, simultaneously evok-

ing their own childhood memories. This sense of comfort and familiarity charms guests throughout the entire dining experience, from the personalised cutlery made in Argentina, the warm and personal service experienced to Chef Agustin making time for a chat with guest tables. Guests can expect a delectable yet uncomplicated menu featuring the finest Argentinian cuts paired with organic local produce, which are then carefully prepared using different facets of the fire. To perfectly compliment the menus, guests at the Chubut Summer Experience can also take their pick from the impressive selection of Argentinian wines – all of which are exclusive Chubut. With limited seating for up to 25 guests at a time, Chubut is also open to non-residents and the venue can also be booked exclusively for groups on any other day of the week.

GRAND HOTEL PARK Wispilenstrasse 29 – Gstaad Reservation: 033 748 98 30


The calendar will be available in early August Order now online at

Müller Medien AG


Kirchstrasse 6

3780 Gstaad

Tel. 033 748 88 74

Fax 033 748 88 84


Photo: Mark Nolan

Today, the building houses the offices of RH Finance and Ephémère, a pop-up shop with exhibition and selling space for various activities.

Summer Series – Architecture Saanen Village: Old Post Office, Telegraph, & Telephone and Bulle. Gsteig and Lauenen had to wait another three and almost six decades respectively for the mail coach to replace post runners. The first modern technology held sway in 1868 with the telegraph. Thirty

years passed before the first phone call could be made in 1902 with the implementation of the first telephone. Saanenland was one of the last regions in the Bernese Oberland to receive a phone connection. Photo: Museum der Landschaft Saanen (zVg)

In August last year a book on the history and architecture of Saanen was launched, Saanen – ein historischer Dorfführer (see GSTAADLIFE, Issue 5, 2015). The 28 locations discussed in the book, which was written by Bendicht Hauswirth and co-author Brigitte Leuenberger-Jaggi, can also be visited in the village, where panels provide the most important facts. BY MARKUS ISELI

Beginning and ending on the village square, the tour takes you through hidden gems of the village, its history and its architecture. This summer we have the privilege and pleasure of sharing some of the books information with our readers in a series. The Old Post Office was built in 1850 by coppersmith Christian Mühlener, his children, and carpenter Abraham Sumi. From approximately 1883 to 1907 it served as the post and telegraph office. The first mention of a Saanen postilion or post runner in an historical source dates back to 1764. Niklaus Würsten from Lauenen was the first post runner and the appointment remained in the family for two generations. All mail deliveries were still made on foot. Only the construction of the street between Zweisimmen and Saanen in 1840 replaced some postillions with the mailcoach. Three years later, vehicular postal service was introduced between Saanen

The old post office in 1902, with postmaster Abraham Raaflaub and his wife in the background (from left) and the crew to install the first telephone in the foreground.

Saanedorf – ein historischer Dorfführer Saanendorf – ein historischer Dorfführer, which contains all texts in German and French, is available for purchase in all the book shops in the region and at Müller Medien, which worked with the authors and the municipality to develop the book project. In July an audio guide will be launched, which will be available for download onto smartphones to listen to it as one is making the tour through the village. For everybody who is not visiting Saanen anytime soon, the guide will also be available via the web browser on your computer.



Visualization: zVg

A new gondola on Eggli will make it accessible to those with a handicap and families with strollers.

BDG Season Recap Mountain Railways Company Renews

There’s never a dull moment for Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad (BDG), the local mountain railways company that manages the Saanenland’s gondolas and ski lifts. The BDG has announced several updates and administrative decisions taken during the off-season, which includes renewing their commitment to artificial snowmaking, and new installations in addition to the renovation of selected existing facilities. BY ALE XIS MUNIER

Let it Snow With global warming delaying the arrival of winter in the past several years, only resorts with functioning artificial snowmaking are able to guarantee guests enough snow for winter sports. To ensure a fine blanket of the white stuff during the busy Christmas-New Year peak period, the BDG will invest CHF 5 million. “Optimisation of the existing snowmaking is the first step,” says Matthias In-Albon, CEO of the BDG, which will be implemented by using additional water pumps, customised power, and redeveloped snow guns.


New areas which will be fitted with snowmaking equipment include the front of Eggli-Chalberhöni. The water–taken from the Saane–needed for artificial snowmaking is readily available and will leave enough for the local fish stock. Because the snow guns will be coordinated to operate simultaneously at the proper temperature–which wasn’t always the case in the past–they will function more efficiently and provide better snow coverage.

of lifts and runs has served the company well in the past decade. However much of the equipment needs updating, including the purchase of outdoor screens to withstand all weather conditions. These screens could be placed directly opposite where the guests climb onto the lifts, allowing BDG staff to watch carefully while remaining next to guests, rather than watching in a room with a traditional CCTV screen.

Amongst other projects, a new pump station is planned at Rossfälli, pump station Hornberg will be expanded, and stations at Rellers and Geschwend will receive their fourth pumps in the final stage of construction. Some areas, however, will not begin snowmaking just yet.

“Employees can’t help the guests if they’re in the hut,” states In-Albon. “This (work) would allow them to serve guests while keeping them in their line of sight.”

“In the East sector, we must fill our reservoir while we perform an analysis and plan for future operations,” says Heinz Brand, Chairman, BDG. Smile, You’re on Camera Videosurveillance is not a new topic for the BDG; closed-circuit television (CCTV)


Staff News The BDG will attempt to lower personnel costs by 10%, or around CHF 1 million, in the next year. Only two employee dismissals have been made, while Brand insists the rest of the savings will come from organic processes, not from firings. Still, the administration doesn’t mince words when it comes to its staff.

“We are no longer a welfare institution,” scoffs Brand, who hopes to create a modern and motivated workplace, “…nor a catch basin for the disloyal, unmotivated, or substance abusers.” The company even has a catchy new guiding principle called MIKE–“Miteinander, Innovativ, Kundenorientiert, und Effizient”, which translates as together, innovative, customer-oriented, and efficient. With this principle in mind, one of the newest members to join the team is gondola technical employee, Gerhard Marti. Marti has years of experience in the mountain railways industry, most recently holding a leadership position with Savognin Bergbahnen AG. This isn’t the first time Marti has worked for the BDG, having held a position as technical leader at Saanersloch from 1997 – 2008. Eggli Panoramic Gondola The firm Bartholet Seilbahnen is working

with the BDG to finalise a new gondola project for the Eggli. In the Winter 2017/2018 season, the new gondolas will replace the older version, which were built in 1983. The new gondola is sleek and modern, which is no surprise considering it was created by Porsche Design Studio. The carriages feature a panoramic design to ensure maximum viewing and will be equipped with comfortable seating, safety glass, and proper lighting. More than just a cosmetic improvement, the carriages will also allow more people to enjoy the Eggli, especially those with walking difficulties. “The mountain will no longer only be for those interested in sports and culinary pleasures,” says the BDG, “but also for people with a physical handicap as well as families with strollers.” The project will be funded in large part by the group “Club de Luge”, better known as the investor group of Piciotto and Worbs.

Train and Car Collide One Injured in Crash

A serious collision occured Wednesday, 15 July between a Montreux-Oberland Bernois (MOB) train and a truck in Zweisimmen. BY ALE XIS MUNIER

Photo: KAPO Bern

The driver of the truck was slightly injured and one other person was sent to the hospital for examination, while the

train passengers suffered no injuries. Rail traffic was closed for several hours after the collision, with replacement buses assuring the journey between Saanenmöser and Zweisimmen. Why the accident took place is not clear yet, but an investigation has been launched to determine the cause.

The final cost of the project is available upon request from the architectural and construction firms responsible. The BDG has secured building permission and will begin work in March or April 2017. The panoramic gondola will launch in time for the Winter 2017/2018 season, at which time the restaurant Berghaus at the station will also reopen after renovations. With decreasing tourism numbers, the Saanenland is hoping for a boost in tourism. Renewed commitment to snowmaking and new or renovated expanded mountain offerings are considered key to a thriving local tourism industry, and the BDG, after a host of fits and starts in the past few years, is fighting to maintain solvency. Yet while the BDG’s livelihood is still tenuous, with Chairman Brand and CEO In-Albon at the helm, this may be the year the BDG finally begins to gain financial ground.

Work of Art Nixed Tower Grey Again

At 2014’s Elevation 1049 event, artists from Switzerland and beyond transformed the Saanenland into their very own canvas. One of the favourite works featured was Ugo Rondinone’s tower painted in blue, which some described as a beautiful slip of colour that stood out on the green meadow on which it stood. BY ALE XIS MUNIER

Now, two and a half years have passed since the transformer tower was turned from its standard grey to bright blue and the expected wear and tear has upset some locals. After concerns about the bad state of the artwork voiced by residents whose homes overlook the tower, at the municipality of Saanen’s last assembly people were informed that it will be returned to its original grey colour.



Photo: Epu Shaha

Carla Jaggi is currently finishing her second year of a three-year Bergführer training programme.

Redefining "Women's Work" Interview with Mountain Guide Trainee Carla Jaggi


It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Carla Jaggi! If you catch a glimpse of this local mountain guide trainee, you've feasted your eyes upon a rare animal indeed. As the only woman in her class to become a Bergführer/in, the 25-year old Saanerin sat down with GSTAADLIFE to discuss the challenges of tackling one of the most difficult Swiss professions.

GL: Why did you decide to pursue this intensive program? CJ: I trained to work in a notary’s office, but soon realised I would be happier outdoors. After a long trip to South America, I came back to the Saanenland and decided I would try the mountain guide course. It was a childhood dream that I didn’t dare pursue … but by 21 or so I had worked up the courage to try it.

GL: The training is supposedly one of the most difficult in Switzerland, is that true?


CJ: Yes, I’d say so. In addition to overall knowledge, experience, and skills in different types of skiing, climbing, ice climbing, hiking, and more. You have to be very passionate about all outdoor sports in order to become an official mountain guide. Most of the training is done outside, not in the classroom, with an exception to the avalanche theory. That’s quite complicated and must be studied with books and indoor learning. It’s both mentally and physically challenging. On a ten-day climb, for example, your body is very tired and the course leaders must assess if you have the mental strength to make good decisions while managing such extreme fatigue.

retake it. I am still quite nervous before a course – for a few days beforehand I can barely eat or sleep.

GL: How long does the programme take to complete?

CJ: There is no age limit for the courses, but you need to have completed an internship or diploma. The youngest in the course is 21, but the oldest is 62!

CJ: It’s a three year-long part-time course. There are seven exams or training courses each year, but each is offered only once per year, so if you fail one portion you have to wait a whole year to


GL: Mountain guide is a notoriously male profession. Why do so few women who have the Bergführerin title? CJ: For many reasons, it’s traditionally a man’s job. We started the programme with seven women, which was a record, but I’m the only one who passed all the exams and training courses.

GL: At 25, are you one of the youngest trainees?

GL: Is mountain guide a promising career path?

For someone who loves outdoor sports, it’s an incredibly varied and challenging profession. Carla Jaggi

CJ: There are plenty of jobs, thankfully, for official mountain guides. Many older guides are retiring in the next decade, and there aren’t enough new young guides to take their place. For someone who loves outdoor sports, it’s an incredibly varied and challenging profession.

GL: Where did you find your inspiration to pursue such a career? CJ: My parents aren’t professional mountain guides but from a very young age I spent time outdoors with my family. I was even climbing by the time I was four years old. My boyfriend, however, started the guide training last year.

GL: And were you his inspiration? CJ: Ha! No, his father is a mountain guide and he has always had the dream of becoming one too.

CJ: We were once in a mountain hut at 3100 metres high. I had a gastrointestinal bug and was very ill. I couldn’t sleep or eat, and could barely stand. But in our trainings, we can only take one sick day, which I had already used. So I had to force myself to eat, force myself to make it through one week more of a very gruelling climb. What’s more, I still had to actually lead the team, rather than simply follow. To this day, I’m not sure how I did it. GL: Do you have a favourite mountain area here in the Alps? CJ: I love the Sanetsch. It is very wild and has a lot of wind, with big cliffs, a nice lake, and most of all, good climbing. I also love the Gummfluh, for its beautiful shape. What I love most is the big variety of landscapes in Switzerland. There is the Jungfrau region with its massive glaciers or the Trient area with plenty of filigree rock needles, and then the Tessin with the Mediterranean climate, huge granite walls and – the best grappa!

GL: Is there a part of Switzerland you’d still like to discover? CJ: Switzerland is an amazing country for outdoor sports. I’d love to see more of the Buntnerland in Graubunden. Apart from Piz Bernina, the mountains aren’t

extremely high but there are many pretty areas to explore.

GL: You were born and raised in Gstaad but now live in Les Diablerets in Canton Vaud. What prompted your move? CJ: Les Diablerets is a lovely village that has a young vibe. In contrast to the luxury of Gstaad, it’s a place without big-name shops, and has retained a traditional feel. While I still love the Saanenland, Les Diablerets is more liveable and affordable. It’s just over the pass from Gstaad and only a half hour’s drive away.

GL: Do you have a specific career goal, besides completing your training? CJ: While I’d be happy to lead guests through adventures in the mountains here at home in the Saanenland and beyond, for me it’s important and incredibly interesting to guide people to places I personally have never been. I love to travel the world and see other mountains, and as an official mountain guide I’ll be able do this as a job. Guiding in the Saanenland is nice, but there are so many other things I want to see as well! Climbing a mountain that is not in your region is not only about conquering the summit. It’s about meeting people, learning foreign languages, and most of all, discovering and understanding a local culture which is not your own.

GL: What is the difference between climbing for fun and climbing professionally? CJ: Climbing with a friend is not the same as climbing with a client. As a professional, you can’t make a joint decision– you have to be fully responsible for any decision taken. You have to think of the safety of the group, rather than simply meeting the expectations of the client. A client might try to insist on continuing to a summit, for example, even when the guide might have to say that it’s too dangerous to attempt on that particular day.

GL: What was your most challenging experience to date?

Jaggi is an avid climber who dreams of conquering moutains all over the world.



Photo: AvS

Tennis, along with beach volleyball and polo, is vital component of Gstaad's sports tournament trifecta.

Historic Moment for Gstaad Tennis Ladies Championship Returns and Grand Slam Sponsorship Changes

There is big news this year for Gstaad’s premiere summer sport, tennis. After a lack of a women's tennis tournament in Gstaad since 1983, women's tennis will return to Switzerland, when from 9 – 17 July, 2016 the Ladies Championship Gstaad will be held. BY GSTAADLIFE

Women's tennis has a long tradition in the Saanenland. For 66 years, between 1917 and 1983, ladies' tournaments were held in the region and featured important players like Margaret Smith Court, who holds the world record at 24 Grand Slam titles. The last woman to win the championship in the Saanenland was Venus Williams, marking the days of yore when the elder Williams sister was rated above younger sibling (and currently highest WTA-rated player) Serena.

Rewriting Tennis History "For 66 years, the ladies played against each other in the heart of the Bernese Alps,” says Jeff Collet, the tournament’s director. “It's a big honour for us to announce their return, especially after the 100 year anniversary of the men's tournament last year." Saanenland officials have also expressed


delight at the tournament's return. Albert Bach, President, Municipality of Saanen, says, “Gstaad and its region are very happy about this great news. Thanks to this new tournament, Saanenland can raise its attractiveness for visitors as a tourism destination in summer.” The new tournament replaces the one that took place in Bad Gastein, Austria, a change that has been officially confirmed by the Women’s Tennis Association. Additional infrastructure will be put into place for the tournament, which will be held on a clay-court, one week before the celebrated men’s tournament, which is scheduled from 16 – 24 July, 2016, and directly after Wimbledon. The female players will battle for $226’750 in prize money, but that doesn’t come close to the men, who this year will compete for double the cash, nearly half a million dollars.

Multi-Coloured Sponsors The tournament has a new official sponsor, leaving Crédit Agricole behind for another large bank. Beginning in 2016, the tournament is now known as the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad, with private bank J. Safra Sarasin stepping in as the title sponsor. The bank bills itself as providing “sustainable Swiss private banking”


for more than 175 years, and in its current setup is the result of a 2013 merger of Bank J. Safra (Switzerland) Ltd. and Bank Sarasin & Co. Ltd. The event has a variety of sponsors and sponsorship levels, which include title sponsor, presenting sponsor, as well as gold, silver, and bronze. But sponsorship is not just for wealthy or international companies–smaller local sponsors include the silver level Grand Hotel Park as well as Bonvin, the oldest winemaker in Valais, which donates to the bronze level. As expected, Visilab – the low-cost eyeglasses chain – returns as the presenting sponsor. Grand Chelem Event, the Morges-based company that provides the organisation for the Swiss Open Gstaad will also be responsible for the Ladies Championship Cup. In addition to the sporting matches, they have arranged for a host of activities to accompany the two tennis tournaments in the tennis “village” that surrounds Roy Emerson Arena. This will include various restaurant options as well as stands and offers by vendors, as well as music, entertainment, and autograph singings.

New Car for Local Racer This off-season brought big news for racer and local Schönried resident. In addition to attending several wellknown races, which he has documented on GSTAADLIFE’s website, www., Ojjeh welcomed a new personal classification and a new car.

Photo: zVg

Karim Ojjeh Welcomes BMW M6 GT3


Ojjeh came late to the racing game; he started at age 36, and yet has just moved from Am Am to Pro Am category this season. Karim Ojjeh and his team participated at Monza in the Blancpain GT Series as well as Silverstone and Brands Hatch. These were the perfect testing grounds for his new BMW M6 GT3, with which the team needed to become very familiar. While the team nicknamed the car the Bat Mobile last year, they have now decided on an official name – the Black Panther. “The Panther is generally not an animal you tame,” joked Ojjeh. “But with hard work, patience, planning, and tenderness, it can work.” While Monza, with its low speed corners,

The Black Panther, Ojjeh's BMW M6 GT3, did well this season. was not expressly suitable, it gave the team a chance to drive and learn. According to Ojjeh, “To really appreciate the car and use its full potential, you need high speed corners in fourth, fifth and sixth gear.” The BMW M6 GT3 did give Ojjeh and his team some trouble at Monza when it experienced engine failure. In this case, driver Oliver was battling for 10 th place, until 12 minutes before the end. For some un-

known reason the engine stopped and the race was over. However, as the team had completed 70% of the race, they were classified as 15th in class and 39 th overall. “Preliminary thoughts lead us to believe it is an electronic rather than mechanical problem,” wrote Ojjeh for GSTAADLIFE, after the race. “As this is only the second race for BMW M6 GT3, BMW and us, as a team, still have a lot to learn from the car.”

Region Welcomes Back Major Beach Volleyball Tournament Highlight of Early July

The world’s best beach volleyball players will hit the sand at the second annual Gstaad Major, formerly known as the Gstaad Grand Slam, 5 – 10 July. BY G S TA A DL IF E

Gstaad Major is one of the highest ranking events on the World Tour, pulling in professional beach volleyball players from around the globe. Given its mountainous backdrop and quaint village feel, Gstaad stands in stark contrast to other tournaments, which are played in urban locales like Beijing, Sao Paulo and Rome. As this year’s event occurs just before the Olympic Games in Rio, many top players will be in Gstaad to fine-tune their final moves before heading to Brazil.

The brainchild of local businessman Ruedi Kunz and his wife, former Swiss national team beach volleyball star Mägi, the Gstaad Major has won the hearts of players and fans alike since its inception in 2000. The event has come a long way since its humble beginnings, now drawing 45,000 fans to the Saanenland to watch both male and female teams play. Yet with all the cold weather and rain the region has seen this summer, it may rival the chill of the very first Gstaad tournament. It was so frigid that the Brazilian team asked for a tub of hot water to warm their feet during breaks.

Bollywood and More From 5 – 10 July, a full programme of games is scheduled, as well as side events that are notoriously popular. No matter what the weather, participants should play and party in style at this year’s Gstaad Major. DJs will spin during the weekend for everyone’s listening, lounging and dancing pleasure, while the Swiss band HECHT will play the free final concert on 10 July. Also not to be missed is Wednesday’s “Bollywood Dance Session” replete with specialised teachers to provide spectator training, helping them to get their dance on.

Full schedule at:



Photo: AvS

The whole team at Ristorante Pizzeria da Corrado with Mr and Mrs Tomasini (centre) and their two sons.

Pizzeria Changes Hands

Former Viktoria Managers Open Eponymous Restaurant In early April, the newly created Ristorante Pizzeria da Corrado opened its doors to guests. Located in the former La Vinoteca location in Schönried, the pizzeria is managed by Gianna and Corrado Tomasini, who have spent the past three years at Restaurant Viktoria in Gstaad.


According to Mr Tomasini, the restaurant will feature specialities from the couple's respective home regions of the Dolomites and Sardinia, with options for every budget. The couple will continue to live in Gstaad,

where their children attend local schools, and hope to remain in the region for many years to come. "I hope I can stay here until retirement," says Tomasini, "And work like my role model Piero Bigai from Rialto. He was never tired, but always full of inner strength."

Urs Geschwend Takes Top Honour The newspaper SonntagsZeitung has just released its annual ratings, with one Gstaad-based chef winning the top prize in the cooking segment. Urs Geschwend, head chef at Leonard’s restaurant at five-star Le Grand Bellevue hotel, has scooped up the “Chef of the Year 2016” title after six years of service. BY GSTA ADLIFE

Geschwend, originally from Thurgau, is no stranger to national and international praise for his work-he has also been honoured with a Michelin star, one of only three in the Saanenland to receive the sought-after designation.


GSTA ADLIFE named his hamburger the best in the region in a competition two years ago, where the juicy all-Simmentaler beef sandwich served with thin, crispy French fries stood out amongst several first-class competitors. The SonntagsZeitung ratings are compiled by hotel expert Karl Wild, who makes anonymous visits to Swiss hotels and restaurants. Wild releases a “150Best Swiss Hotels” list each year, and has honoured many hotels and restaurants in the Saanenland. To sample what Geschwend has to offer, visit


Photo: zVg

Le Grand Bellevue Boasts Wild's Chef of the Year 2016

Modern Art's Most Modern Couple You wouldn’t know it, with the number of galleries around these days, but becoming a gallery owner is much more than just a fashionable trend–it requires intuition, method, and discipline. Not to mention courage!

Photo: zVg

Meet Thomas and Marie Tournemine


Thomas Tournemine and his wife Marie are lucky enough to have all this, and more. Owners of Gstaad’s Galerie Tatiana Tournemine, they relocated here from Paris, where they had already made quite a name for themselves. The history of the gallery begins with Tatiana, Thomas’ mother, who was not content to remain idly at home while her three children were at school. So she combined her independent nature and thirst for knowledge by opening her own galleries in the French coastal villages of La Baule and Carnac. As her passion for the arts grew, Tatiana opened a sister gallery in Paris … the same gallery in which her son Thomas would became passionate about art and eventually follow in her footsteps. Thomas Tournemine and his wife, Marie at their Gstaad gallery. But Thomas and Marie were anxious to branch out on their own, and set up shop further abroad in Switzerland, Belgium, or perhaps England. With a serendipitous invitation to visit a gallery space for rent in Gstaad via a long-lost contact, the couple headed to Gstaad for a visit. "Just a glimpse with my wife and five months later we were here on the Promenade, opening our space,” recalls Thomas, tall, dark and handsome. “We knew absolutely no one when we arrived, but soon, the people of Gstaad opened their arms and helped forge a circle of knowledge around us.” They moved into the former Apple Pie, and began the next stage of their professional adventure with the opening of Galerie Tatiana Tournemine. Here, they act as talent scouts for the many young artists in Switzerland and beyond, who the Tournemines teach how to remain at the top of the wave. The purpose of the gallery has been evident since its conception: to elevate Gstaad

in the international network of festivals and exhibitions like ParisPhoto, MIA Photo in Milan, and of course, Art Basel. At the latter, a “cult classic”, the Tournemines meet with collectors from all over the world. Last year, they presented a multi-faceted South Korean artist named Ahn Sun Mi, who recreates surreal, stunning self portraits, featuring bizarre poses and powerful facial expressions. Keeping things local, the gallery has also shown the stunning photographs of Rosey alumnus and frequent guest Marshall Vernet, whose black and white images of the Saanenland are both striking and powerful. With one foot in the world of classic photography and the other in a contemporary world of computerized stylings, Vernet’s photographs have a look that combines charcoal drawings with classic film noir that has always been his inspiration. The well-known Swiss visual artist, Alexis Reynaud, is also featured at the gallery. Reynaud is, naturally, connected with his

pieces of mountains and crowds of skiers on the chairlift, however, he always manages to capture a poetic view. Thomas and Marie love contrast, so it’s fitting that they have just brought Thomas Jorion’s work to Gstaad’s lap of luxury. A French artist depicting urban decay, who is already a celebrity in the nouveau riche Chinese market, Jorion’s work develops neglected buildings or ruins now deprived of their use and their function. At best, it induces reflection on the materiality and temporality of our world. Galerie Tatiana Tournemine, however, is anything but temporary; after two and a half years in the region, they are more committed than ever to bringing us the best contemporary young artists have to offer. While that’s not to say Thomas and Marie won’t eventually stretch their legs, for the moment they are settled cosily in the Saanenland, in Chalet Apple Pie.



Events Calendar Friday, June 24, 2016 to Thursday, July 14, 2016 24.6. – 2.7.


Exhibition – To Be at Home Outdoors Ceramics by Rolf Mösching 24.6. – 10.7.


TONY Massage Therapist Home visits: 079 50 22 705

Latest releases, 9:30pm Various

Football Championship


Alp Festival Walig

Screening of Euro 2016 games 24.6.Gstaad

Live Concert Live bands and DJ, 5:30pm – 2am 24.6.Zweisimmen



St Peter’s Anglican Church


English-Speaking, Château-d’Oex Service every Sunday, 17.30 pm Contact:

Motos Meet at Forellensee Every first Sunday, 11am Gstaad

Swatch Beach Volleyball Major Gstaad Major 2016, Daily

25.6. – 16.10.

7.7.Zweisimmen Zweisimmen

Martin Loosli, Wed, Sat, Sun 2 – 5pm 28.6. – 3.7.


Circus Harlekin Slapstick comedy and thrills, Fri-Sun 28.6. – 25.10.


Return of women’s tennis tournament, 11:30am

Folk Music Feast

29.6. – 22.2.17


Cheese Demonstration

In the heart of the village, 5pm 12.7.Lauenen

Traditional cheese-making event,

Zweisimmen Hospital 033 729 26 26 Château-d’Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Veterinarian 033 748 08 58/ 033 744 06 61

Clubs Meetings every Monday 12h00 Palace Hotel Gstaad (033 / 748 50 00), President: Rot. Patric Lutz (079 / 669 29 83) Secretary: Rot. Markus Iseli (033 / 748 92 08)

Lions Club Gstaad-Saanenland

After-Work Bike Tour

13.7. – 17.8.

Every Wed, 6:30pm

Dairy Tour


Alpine cheese and breakfast, evey Wed

Meetings each first and third week of the month on Thursdays, either at 12 pm for lunch or at 7 pm for dinner. Meetings in Ermitage, Wellness & Spa-­Hotel, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Sigi Feller, president, 033 748 85 73,


Soroptimist International

every Wed 10:30am

Les Pastoreaux Concert Boys’ Choir at the church, 8pm

29.6. – 26.10.


Senior Day on Wispile Live music, 11am

14.7. – 3.9.


E-Mountainbike Daycourse



Menuhin Festival Gstaad 60th anniversary, daily

Riding and fun, 1 – 5pm 1.7.Zweisimmen

Gondola Night Dinner

For further details please visit:

Exclusive meal, 5:45pm

Visit our new webpage

www.gstaad.LIFE 18

Police Station 033 356 84 31

Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland


Every Tuesday, 4pm

Medical Emergency 0900 57 67 47

Ladies Championship Gstaad


Guided Village Tour

Ambulance 144, Police 117, Fire 118

Car Accident 033 744 88 80

Women’s Ambassador Ride Guided mountainbike ride, 6:15pm

Exhibition – Light and Line

Important Numbers

Dental Emergency 033 729 26 26

Saaaner Proms Open air concert, 8pm

Church Services

Pure tradition, 10:30am – midnight

5.7. – 10.7.

Music society Zweisimmen, 7pm


Open Air Cinema


Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels **** * GSTAAD PALACE +41 (0)33 748 50 00, **** * GRAND HOTEL PARK +41 (0)33 748 98 00, **** * LE GRAND BELLEVUE +41 (0)33 748 00 00, **** * THE ALPINA GSTAAD +41 (0)33 888 98 88, ***** ERMITAGE, WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL +41 (0)33 748 04 30, *** * BOUTIQUE HOTEL ALPENROSE +41 (0)33 748 91 91, *** * GOLFHOTEL LES HAUTS DE GSTAAD +41 (0)33 748 68 68, *** *HOTEL DE ROUGEMONT Member of Design HotelsTM +41 (0)26 921 01 01, **** HOTEL LE GRAND CHALET +41 (0)33 748 76 76, **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL +41 (0)33 748 43 43, **** HOTEL BERNERHOF +41 (0)33 748 88 44, **** HOTEL CHRISTIANIA +41 (0)33 744 51 21, **** HOTEL GSTAADERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, **** HOTEL OLDEN +41 (0)33 748 49 50, **** ROMANTIK HOTEL HORNBERG +41 (0)33 748 66 88, **** STEIGENBERGER ALPENHOTEL AND SPA +41 (0)33 748 64 64, ** * HOTEL ALPINE LODGE +41 (0)33 748 41 51, ** * HOTEL DES ALPES BY BRUNO KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 04 50, *** HOTEL BELLERIVE +41 (0)33 748 88 33, *** HOTEL ALPENLAND +41 (0)33 765 91 34, *** HOTEL ALPHORN +41 (0)33 748 45 45, *** HOTEL ERMITAGE +41 (0)26 924 25 00, *** HOTEL KERNEN +41 (0)33 748 40 20, *** HOTEL LANDHAUS +41 (0)33 748 40 40, *** HOTEL SAANERHOF +41 (0)33 744 15 15,

President: Ursula Breuninger Tel. 033 744 05 80 Program: Patricia Glauser Edreira Tel. 076 426 16 11

** * HOTEL SOLSANA +41 (0)33 748 94 94,

Club des Leaders

*** POSTHOTEL RÖSSLI +41 (0)33 748 42 42,

President: Jean-Sébastien Robine

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DISCOVER THE ESSENCE OF TASTE GRAND HOTEL PARK Wispilenstrasse 29 - Gstaad Reservation : 033.748.98.30 -


BOUTIQUE CHOPARD GSTAAD Promenade, +41 (0)33 744 90 44

Profile for Müller Medien

GSTAADLIFE, 24. June 2016  

The exclusive publication about the good life in Gstaad.

GSTAADLIFE, 24. June 2016  

The exclusive publication about the good life in Gstaad.

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