T h e e x c l u s i v e m o nt h l y p u b l i c ati o n a b o u t t h e g o o d l i f e in G s taa d
Friday 29 January 2010 - Issue 2 - CHF 3.50 excl VAT
Ski Season Indepth Report
Driving in the Snow
Fritz Müllener Special Features
· Fashion · Cable car Incident · Grand Hotel Alpina · Positioning for the Future · Incurable India
© www.gstaad.ch / Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
Also in this issue
Alhambra Exhibition Gstaad Grand Hotel Park 17 â€“ 23 January 2010 from 12pm to midnight www.vancleef-arpels.com
Friday 29 January 2010 Page 3
UPFRONT Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels
Letter from the Editor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 03
Building the Grand Hotel Alpina. . . .15
In-depth article: How to drive in the snow . . . . . . . . . 05
Positioning for the future. . . . . . . . . 18
Cable car incident at
The unique Le Grand Chalet . . . . . . . 21
La Videmanette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07
New Gourmet Guide . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Ready to deal with surprises . . . . . . 09
Alberto Lysy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Gstaad to get a new riding center ..09
Ten years of music and young talent.11
Local Personality: Wild hay farmer Fritz Müllener. . . . 19
Mongolian cashmere and
Fashion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
10-15 million year old wood. . . . . . 12
Incurable India���������������������������������� 26
Events Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Cable car lower frequencies . . . . . . . .13
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Letter from the Editor - Drawing the crowds
Peter Sonnekus-Williams Editor in Chief GstaadLife
On Saturday January 16 2010 before the sun had properly risen over the mountains, thousands of motorists were stuck in queues on the motorway between Bern and Interlaken. More queues formed at the station in Lauterbrunnen for the train which is the only means of reaching car-free Wengen, the venue for the famed Lauberhorn ski races, of which this year it was held for the 80th occasion. The Lauberhorn downhill, together with the Streif in Kitzbühel, are the two great classics on the international ski calendar. The Lauberhorn is the equivalent of what Wimbledon is for tennis and what Monte Carlo
is for Formula 1. This high performance ski race weekend, with the grand Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau as the backdrop, is an important media extravaganza that is very efficient at promoting tourism in the Bernese Oberland region. The downhill racecourse, the longest of the World Cup circuit, is just short of four and a half kilometers. Well known for its narrow stretches and a tunnel under the railway, it has sections named after events and competitors in previous races, like the Canadian Corner, the Austrian Hole (where most of the Austrian competitors fell in 1954) and the Kernen-S, named after the 2003 winner Switzerland’s Bruno Kernen. An estimated 32,000 spectators arrived to experience the Lauberhorn first-hand this January, and more than a million people watched it on Swiss German television. To put this in perspective, this is more than the number of people who tuned in to watch Roger Federer win his 15th Wimbledon title. The 23-year old Swiss, Carlo Janka (Ice man) thrilled the local crowds by taking his fourth
world cup victory by winning the prestigious Lauberhorn downhill. The Swiss skiers are stacking up significant titles both last year and again this year, as they build towards the winter Olympic games, which takes place from the 12th to 28th February 2010 and the Winter Paralympics from the 12th to 21st March 2010 in Vancouver. The present Swiss success has the potential to return Switzerland to the glory years of the 1970s and 80s. There is a good chance that Carlo Janka is hitting his top notes at just the right time. A fair share of world-class skiers and skiing icons have hailed from the slopes of the Saanenland. To my knowledge, possibly joining the ranks of the Olympic Swiss competitors at this years winter games, could be Saanen’s Res and Fränzi Steffen and Ronald Haldi from Schönried. If they decide to go, I urge all of our readers to join in and wish our local athletes well over the games. Best wishes
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Friday 29 January 2010 Page 5
In-depth article Photo: © sasha - Fotolia.com
How to drive in the snow By Peter Sonnekus-Williams Skidding out of control on an icy road toward a solid object must be a decidedly unpleasant event. It would be even more unsettling if the object were a roadside barricade in place to prevent vehicles from plunging off an adjacent cliff. The more disastrous scenario would be one where, having lost control of your 2 ton SUV during a snowstorm you are sliding quickly toward an oncoming car filled with an unsuspecting family. Terrifying to us all, but all too true as each and every year in Switzerland motor accidents multiply as the temperature drops and the snows fall. A week before last Christmas, Swiss press in one day (December 19), reported the following: A 52-year-old moped driver in canton Solothurn died after being hit by a car. A motorist near St Gallen was seriously injured after driving into a concrete pole. On Saturday morning;
an 80-year-old motorist crashed head-on into a car, leaving five people injured, some seriously. A municipal worker in the town of Adliswil was injured when the tractor he was using to clear a trail plunged into a creek. Unless trained in how to respond to a snow- or ice-induced skid, one will invariably succumb to what experts call “target fixation.” That is: focusing on the impending doom instead of taking proper evasive action, which can result in a crash. The best advice, according to experts for driving in bad winter weather, is not to drive at all or don’t go out until the snow ploughs and sanding trucks have had a chance to do their work. A compilation of practical tips from TCS (Touring club Swiss) and the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) suggest the following.
Keep snow chains: If you are driving in the mountains in the winter, it is useful to carry snow chains in the vehicle. If you do not have your own, snow chains can be rented from petrol stations marked, “Service de Châines à Neige” or ”Schneekettendienst”. Chains are relatively inexpensive but are invaluable if you are caught in bad weather. Before a trip, read the instructions and do a trial run of putting them on. Keep a pair of gloves with the chains, as hands get cold very quickly when fitting the chains. Be aware of black ice: Even if there is no snow on the road be aware of the temperatures, black ice can linger all day in sheltered places, causing hazardous driving conditions. If the temperature is below freezing, ice may melt if it is exposed to the sun, and vice versa.
Ice that is not exposed to the sun will not melt even though the temperature may be above freezing. Slow down: Driving too fast is the No. 1 winter driving error. Read the road and weather conditions to choose the appropriate speed. Slippery roads make every mistake happen faster and more dramatically. Don’t think antilock brake systems will help you if you’re sliding, If you’re going too fast, you’re going to go off the road and nothing’s going to change that. Look ahead: Winter drivers need to use their eyes more effectively Not only should you be aware of road ice and other slippery conditions, but you should also double the distance you normally allow between you and the car in front of you. An easy continued on Page 7
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Friday 29 January 2010 Page 7
continued from Page 5 calculation for this distance is four car lengths for every 20km/h you are travelling. Also, look ahead and get ready for corners and other obstacles before you arrive at them. An inattentive driver is forced to react to problems, usually abruptly. Brake before you enter a corner: Smoothly apply your brakes before you reach a corner and then release the brakes and use all the grip of the car to corner. Then, once you are through the turn, accelerate out. If you enter a corner with too
In the event of your front wheels skidding: Take your foot off the accelerator and shift to neutral, or depress the clutch. Do not try to steer immediately. As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As the car steers back in the direction you want to go, then put the transmission in “drive” or release the clutch, and accelerate gently.
much speed and then try to adjust in the corner, you will lose grip. In the event of your rear wheels skidding: Take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right. If you have standard brakes, pump them gently. If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal.
If you get stuck in the snow: Do not spin your wheels, it will only dig you in deeper. Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push
In-depth article snow out of the way. Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car. Pour sand, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction. Rock the vehicle back and forth by using light touches on the accelerator to ease your car out. In summary, the experts conclude that mastering control of your vehicle in snow and other winter driving conditions comes with learning proper driving techniques and experience. Until then, go slow in the snow or stay home and make hot chocolate.
Cable car incident at La Videmanette Press release: Gstaad Saanenland tourism pulley and set off an emergency stop. The front clamp broke and the gondola crashed. All passengers remained unhurt The cable was quickly suspended back up on the affected mast and regular operations resumed, transporting the circa 70 winter sports enthusiasts traveling up the mountain, safely to the mountain station. After about 2 hours everybody had safely reached the top station, where they were received and taken care of. BDG Director Armon Cantieni ordered the cessation of the cable car until further notice. A bus shuttle to the other valley stations has been put into place. Recommendations already being implemented The recommendations of the UUS mainly comprise of three points: Firstly, the hauling cable is subjected to X-ray examination to determine any damages. The other recommendation is to instruct all detachable gondola operators within the responsibility zone of the BDG, to immediately remove
empty downhill traveling gondolas with technical problems from the cable car system, and not at the next station. In addition the lighting will be improved in the mountain station Videmanette where the gondolas exit, in order to get a better visual and to identify any problems. The BDG in addition, is
going to take preventive measures and replace the axis on mast 33 to provide maximum security. “Only when these measures have been implemented, will the cable car Videmanette run again,” says Armon Cantieni. The BDG will inform you when the cable car will be fully operational again.
The cause for the crash of an empty gondola on Saturday January 16 2010 at the cable car RougemontVidemanette, was a cable clamp which had not closed properly. The gondola traveling downhill from the mountain station was empty at the time of the incident. Nobody was injured. The investigations of the incident with experts from the accident investigation bureau for trains and ships (UUS) Bern, and a design engineer, were not finished until the subsequent Sunday evening. The Bergbahnen Destination AG Gstaad (BDG), running the cable cars, has immediately begun to implement the recommended measures discussed at the final meeting. On Saturday at 11h33 the automatic alarm system of the mountain station indicated at the exit point of gondola number 20, a technical problem. A visual spot examination revealed no damage. Because no passengers were on board, it was decided to take the gondola out at the middle station, but at mast 33 the rear clamp came undone and jammed. The cable came off the
The Videmanette cable car
Premier Hotel news
Epicurean peak performances During this winter season, the Grand Hotel Park is once again transforming into a stage for international Epicurean peak performances. The curtain rises on the Grand Hotel Park’s Chef Giuseppe Colella and his hosts from Spain, Thailand and Italy. The audience is invited to a gastronomical journey of the world’s finest culinary delights. The scene: The Grand Hotel Park with its three restaurants is an expert in fine cuisine and creative dishes and provides an impeccable service. The variety of specialties goes from Mediterranean cuisine and Italian fine food to sushi and fusion food, and meets every guest’s taste and expectations. These expectations will be exceeded by the performances of three great chefs and their staff during the gastronomical days at the Grand Hotel Park. All the Chefs will perform at the gastronomical restaurant “The Marco Polo” on the hotel’s Bel Etage. The opening act is Jorge Gonzáles, Chef of the famous hotel Ritz in Madrid. He specializes in Spanish delicacies, influenced by French and Basque cuisine. His creative dishes are original in concept and presentation and spoil Epicures’ palates. The Spanish episode will be followed by exotic, spicy, light and colored flavors starring in Dju Allegris’ culinary delights. She is a renowned Chef in the Gstaad area and looks forward to being part of this gastronomical event. For the final act, the Grand Hotel Park welcomes back its dear friends from the Costa Smeralda, Chef Francesco Guardone and his restaurant manager Ma-
rio Lutzoni. The hotel Cala di Volpe is well-known for the fine cuisine of its Chef and is proud to enable Gstaad’s audience to be persuaded of the Chef’s talent during this guest performance. Be part of this culinary play at the Grand Hotel Park and reserve your seat with the Maître d’ at 033 748 98 00. Furthermore, once a week the Grand Hotel Park offers an add-on to its culinary calendar: the Sunday brunch at the restaurant “Grand Restaurant”. Start out with a light breakfast and continue with delicious pasta, create your own salad, enjoy savory soups and end this feast with a great choice of the pâtissier’s favorite compositions. In addition to these Epicurean peak performances, many other events will take place during the next few weeks at the Grand Hotel Park. Be sure not to miss the exhibitions of Enigma, Omega, Van Cleef & Arpels and Yves Saint-Laurent. The charity gala dinner in favor of the “Fondation Lionel Perrier”, supporting brain tumor patients and their families in order to offer them a life worth living for, is another high class event. The Grand Hotel Park and the “Fondation Lionel Perrier” would be honored to welcome you to this event.
The Gastronomical Days February 13th and 14th, at the Marco Polo The Ritz Madrid The Chef Jorge González from the hotel Ritz Madrid and his greatly skilled team will present you Spanish delicacies complimented by a variety of creative dishes, original in concept and presentation influenced by French and Basque Cuisine.
February 16th and 17th, at the Marco Polo Thai from «Dju Allegri» Dju Allegri, well-known Thai Chef in the Gstaad area, will carry you off to the world of the exotic, spicy, light and coloured savours of the Thai cuisine. A real journey for the time of a meal!
February 19th and 20th, at the Marco Polo Cala di Volpe of the Costa Smeralda Chef Francesco Guardone, his restaurant manager Mario Lutzoni and their team are back. You will appreciate their fine cuisine served with the competence of our staff. Our Sommelier will propose and comment for you the Sardinian wine specialties. Reservations to be made through our Maître d‘hôtel at 033 748 98 00.
Events February 5 to 7 : ENIGMA – Exhibition of High Jewellery February 9th to 16th : OMEGA – Exhibition of Timepieces February 13th: Gala Dinner from the FONDATION LIONEL PERRIER February 14th to 21st : YVES ST-LAURENT – Evanescent prêt-à-porter boutique February 17th to 23rd : VAN CLEEF & ARPELS – Exhibition of High Jewellery February 24th to 28th : ENIGMA – Exhibition of High Jewellery th
Grand Hotel Park · 3780 Gstaad · Suisse Tél. +41 33 748 98 00 · Fax +41 33 748 98 08 firstname.lastname@example.org · www.grandhotelpark.ch
Friday 29 January 2010 Page 9
Ready to deal with surprises Reflections from Saanen bank for most of the economies. It goes without saying that the outbreak of the financial crisis and the financial collapse of Lehman Brothers was leading to a historical unseen coordinated action of the main Central Banks worldwide. Fears that we would enter into a zero growth economy for years to come, as we witnessed over the past two decades in Japan, this process accelerated of interventions from the Central Banks, doing everything possible to keep the financial system alive. Most probably, in November 2008, they would have cut down the last tree to print money if needed. At that time, the Financial World, as well as the Financial System, were most probably on the verge of another severe meltdown. However, the focus of the financial industry towards inflation may change rapidly. Bearing in mind that for instance, the Money Supply M3 in the United Kingdom just tripled over
the past 8 months. Also in the U.K., Gasoline prices doubled in Sterling terms over the past 12 months. Is this not inflationary? Also what has Gold to tell us about future expectation of inflation? The financial industry offers investment instruments with payment flows linked to the predefined inflation aggregate (e.g. a consumer price index). Payouts of both regular coupons and principal at maturity are higher in particular if inflation has risen during the term of the instrument. Inflation-linked bonds are therefore bonds with coupon and redemption linked to a consumer price index and therefore preserve real value in almost every economic environment (deflation/inflation: recession/depression or a boom). In the context of a portfolio, however, we must not think in terms of “nominal or inflation-linked”, but rather
As a rule, inflation is never welcome. It not only raises fears of the economy overheating and subsequently sliding into recession, it also eats into investor’s purchasing power and thus also their real assets. For investors, inflation is a lurking danger that looms larger the longer your investment horizon is. Even comparatively small year-on-year decreases in purchasing power can heavily erode an investor’s portfolio from a long-term perspective, if suitable countermeasures are not put in place. Worst of all, you are unlikely to notice until it is already too late. Having said that, the focus of mostly all Central Banks worldwide has been on deflation scenarios over the past 18 months and fears that the tremendous financial injections into the financial systems, as well as the approved financial package for infrastructure programs would not be sufficient to create real growth
Toni Knecht, Head of Private banking at Saanen Bank “nominal and inflationed linked”. Why? Thanks to their low correlation towards other investments, inflationlinked products are eminently suitable as an additional asset class that can increase the diversification potential when added to a portfolio. Such investments therefore create additional risk budget, which can in turn be used to focus more intensively on returns.
Gstaad to get a new riding center By GstaadLife editorial team Marcel Bach is to be president of the new riding centre (to be known as Reitzentrum Gstaad AG) . The planning stages must still be approved by the Municipality and public, and with no objections, construction should start in the spring and hopefully be completed by winter 2011. Bach will not be financially investing in the project; funding is coming from two unknown investors. The plan is to be a modern, with no expenses spared, state-of-the-art equestrian center. The existing facility on the other side of the river, near the Bellerive Hotel, will be demolished. Thurgau architects Baumgartner AG, leaders in equestrian construction, have been
contracted to do the new riding center with Gstaad architectural sensibilities in mind. 66% of the stables in the current center are occupied by the horses of local residents, therefore Voegeli and Bach emphasize that the riding center is a place for both guests and local residents. Bach has been involved with the planning for some time, he therefore took on the presidency of the Reitzentrum Gstaad AG and believes that the initiative is good for the Saanenland region. He states that in the light of year-round tourism, with Polo becoming a fast growing sport, the riding center would be an important feature. He also hopes
that the Municipality and riding association will work towards the goal of building more riding paths. The new riding center will be open to the public and management will remain under Ernst Voegeli, who has been managing the center for the past 3 years. The center will feature
a 50m long riding hall, with up to 40 generous size stables for horses. Also featuring will be a clubroom, apartments and rooms for the stable hands. Ueli Bach is proving land across the river for outdoor training and a wooden bridge will be constructed to connect the two areas.
Your confidence is our highest commitment
Gstaad 033 748 77 88 · Feutersoey 033 755 19 51 www.raiffeisen.ch/saanenland
Premier Hotel news
Fine, elegant and theme gastronomy at the Gstaad Palace Fine dining is a delight in the relaxed ambiance of the Palace’s Gildo’s Restaurant where the chef and team from the famous hotel “Il Pellicano” in Porto Ercole, Italy are
running the Gildo’s kitchen for the winter season. An Indian Gourmet Week with the “Leela Hotel Group” is on promotion at Gildo’s Restaurant from March 5-9, 2010, daily at 7h30pm. Enjoy a journey with our master chefs from India which take you on a culinary voyage spanning the length of India. Representing the north are succulent kebabs and fragrant biryanis while the southern cuisines are spoken for by some delectable curries. Reservations with the Maître D’ +41(0)33 748 50 00. Alternately the formal Le Grill, Rotisserie with 16 Points GaultMillau is an intimate and exclusive restaurant where one can enjoy watching the Palace chefs prepare traditional dishes & contemporary creations on an open fire grill. The casual La Fromagerie is a charming restaurant that serves a selection of typical Swiss speciali-
Gstaad Palace Winter-Events 29 Jan - 06 Feb 10th Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad 09 - 10 Feb Aylesford International, Real Estate 11 - 12 Feb Michele Sciretti, Fur Exhibition 11 - 17 Feb De Grisogono, Jewellery Exhibition 12 Feb DJ Falcon at GreenGo - from 11.00pm 12 - 16 Feb The Andipa Gallery, Exhibition of drawings and prints of Masters 14 Feb Valentine's Day – from 7.30pm 18 - 21 Feb Seaman Schepps/Trianon, Jewellery Exhibition 18 - 23 Feb Chopard, Jewellery Exhibition 22 - 24 Feb Vicedomini, Fashion Exhibition & Sale 24 - 28 Feb Alberto Sabbadini, Jewellery Exhibition 27 Feb Laurent Wolf ("No Stress") at GreenGo from 11.00pm 28 Feb 1st Palace Poker tournament 05 - 09 March Indian Gourmet Week - from 7.30pm For Reservations contact: +41 (0)33 748 50 00
ties, such as Raclette and delicious cheese fondue, which can be tried in a champagne & truffles style. Finally elegant dining at Le Restaurant where breakfast, lunch & dinner are served daily is where one can taste the great classics of the Gstaad Palace.
As a relaxed evening pleasure at Le Bar du Grill, one can enjoy listening to Eva Bellomo or alternately visit the famous GreenGo night club at the Gstaad Palace which features two dance floors and invites you to party to the sound mixed by DJ Jim Leblanc, from 23h00 onwards!
Palace Spa & Hammam experience: The perfect Valentine’s gift! A visit to the Palace Spa with the hammam experience is a unique journey of relaxation. This ritual begins with a soothing foot bath followed by tranquil moments in the “Infinity Room” followed by a cleansing soap foam body massage before the journey continues with a steam bath and a dip in the “Floating Pool”. After a break in the private relaxation room, a moisturizing oil massage completes this amazing experience. Or share a relaxing moment with another person in the Private Spa Suite – sauna, steam bath, lounge corner, pool; two massage tables, shower and a private changing room. The Spa is open daily from 08h30 until 20h00. The indoor pool, from 07h30 until 20h00. Contact +41 (0)33 748 58 90 for an appointment or buy a spa gift voucher as a Valentine’s surprise…
Friday 29 January 2010 Page 11
Ten years of music and young talent By Peter Sonnekus-Williams
“It’s going to be a reunion with artists who over the past years, with their freshness and presence have always amazed and delighted us. Year after year a network of young talent from around the world has emerged. Artists who in the meantime have won numerous awards and have constantly strengthened their reputation and today, appear with the biggest soloists and ensembles,” says Scherz. “We are looking forward to meet again with Kirill Gerstein, Alexandra
“The tenth edition of the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad is marked by the reunion with our young musicians,” says Thierry Scherz, artistic director of the event. “To celebrate our 10th Anniversary in their company, we have invited them again to the chapel of Gstaad and the church of Saanen, true to our motto: discover and be discovered,” he adds.
Sinfonia Varsovia, will accompany some of these young musicians during the evening concerts in the churches of Saanen and Rougemont. The great pianists, Nikolai Lugansky and Stephen Hough, will feature. The Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad have been faithfully accompanied by the exemplary and attentive main sponsor, the Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild, who has made itself well-known over the past ten years and is looking confidently into the future.
Soumm, Andrei Korobeinikov, Plamena Mangova, Emmanuel Ceysson, Yevgeny Sudbin, Sergey Malov, Joahnnes Moser, Bertrand Chamayou, Joseph Moog, David Kadouch, Nicolas Altstaedt, Marie-Stephanie Janecek, David Pia, Liviu Prunaru, Adam Krzesowiec and the trios Berolina and Morgenstern,” says Scherz. Five orchestras, including the renowned Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, the Camerata Bern and the
Television documentary about the other side of Gstaad Press release Gstaad Saanenland tourism In mid December 2009 the filming
plete, the film will be broadcast on
of a documentary entitled “L’autre
ARTE and the Télévision Suisse Ro-
Versant de Gstaad” (The other side of
Gstaad), started in Gstaad. The production company Les Productions
Peace is to be respected
JMH from Neuchâtel scheduled about
“We assure you that the film crew will
40 days of shooting for this involved
respect the residents of Gstaad, and
project. Shooting will take place over
endeavor to preserve the tranquility of
the whole of 2010.
the village,” promises producer Flor-
The theme of the film directed by Eliz-
ence Adam. If passers-by are recorded
abeth Aubert Schlumberger is about
at an outdoor shooting location by the
the lives of the local people and their
camera, but do not want that, “just tell
co-existence with the guests. This
the team,” invites Florence Adam. She
project is a co-production between
is already grateful for the consider-
Switzerland and France, between two
ation and understanding of the locals,
independent companies. When com-
patrons and guests of Gstaad.
Classifieds in GstaadLife Place your classified ads in GstaadLife and advertise to the permanent and visiting English speaking public of the Saanenland. Whether it is property for sale or rent, cars, furniture, services or goods for sale. It is worth placing it in GstaadLife classifieds for a small fee. To submit an ad for publication send your text to us through any of the contact points: Email: email@example.com Fax: 033 744 95 25 Post: Anzeiger von Saanen PO Box 201 3780 Gstaad
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Fine cash mere From h igh asia
real estate To rent Top-Property in Gruben 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, beautiful view. Furnished or non furnished. Information: Tel. 079 663 46 46
a unique pure cashmere collection specially designed for alpine life. hand crafted from the high plateaus of mongolia, a bespoke selection for the ultimate chalet comfort. at
Urs von Unger Promenade (next to apple Pie Tea room), gstaad 3 – 6 p.m. or by appointment +41 (0)33 744 44 11
Mongolian cashmere and 10-15 million year old wood By GL editorial
URS VON UNGER
FINE ANTIQUES CONTEMPORARY ART AND DESIGN
KLEINES LANDHAUS • SAANEN PHONE +41 (0)33 744 44 11
Last winter season Antiquaire and Decorator Urs von Unger opened his cozy Gstaad shop next to the Apple Pie Tea Room. This establishment is to compliment his longstanding showroom in Saanen, which is enjoying a renovation at present, readying itself for the coming future when Saanen becomes a pedestrian only zone. Urs specializes in fine antiques dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries from all over Europe and exclusive objects by contemporary artists. Certainly the oldest pieces in the shop are a collection of stools and side tables made of petrified wood that is millions of years old. The store is also a stockist of perfumed wax candles
by Cire Trudon Paris, a company established in 1643. ALTAI Himalaya, found at Urs von Unger, is a pure cashmere collection of scarves, bed covers and throws that are hand crafted in workshops in Mongolia and Nepal. It is specially designed for Alpine life and is a bespoke collection for the ultimate in chalet comfort. Urs von Unger is an expert in his field and is one of the many fine professionals that brings special things to the Gstaad region, and in doing so adds to the unique and rare ambiance of the area. Opening Hours: Mondays – Fridays: 3-6pm / Saturdays: 2-6pm / or by Appointment
Friday 29 January 2010 Page 13
Cable car lower frequencies Translated from the article by Anita Moser, AVS 5.1.2010 Bad weather has resulted in a reduction in the cable cars’ frequencies and turnover is 10 to 12 percent less than the previous year. “The strategy to push artificial snowmaking, has proven itself. Without snow, it would have been a let down,” stresses BDG Director Armon Cantieni. In terms of sales returns the Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad AG shows a 10 percent decrease compared to last year, and the frequencies are 12 percent lower to the previous year. Cautious optimism characterizes the first interim balance sheet after the festive season from the Gstaad Saanenland tourism for the winter season 2009/10. Winter so far has been conspicuous by it’s absence. Rain and warm temperatures have diminished the little snow that fell. “Thanks to the snowmaking technology, we were able to offer our winter sport athletes a large variety of slopes during the festive season and despite the unpromising weather conditions, we received a lot of positive feedback,” says Armon Cantieni. “On the one hand it was certainly
due to the fact that the Saanenland is less exposed to the warm south wind. On the other hand it proves that our strategy to expand the technical snowmaking machines, proofed successful. Artificial snow is more resistant to rain and thaw than natural snow. The day guests were not as abundant as compared to the previous years and thus the frequencies were reduced by 12 percent and sales went back by 10 percent. Without artificial snowmaking we would have been running at zero,” Cantieni is convinced. Despite bad weather, the results proof that the guests are pursuing winter sports, even if often otherwise stated, notices Cantieni. Power failure on New Year Due to a short circuit in a motor, the Saanerslochbahn came to a stand still on New Year’s day shortly after noon. “The cable car was packed with passengers and due to the nonfunctioning of the motor, the cable car had to be reversed and emptied which took quite a long time,” informed Cantieni. After nearly two hours the last passengers were evacuated. In case of emergencies,
four helicopters were on stand-by, but didn’t have to be deployed. “25 people were on duty and everything went well, even if it took a long time to get everybody back on terra firma,” says Cantieni. All facilities are open – hoping for snow. The Rellerli is now also open for skiing and thus all the main facilities of the Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad from St. Stephen to Rougemont, are in operation. “Well, we hope for the predicted snow falls and to make up for the short fall, at least partially, until February,” says Armon Cantieni. Gstaad Saanen rural tourism: Pay taxes on last year’s rate “In consideration of the unfavorable conditions, business was good,” says the Gstaad Tourism Director Roger Seifritz, keeping in mind the recent significant effects of the economic crisis and the bad weather conditions. Two-thirds of the local businesses participating in a survey conducted by the Gstaad Saanen Tourism, have declared the same frequencies and sales as in the (good) last year, writes GST in a press
Photo: Frank Müller-Brand
“Thanks to the snowmaking technology, we were able to offer our winter sport athletes a large variety of slopes during the festive season, despite the unpromising weather conditions.”
release. Changes have only occurred in one third. These lie fairly balanced either below or above the previous year. The winner for sales over the festive season 2009/10 of the Gstaad destination, were the catering and retail establishments in the villages the losers are the mountain houses, the outdoor sector service providers and as mentioned, the cable cars despite good ticket sales so far. “After all, the snow conditions were good although the slopes were artificially snowed,” notes Seifritz. Customers appreciate quality The survey done by Gstaad Saanenland Tourism amongst hoteliers and other service providers, shows an optimistic outlook for the holiday region Gstaad. About three quarters of the businesses estimated business over the festive season at the same level as the previous year. The remaining businesses claim to have had more or fewer guests than last winter. The occupancy in the hospitality industry is also equal to last year. A third of the registered hotels have according to the survey, observed among the guests little change in spending trend. Thus, there are hardly any changes in this area compared to last year. “Guests in general have re-considered their spending habits. But good quality is still welcome, and the customers are willing to pay the price,” Roger Seifritz comments on the survey results. Good prospects for spring The prospects for the coming winter weeks are positive. The hotels have registered comparable bookings from early winter to mid-March. To date, however, the reservations are still less than in 2009, as GST informed.
Friday January 29 until Friday February 19 2010
Palace. 21h30. SFr 220. Reservation possible. FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 Paper cutting exhibition in the Chäller-Gal- Additional info, tel. +41 (0)33 748 81 82. lerie Gstaad. Exhibition with different artists. FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 – SUNDAY, Contact +41 (0)33 748 15 90. MARCH 14 FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 – SUNDAY, Exhibition of Ueli Hofer from Trimstein at JANUARY 31 32nd International Hot-air balloon week: Château-d’Oex. More than 80 balloons from many different countries will benefit from the special microclimate and climb into the sky. Contact +41 (0)26 924 25 25. FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 – SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 06 Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad - 10ème edition: classic music festival. The magical classical music event in winter – in different locations! Greatly influenced by the piano, the starts of today and tomorrow will play music in the winter wonderland of the holiday region of Gstaad. Reservation possible, contact Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus +41 (0)33 748 81 81 for more information or www.sommetsmusicaux.com
the Glasbodenraum im Heimatwerk, Saanen. Tel +41 (0)33 744 13 73. SATURDAY, JANUARY 30 Vernissage & book presentation of the fascination of old bells & cowbells at the Museum der Landschaft, Saanen.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 30 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 31 25th Free-ride Dominique Perret, Wispile Gstaad: “25 hours in the snow for the smile of a child”! This event is being organized by the famous free-ride skier, Dominique Perret, and is a 25-hour team race during which money will be collected for 2 children’s charities for every kilometer covered. Anyone can sign up. Participation fee: SFr 120 per team. Tel. +41 (0)21 804 10 70 or www.25freeride.ch
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31 BFU test day of ski helmets at SaanerSATURDAY, JANUARY 30 slochgrat, Saanenmöser. Starts at 08h45 Winter feast of folk music Gstaad-Saanen- Saanerslochgrat, Mittelstation. Cost-free. land at the Berghaus Wispile: Cable car ride Tel. +41 (0)31 387 12 23 up until 24h00, fondue Chinoise. Adults SFr 70, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 – SATURDAY, children up to 12yrs - SFr 50. Reservation tel. MARCH 13 (0)33 748 96 32. Exhibition of André Bucher in the jeweler SATURDAY, JANUARY 30 Adler, Gstaad. The opening cocktail will take place Saturday, Feb 06 at 18h30. Sledge tour by full moon, Wispile-Gsteig. Phone (0)33 744 66 80 Ascent between 18h45 and 19h15. Fondue Tel. +41 (0)33 744 79 88.
Chinoise in the mountain restaurant. Sledge FRIDAY, JANUARY 29 tour to Gsteig. Adults SFr65 & children up to Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad – DÎner de gala de la Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild, 12yrs, SFr 45. For reservation, contact +41 (0)33 748 96 32. partenaire principal à la Salle Baccarat Gstaad
WEDNEDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 17, 24 19h00 – 22h00: Ski at night on the Wispile, Gstaad. Adults SFr 10, children 10-16yrs SFr 5, Children up to 9yrs, free. Information can change due to weather and snow conditions. Contact (0)33 748 87 37 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5 & 26 15h00-18h00: Apéro in the Chäller-Gallery. Guest artist of silhouettes – Ursula RegezFuchs. Phone +41 (0)33 748 15 90 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6 & SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 Swiss Senior Cup (SSC) Beppi-Cup: Locality: Eggli. Deadline February 02. Tel. +41 (0)55 444 20 06 SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 7 18h00: “Youth on Fire” – Worship with live band – music & dance. Experience Hall Gstaad. Admission free! www.youth-on-fire.com FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12 – SATURDAY, 13th 24-hour non-stop skiing/snowboarding Race in Gsteig. Locality: skilift Heiti. Rate – none. Tel. +41 (0)33 755 81 81 or www.gstaad.ch SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 11h00: Ski race for the parliamentarian of the canton Bern, Riesenslalom. Start 11h00 at Eggli-Saanen. Tel. 079 362 19 59 SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 18h00: Concert of Alexandra Massalieva, a Russian child prodigy of 14 years in the Rougemont church. Concert in support of scientific research on brain tumors. Charity gala in support of the Lionel Perrier foundation at Grand Hotel Park, Gstaad from 20h00. Advance sale by Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 18 & 25th Fondue party with music and ski-run with torches. Ascent 19h00. Accompanied by ski instructors (only if ski slopes to Gstaad is open). Adults SFr 50, children SFr 35. Reservations 033 748 96 12 or at the Berghaus Eggli. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19 11h00-18h00: Gstaad winter market on the Kapälliplatz with lots of self-made products. More info contact +41 (0)33 744 78 83 FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19 & SATURDAY 20th Gstaad High Fly 2010 at Rübeldorf. The freestyle event in the midst of the Swiss Alps has developed from a traditional event into one with an international character, the only winter event of its kind in Switzerland. Freestyle motocross, freeskiing and snowboarding combined with pyrotechnic effects will ensure a loud show spectacle.
Rotary Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings 12h00, from 28 December 2009 to 08 March 2010 Palace Hotel, 3780 Gstaad (033/748 50 00; email@example.com). (Special: 21 December 2009 Museum der Landschaft Saanen, 12h00); President: Rot. Ruedi Minnig (033/722 25 23), Program: Rot. Andreas Hurni (033/744 36 28). Lions-Club Gstaad-Saanenland Meetings normally each first and third week of the month on thursdays, either at 12h00 a.m. for lunch or at 7h00 p.m. for dinner. Meetings in Wellness & Spa-Hotel Ermitage-Golf, Schönried, Tel. 033 748 60 60. For details and program contact Urs Wittwer, president, 033 748 99 11, firstname.lastname@example.org, htttp://gstaad-saanenland.lionsclub.ch
Important Numbers Ambulance 144, Police 117 Police office 033 356 84 31 Fire-brigade 118 Saanen Hospital 033 748 02 00 Château-d‘Oex Hospital 026 923 43 43 Car accident service 033 744 88 80 Veterinary 033 744 35 31 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers For the latest local weather forecast visit www.gstaadlife.com/weather
Friday 29 January 2010 Page 15
Building the Grand Hotel Alpina Translated and adapted from the article by Anita Moser in AVS 11.12.09 On a 20,000 m2 site a five-star hotel with 120 beds and 11 condominiums in the top-luxury segment is being constructed. This together with three separate chalets - an apartment building with three luxury apartments and two detached single family houses make up the entire construction exercise. The construction of the Grand Hotel Alpina is probably the biggest project the Saanenland has ever seen. On average, 110 people work daily at the construction site. During the expansion phase in 2011 this number will increase to 400. A smooth work process is assured by the five-member project management Team. Andreas von Grünigen and Cornelia Beyer ( Chaletbau Matti), Elisabeth Wampfler and Urs Kunz (Jaggi & Partners AG), and Michael Zwygart (Egger Ingenieure AG.) form the project management Team. This five-member panel, together with the developer Marcel Bach forms the core of the more than 30 member project team.
Unauthorized persons are not allowed onto the construction site. The terrain is fenced off to keep uninvited guests out and during the day strict security controls take place at the gatehouse. “With such a large movement of workers and contractors, entry controls are essential,“ emphasizes Andreas von Grünigen. “There are weekly meetings with the building contractors and regular co-ordination meetings with the sectoral planners per site object,” explains Urs Kunz. The planning team is represented by a whole repertoire of designers: from the architect to the structural engineers, from the (specialist) engineer on the interior architecture to heating, plumbing, electrical and a wellness expert. Chaletbau Matti is the management construction company and is also responsible for the three chalets and the architect firm Jaggi & Partner AG is responsible for the hotel. Local Companies “Not only is the project team lo-
cal, but also most of the contractor work was awarded to businesses in the Saanenland,” Urs Kunz says. developer Marcel Bach has awarded everything that was possible, locally. For the primary construction work, the four local companies Bauwerk AG, Bonaria AG, Moratti Mettlen AG and Thoenen AG have formed a consortium. The Schedule In the spring of 2008 the first machines ascended to the Alpinamatte. The building is - thanks to good weather conditions last year - on schedule as planned. “What is known as building 3 was erected in 2008 and followed by the completion of the interior,” said Andreas von Grünigen. The excavation for houses 4 and 5, and for the hotel complex was started in spring 2009. “Building 4 stood before Christmas 2009 and in the spring of 2010, the interior structural work will commence followed by the completion of the interior,” informed Cornelia Beyer. House 5 is going to be built
simultaneously with the structural building of the hotel erected midyear. The building of the Hotel is also within the schedule. The shell of the three underground levels has already been completed. “We are extremely dependent on the weather, but we are confident that we are able to throw a slab of concrete on the roof of the ground floor soon,” says Kunz. The shell of the tunnel is finished and the underground access to the third basement will be drivable.
Completion in summer 2012 Upon resumption of work in mid - January 2010, the concrete shell structure installations in the basement and the ground floor commenced. “The construction work for the hotel certainly will continue until September 2010. Around the end of October the hotel should be erected and by the end of 2010 the roof finished,” says Kunz. “The installations are continuously being pushed forward and in 2011 the interior will follow. If everything goes according to plan, the Hotel opens in summer 2012. “As a team we have plenty of challenges, but are also very motivated. The collaboration works very well, which isn’t self-evident, but a prerequisite,” stresses Cornelia Beyer. A logistical feat There is practically no parking on the site therefore the contractors bring their workers by shuttle bus to the construction site. Similarly, transport of material must be coordinated in a way that trucks can easily pass each other. “It is the same on site. Due to lack of space the work on the houses and the
Model of the Alpina project
continued on Page 17
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Friday 29 January 2010 Page 17
The hotel wing in summer 2009 continued from Page 15 hotel have to be coordinated in a manner that the capacity for material and personnel is maximized. Unnecessary waiting times and empty truckloads must therefore be avoided. These are topics that keep us busy daily. Without the discipline from the contractors and their employees this wouldn’t be possible, “ says Kunz. “We need a lot more lead time than with smaller projects, spontaneity has no place here,” says Elizabeth Wampfler. Contractors and workers have to be able to demonstrate teamwork skills. “Some had to get used to the way other companies work. But in the meantime the team work is well established,” says Kunz, adding: “The project consists of different sub-projects – four houses, a hotel with a large wellness area and an underground entrance including the tunnel. The participating contractors and workers must not only have their project in mind, but must see the project as a whole”. Co-operation with the Palace There is a strong co-operation with the Gstaad Palace. During the low season, the parking lot was used and for catering purposes of all the employees, an agreement was
made with the staff kitchen of the Gstaad Palace. “It works very well and the people are very satisfied,” said Andreas von Grünigen. The meals will have to be well co-ordinated when we have more people on site. Suva Safety on construction sites is a key and important factor. “We work closely together with Suva, they control the construction site on average once a month,” informs Urs Kunz. Thanks to Suva, so far there has been no major accidents. Kunz also attributes much praise to the six crane operators. Their job at a high altitude demands despite the hectic environment, high concentration, so that no accidents happen. In a daily briefing we determine which crane has priority. The others have to follow suit. Earthquake proof Unpleasant surprises have not occurred on the Alpina site so far. “The soil is good, nothing unforeseen has been revealed,” says Michael Zwygart. But there are plenty of challenges for the engineers considering the size, height and utilization. “The Alpina project exists since 1996. In 2003 the Bernese Oberland was zoned into the second highest
earthquake zone. This means that houses and hotels have to be built earthquake proof,” says Zwygart. From the developer ”The two-family houses have been sold, as well as many of the apartments in the Hotel,” says developer Marcel Bach. The hotel rooms are between 40 and 60 m2 in size, and most of the suites are 100 m2. The luxurious spa area in the first basement covers a total area of 2,000 m2. Also in the basement, are the reception and the entrance lobby; the hotel lobby, lounge and bar are on the ground floor. The Alpina area is being developed with an underground traffic plan. There won’t be any above-ground parking and no car will be visible on the area,” informs Bach The two underground
garages will offer 180 parking spaces - one for the hotel and one for the private homeowners. The entire underground infrastructure features two traffic circles, one leading to the private chalets and one to the delivery area, and is accessible for cars and trucks. The hotel and villas are connected to the district heating system, Saanen-Gstaad. 300 million Francs The total construction cost amount to approximately 300 million Francs. Developers are the local Marcel Bach and the French businessman Jean-Claude Mimran. In the autumn of 2010 a big roofwetting ceremony is planned for the entire population, where the raw concrete construction can be viewed, informs Marcel Bach.
Some facts about the Alpina construction · 110 people are working daily on the construction site; from 2011 over 400 will be working during the expansion phase. · More than 30 people are in the planning team. · 150,000 m3 of excavated soil were removed. · 7 cranes have been in use. · Almost 20,000 m3 of concrete - the equivalent of a daily volume of 140 m3 – have been processed. · 2,000 tons or 15 tons per day of steel have been installed.
LOCAL NEWS Photo: Archive MMD
Positioning for the future Adapted and translated from the article by Anita Moser in AvS 15.12.09 Under the patronage of the Hotel Association Gstaad-Saanenland a project group has been launched to critically question the future of the Saanenland and the direction into which the region could develop. Two professional lateral thinkers from Germany, Anja Förster and Peter Kreuz, recently gave their views on the matter. “The right time to review the future and plan for it, is when things go well and not when one stands with ones back against the wall,” emphasized Förster and Kreuz. It is this what the Hotelier Association Gstaad-Saanenland takes to heart, to think critically at the right time, and assess which direction the region best develop in the longer term, so that sustainability is not an empty word. “We are aware that the Saanenland as a region - with its uniqueness of landscape and the quality on offer - is absolutely top draw, but we also realize that we are interchangeable in many areas," said Hotel Association Presi-
dent Laurenz Schmid. "What we hold in our hands and gain from today, we ultimately want to pass on to our next generations." The appointment of a consultant was waived deliberately in order to address the task from within. In addition to members of the Hotel Association, the local councils of Saanen, the executives of the Trade Association, the Bergbahnen Destination Gstaad, the Gstaad Saanenland Tourism, the representatives of Special Events and Council Member Bethli Küng and of the National Council, Erich von Siebenthal, were all invited to the event in Schönried. Where to with Gstaad? In the near future, a project group is to be formed, which will attend to the question "Where to with Gstaad?" It is important for the Hotel Owner Association that the project members be versatile and well mixed – that various professions, national origin, age groups and ways of thinking are repre-
sented. The various institutions and organizations are therefore requested to delegate persons who bring forward their ideas. “The size of the group is not pre determined, it will develop in the course of time,” said Schmid. He anticipates that the results of the analysis should be at hand in one or two years. The retiring Hoteliers Association President wishes for the results to display a certain obligation for the stakeholders in the region.
ing common rules, and to possibly throw them over. "Why must hotel guests almost anywhere in the world check out no later than 12 o’clock, no matter what time they checked in?" We must ask ourselves three important questions: 1. Is this conviction worth being questioned? 2. Is this belief actually universal? 3. To what extent does this belief serve my supporters? "That’s where the innovative potential lies," says Kreuz.
Lateral thinking Inputs on how to achieve the goal and find the uniqueness came from the well-known lateral thinkers Anja Förster and Peter Kreuz. The two Germans have been researching data for ten years on all five continents from companies that are unconventional and successful. "Think out of the box and get inspiration by other industries," stress Förster and Kreuz. They also advocated the importance of courage to change and encouraged, to eliminate dogmas, question-
"Good ideas come from contradictions’ ”Lateral thinkers irritate," know Förster and Kreuz from experience. Nevertheless, that’s why they advice: "Surround yourself with people who are different than you, that don’t fit you. A good idea comes exclusively from a contradiction. Creativity arises from unusual combinations. Which in turn is most likely to happen when we mix age groups, cultures and trades," correctly comments Förster and Kreuz.
Friday 29 January 2010 Page 19
Wild hay farmer Fritz Müllener Extracted, Translated & Adapted from the book “Saanenland Hier verwurzelt. Hier zuhause.” Photo: Book „125 Jahre Anzeiger von Saanen”
In the book “Landscape Saanen” 1955 the report of the local priest Gerwer, written in 1765, reads as follows: “Beside the beautiful fertile meadows and mountains of Turbach, one finds a very steep mountain slope which, due to its position cannot be used for grazing in summer. Therefore in August the residents of this valley go and make hay with their life and limb to sustain hundreds of cows throughout the long winter with this precious food.” This is still relevant today to all those who in the late summer, venture up into this vast part of the valley
between 1,600 – 2,000 m to gather hay to feed their cows. One whom you meet very often up there and who knows and appreciates the “Heuberg” (Hay mountain), is Fritz Müllener. This mountain farmer gave his property to his oldest son, Hans Peter and his wife Linda. According to his age and documents, he could be retired, but to retire fully is not in his blood and as long as he is needed, he is willing to help. In an interview published in the book, “Saanenland. Hier verwurzelt. Hier zuhause”, Fritz Müllener was asked particular questions regarding the fascinating and ancient process of gathering hay from the high mountain. This interview was conducted in German, and is translated and reported here below.
and distribution of grasses and flowers better than established intensive farming, which we are familiar with. What could be better than a meadow of a thousand shades maturing slowly and following the rhythm of the season? How is this nowadays! What matters today is mainly the speed, the calculation of values, the return.
Interviewer: What is “wild hay” really? FM: It’s food, rich in herbs, contains important minerals and is very palatable to animals. If someone says wild hay is nutritionally worthless, then they are mistaken. While it doesn’t contain the amount of protein, which is required according to the textbook, the substances found in wild hay contribute to the health of the cattle. It is like the natural remedies, like homeopathy, as in the case of complementary medicine: experts say one cannot accurately measure the value and prove its benefits. This is the case in many other areas today. Incidentally, wild hay is ecologically clean food, because it doesn’t contain artificially induced fertilizers, it grows by itself.
What prompted you personally for going to the “Heuberg”? FM: Some of the reasons we have already mentioned. Also I grew up with this particular work. Since my childhood I loved this work.
What makes “wild hay” so special? FM: The grass in Heuberg has enough time to mature and propagate. This protects the multiplication
What connects you with the “Heuberg”? FM: For me to continue an ancient mountain farming tradition makes me happy. The wild hay has nothing to do with romance, it simply belongs to me. It’s different from what is written in the texts of Jodel songs or the Wildheuerliedli (wild hay cutting songs).
And what is so special about your work? FM: It is useful and valuable to experience one physical work process after another and to face and endure the challenge. It means clearing slopes from avalanche debris; cope with the arduous transport of the hay and to withstand the strong and often extreme adverse weather conditions. To do the same work several times and to overcome the strenuous labor. But despite all this: It is the attachment to the work, to the landscape, to the weather and with the unique location of this wild and beautiful valley. Fritz, are you a romantic? FM: In this respect, yes, I am. Where
have the “realists” we see and hear everyday, been led to today? Tell me some detail about the work on the Heuberg. FM: It is possible to earn a good daily wage as a hay cutter. It is not only about maintaining a certain form of mountain farming or anything folkloric, it is also about biodiversity. The diversity of plants that can be promoted with the use of the Heuberg. The idea to prevent the extinction of all the valuable, rare and beautiful plants of the mountains is a worthy cause. Regarding the process of the work some things are still exactly as they have always been. After the hay is cut and dried, it is raked together and laid onto twigs that are tied together, preferably crosswise. Such a load is called a Raamete. This Raamete, necessary for transport is joined longitudinally for best support. If I cut the grass alone, I need about two hours until a Raamete is put together. Helpers are always welcome! To slide a Raamete down a very steep terrain is another matter. Previously, the Raameten were drawn up to Tristplatz and then often after hours, sometimes until late into the night - piled up to the “Triste.” What will still come of you and the Heuberg? FM: As long as my strength allows it, I continue with my work. My mind is still willing but perhaps one day the legs won’t be any more. I am confident that the young generation will reap the benefits of the Heuberg and won’t forget its values. Then they will continue to work there with joy and manage it wisely. Whenever I see whole families at work on the mountain, I feel confident.
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Soirée hivernale en faveur de la Fondation Lionel Perrier
Concert du 13 février 2010
Pour le 10 anniversaire de la Fondation Lionel Perrier, la Fondation SOS Talents Michel Sogny présente ème
la jeune prodige russe de 14 ans. Église de Rougemont - 18h00 CHF 45.– (prix unique), gratuit jusqu᾽à 16 ans. Réservation: Office du Tourisme de Rougemont 026 925 11 55 et de Gstaad 033 748 81 81 et auprès du concierge du Grand Hotel Park et du Gstaad Palace.
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Friday 29 January 2010 Page 21
New Gourmet Guide Press release translated from the article in AVS 24.12.09 To bring all the culinary diversity of the Saanenland and its adjacent regions to the locals and the tourists, Marketing Gstaad AG is publishing a “Gourmet Guide Saanenland” this winter.
The “Gourmet Guide Saanenland” replaces the previous bar guide “Innsider”. The guide will appear twice a year in German and English, with a circulation of 20,000 copies and includes numerous well-known and less
known gastronomic venues of the region. The term “gourmet” was used in a broad context - after all, a creamy fondue at a snow bar can taste as fine as “ Médaillon de foie gras de canard au miel et vieux balsamique“.
The Gourmet Guide Saanenland can be obtained for free at all tourist offices and many hotels and restaurants in the Saanenland. In addition, it will be sent to all households in the Saanenland.
Alberto Lysy Alberto Lysy, distinguished concert violinist and revered teacher, died at the CHUV hospital in Lausanne on December 30 2009. Born in Buenos
Aires on February 11 1935, Lysy was resident in Château-d’Oex. He was the founder of Camerata Bariloche, Camerata Lysy and Director of the In-
ternational Menuhin Music Academy until 2008. We will miss him, may he rest in peace. Family of Alberto Lysy and International Menuhin Music Academy, Gstaad.
The unique Le Grand Chalet is celebrating 20 years of class. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY FRANK MÜLLER AVS 22.12.09
Rooms completely renewed “Fortunately we were able to repurchase flats/suites in the hotel and had them completely renewed
this year. Our strategy is not to develop a large new building with additional rooms and apartments, but rather re-new the hotel on a high quality scale” said Franz Rosskogler. So, this year all the rooms will be renovated. Also planned, is to further the hotel in the ecological and sustainability areas. New indoor pool plans “It is also clear that we don’t want a large spa area at Le Grand Chalet. We leave that to the major hotels. In addition to the existing infrastructure such as the splendid sauna, jacuzzi, steam room and fitness facility, in the future we want to build a new indoor pool,” comments Franz Rosskogler. The hotel – situated beautifully above Gstaad, located in the Kähler – is in the middle of an agricultural zone. “We have a good relationship with our neighbors, the farmers,” Franz Rosskogler enthuses: “It is fantastic for our guests, in summer the cows
graze around the house and in winter, our guests access the winter trails directly from the hotel. We want to preserve this uniqueness
and find the corresponding niche. We are truly a gourmet hotel. A little pearl.” closes Rosskogler.
Photo: Frank Müller
“Our goal at Hotel Le Grand Chalet is clear: we are a small, fine boutique Hotel in Gstaad with superb style and ambiance. We are a connoisseur’s hotel”. These are the words of Franz Rosskogler, Chairman of the Board Neueret AG, looking back at 20 successful years with Le Grand Chalet. “We are celebrating our 20th birthday and are entering our 41st season with much enthusiasm,” emphasizes Pedro Ferreira, co-director of Le Grand Chalet together with chef Stève Willié. Owner of the hotel is the Malaysian Ananda Krishnan, who is also the owner of the five-star Four Seasons Hotel “Des Bergues” in Geneva. The Malaysian businessman and philanthropist is a long term friend and patron of the Saanenland.
Le Grand Chalet is not only known for its excellent cuisine (restaurant “La Bagatelle,“ 16 Gault Millau points), but also for the unique wine cellar. Many rare wines can be found there, as Pedro Ferreira (left), Stève Willié (center) and Franz Rosskogler show.
Anna Trzebinski Gstaad Life Advertisement.pdf
Invites you to an exclusive sale of her beautiful hand made collection of garments and accessories. These collectables are coveted all over the world by discerning shoppers, royalty and celebrity alike. Anna has received much attention in the press for being an individualist, rare talent and for her work with the remote tribal women of Kenya.
13 - 21
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10:00 - 21:00 Gstaad Palace ‘Salon du Premier’ on the first floor
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“In my Kenya-based workshop of tribal women, I use authentic indigenous designs as inspiration and draw on the rich colours and raw materials of my native Africa. The Maasai and Samburu people are at the heart of my creativity but the original crafts and traditions of other African tribes and the creations of indigenous people around the world also influence me. I make a unique collection of individually handmade garments and a range of accessories from exotic leather bags, to beaded sandals, to feathered shawls. Each piece is a unique work of art.” Anna Trzebinski
KENYA EAST AFRICA
Friday 29 January 2010 Page 23
FEATURE / FASHION
By GL Editorial team Since 1929, from their establishment on the Gstaad Promenade the Loertscher – Graa, ladies & gentleman’s fashion house has been building personal relationships with patron families of the Gstaad region. Loertscher-Graa always stocks something special and unique, something that cannot be found everywhere. This balanced with a good stock of high quality fashion wear, evening wear, leather and sheepskin garments, accessories, handbags and belts. Known for their Austrian country style jackets, a vast selection of trousers and custom made shirts for men, the store also stocks a broad range of la-
dies and gentlemen’s cashmere sweaters. Loertscher-Graa represents many quality fashion brands such as Cambio, Sportalm, S chneiders, Princess-Cashmere and beside others, its own label for ladies cashmere sweaters (tailored in Italy). Among the men’s brands are such like Paul and Shark, Brax, Schneiders, Hiltl, Bugatti and Della Ciana Cashmere. Loertscher-Graa is part of the ambiance of Gstaad. Hand in hand with fine living comes fine dressing and with the Loertscher family always being hands-on in this regard, you can be assured of it’s continuation.
Antonella By GL Editorial team
Antonella has been living in Gstaad for 13 years and has 10 years experience working with and understanding cashmere garments. She opened the doors to her own shop one year ago and since then has immersed herself to the dedication for things fashionable and desirable by putting her charm and creative flair to work. Antonella sells mainly women’s clothing and has an extensive and high quality range of cashmere goods (mostly from Italy), which are characterized by their comfort and warmth. Her men’s range is smaller, very selective and more classic (all from Italy). Some of Antonella’s favourites for now are her ideas for wonderful Valentine’s gifts such as her special range of lingerie from Italy or her
beautiful range of fur coats (also made in Italy), boots and shoes lavished with Swarovski crystals and matching handbags, which are made in Venice. Finally, her extravaganza of cashmere and silk leggings and grand variety of cashmere dresses. Antonella ensures that her range of accessories match the glamourous and unique looks that she is able to put together for her customers. She has an intriguing selection of accessories that she invites all to comfortably browse through. Antonella stocks the fun fashion “doggie” handbags, and the latest “Starchic” training suits. Further Antonella has a superb collection of quality pashmina’s, in a variety of shades; she also stocks a special
evening collection from New York, which reflects her love for garments from the best fashion zones of the world. As far as footwear goes, one can find a great selection of boots and shoes with flat or high heels, ballerina shoes (made in Italy), perfect
for indoor or outdoors and the fun LFA boots from Australia. At Antonella’s clients can indulge in a comprehensive collection of fashion wear, something for everyone and indeed, for every occasion. Antonella · Promenade 3780 Gstaad · Tel. 033 744 34 07
FEATURE / FASHION
Bohemian Massif BY MANDOLYNA THEODORACOPULOS What is baba cool? A) a cold rumsoaked sponge cake B) tacky clothing decorated with images of the Hindu god Ganesha C) a hip holy man D) none of the above. Some might argue that baba cool is not cool at all. They will say it is hippiedom at its worst. Unkept, smelly, eccentric, dilettantish and cliche all at once. But actually, baba cool could simply be defined as hippy chic. A mix between Indian style and Western decadence, with a dash of kitsch. Think Talitha Getty, Yves Saint Laurent, and Loulou de la Falaise, jellaba-clad and lounging on suzanis in 1960s Marrakech. Or, Kate Moss, Jade Jagger, and Mario Testino in cotton kaftans heading for dinner at La Paloma in Ibiza, bag of party-favors in hand. Take these people off the beach and into winter, and you will find them wrapped in colorful shahtooshes, wearing sumptuous velvet slippers like the gondoliers in Venice. Deck them out in tribal jewelry, and you have bohemian massif.
But how do you get the look, you ask? Well, down the road from Gstaad Hauptstrasse in Rougemont, Marina Anouilh’s new shop is, by her own admission, baba cool. Nestled in a little corner not far from the Cafe du Cerf in the beautiful Chalet Bon-Accueil, you will find her, in her trademark uniform, which is, not surprisingly, baba cool. Born from her love of shopping, and her superb creative abilities, Anouilh opened her trading post in just a few short weeks. A part-time interior designer, Marina did the place up herself. The black walls, opulent sofa, ethnic pillows, and friendly atmosphere are a perfect backdrop for her funky wares. The industrial iron display case circa 1940s France, that Anouilh found on the internet, was the inspiration for the decor and ambiance of the shop. Open shelves and secret drawers are all filled with little treasures that have been carefully sourced online, at trade shows, and through well-travelled friends.
The first time I walked into the shop, I was greeted by Marina, and a gaggle of close family pals. They were all hanging about, men, women, children, and dogs, trying things on, drinking tea, eating chocolates, and horsing around on an otherwise dreary afternoon. I had come straight from the airport to do some last minute Christmas shopping. We stayed there for hours, chatting, offering advice on what to buy, and greeting other buddies who popped in to see what the fuss is about. The whole experience is totally extravagant, and worth every penny. Anouilh serves a divine sauterne to those clients who loll about long enough to discover all her neatly hidden gems. Among the jewelry from Greece, Italy,
and Thailand are Colombian bags, Venetian slippers, Indian scarves, French hats, amazing sunglasses, and other bits and bobs from around the globe. The best part about the showroom is that there is something for everyone, no matter ones taste, or budget. The bricolage of accessories, soft furnishings, clothing, and jewelry is a one stop shop. Not only can Anouilh update your look, she can redecorate your house, and put you to work. I happened to be going to India in the early weeks of this year. As I love shopping, Marina told me to pick up a few things for the store. She liked almost everything I brought her, and now you can see it yourself by visiting Chalet Bon-Accueil. You are sure to be well-received.
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Marina invites you to discover an accessories shop, filled with ethnic chic designs from exciting destinations. · Glamour · unique · eclectic mix of materials · colors, that remain casual with a bohemian twist… Fun optimistic clothing at a great price T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Pants, Caps & Accessories
Come and see us! Cheseryplatz 3 / CH-3780 Gstaad Tel: +41 33 748 14 00 / www.lifeisgoodgstaad.ch
Tel. 026 925 01 83 Chalet Bon-Accueil, Rougemont, à côté du Comptoir d‘Enhaut by Tchou
INVITATION SPECIAL PEOPLE DESERVE SOMETHING SPECIAL. WHAT IS MORE SPECIAL THAN A PRECIOUS JEWEL FROM THE SEA? CULTURED PEARLS – A NATURAL WONDER.
Her Serene Highness Princess Hikari Hashimaru-Shigemitsu-Fujiwara
invites you to the presentation of her latest creations: matchless pearl necklaces, exquisite jewels with Akoya, Tahitian, South Seas and rare Keshi pearls, superb freshwater pearls in natural colours.
From Monday, February 8, 2010 to Wednesday, February 10, 2010 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Gstaad Palace, Gstaad Please contact for any further information: Marlis Leo • E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • Tel.: +49 17 18 02 46 88
P E A R L S O F R OYA L D E S C E N T
Helicopters and Doctors Translated and adapted from the article by THOMAS Raaflaub in AVS 1.12.09 Although the slopes were still green in late November 2009, the rescue patrols were preparing themselves for the upcoming ski season. Air Glaciers had invited all the patrols from the Pays d’Enhaut to the Saanenland for a training session at their base airfield in Saanen and many also from afar, accepted the invitation: Divided into three groups, they were trained in the medical field by the doctors of Air Glaciers. They all participated with great interest and enthusiasm and covered the topics of consciousness, hypothermia and CPR. Pilot and base manager Tom Kämpfer greeted the participants at the beginning of the afternoon with an overview of the upcoming season. All operations would
remain the same and the established structures were to be retained, said Kämpfer. He asked the patrols to contact Air Glaciers directly in case of an emergency on the number 033 744 55 50. Calling the emergency number 144 could under certain circumstances cause the loss of valuable time. Next Kämpfer pointed out the complaints feedback policy of Air Glaciers: “We are open to criticism. We can only improve ourselves if we receive feedback - even negative. If a patrol does not understand the actions of our doctors, don’t hesitate to call us so that we can explain them to you. You can also call us if you require medical advice at an accident scene. Our doctors would
gladly assist you,” says Kämpfer. The base Saanen started to operate again as from December 19, between half past eight and sunset. “Full-time emergency doctors only exist in Hollywood” Dominik Bellwald of Ferden in Lötschental is looking forward to his first season as an emergency doctor at Air Glaciers Saanenland and the cooperation with the patrols. The future physician who is currently training as an anesthesiologist in Bern and Sion, completed his training last year as an emergency medical doctor and now wants to further his education in this area and gain experience. “Here in the Saanenland we train a team of six to seven doctors. It is small and manageable
and I think that’s very positive. I will be in Saanen two to three days per month, and offer my services. Another advantage is that I only have to work during the day,” says Bellwald. When asked about the ideal profile requirements of an emergency physician, Bellwald said that it consists of a good mixture. “Full-time emergency physicians only exist in Hollywood. In reality, we are part-time emergency doctors”. “The service at Air Glaciers is for me, as an anesthesiologist, a break from everyday life and a meaningful addition to my training. Moreover, I love the mountains and have to implement and show my knowledge as emergency physician. I can achieve both with my work in the Saanenland.”
Friday 29 January 2010 Page 26
Incurable India BY MANDOLYNA THEODORACOPULOS
horn-blowing is relentless, unbearable even. The endless parade of men pissing on roadsides worthy of a good eye roll, and the decay. Oh, the decay. Hardly a building in site, save a few hotels, not crumbling or corroded.
I took in the view, a deep inhalation of crisp air, and the blissful silence. I knew it would be two long weeks before I found myself back in the tranquil bosom of Gstaad. Most people told me I wouldn’t be the same after my first trip to the Subcontinent. India changes you, they all said. Well, I’ve been now, and India was not quite the revelation I had been expecting. The culture has been over-exposed. The literature, the images, and the crafts are near and far, one need not travel further than a local hippie market to get a flavor of the place. Having already visited cities like Mexico, Beijing, Athens, and Phnom Penh, India was a version of the same theme: noise, pollution, poverty, and organized chaos. The history is unique, as are the people, but not so much so that I felt the need to jump on the “Incredible India” bandwagon. On the contrary, being there made me long for clean water, clear skies, tidy streets, and meat. After ten days, I was ready to go home. The beggars are bullies. The deafening sound of
I can imagine how lovers of India are reacting now. But I love India. India is so wonderful. How could you be so blind to the magic. Well, I love India too. India is wonderful, and I saw the magic. It just didn’t have a life-altering effect on me. I have always loved living in Europe or America. I will always prefer the pristine to the polluted, and I don’t believe you have to discover the lord Ganesha to remove the obstacles in your mind. The India of today is as it has seemingly always been, poor. Furthermore, it is rife with charlatans selling spirituality to wide-eyed tourists. This is the way of the world though, isn’t it. Take care of yourself, and your own, and to hell with the rest. Not a very Christian concept mind you, but perhaps the wisest choice when confronted with so much chicanery. Generally
speaking, Indians are storytellers, and swindlers. The very thought of performing an act of altruism left my body instantly upon arrival. My friend, and travel companion, on the other hand, was seduced by charitable giving, and the spiritual racket. Not surprisingly, she had a life-changing experience. Did I miss out on something? Am I jaded, and heartless for not being moved to action? I suppose the idea that one person cannot save a billion would lead someone to suggest simply helping one person makes a difference. But who does one choose? Given the choice, I choose myself. If that makes me grotesque, the karma is my own burden to bear. Though I doubt if a nickel in a cup is going to help anyone break the chains of samsara. As I travelled around the country, visiting sites, shopping for treasures, and getting to know the locals, I imagined myself living in India, and what I would do to make myself happy if I had to exist there. Only then was I as excited about India as I had been in anticipation of my trip. India is cheap, labor
plentiful, and those in need abundant. I imagined restoring a 19th century or Art Deco building in which I would then reside. I envisioned giving life to an old factory where I would employ craftsmen to create spectacular furnishings, and other adornments. Additionally, the operation would support environmental, and community needs for education, hygiene, growth, and sustainability. The possibilities seemed magnificent, though the likelihood of my fantasies becoming a reality are slim. My life’s work is not, sadly, in India. I am not Indian. My community is Western, and my point of view is too welldefined by these traditions. Nevertheless, I suppose India did change my perspective. The fear and anxiety that usually comes over me when I am around so many people went away. For all India’s flaws, and contradictions, Indians are warm, and unassuming, and not nearly as scary to me as Westerners. Ironically, I felt more trusting of Indians knowing they might be trying to cheat me, than of gringos dressed up as do-gooders. What I liked most about my trip was being surrounded by so many of them. Indians are elegant, and well-dressed. They have a superior sense of style, color, and perfume. Those who have spoken to me of their travels in India always remember the smells. I will too. The good ones, that is, there is so much excreta. How lucky we are here, in immaculate Switzerland.
10 anniversaire e
du 29 janvier au 6 fĂŠvrier 2010
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Haute Joaillerie ColleCtion
Haute Joaillerie Exhibition - Gstaad Palace February 18 - 23, 2010 BoutiquE CHoPard Gstaad: Promenade / alte Post - tel. +41 (0)33 744 90 44
GstaadLife, the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.