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T h e e x c l u s i v e m o nt h ly 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 17 February 2012 - Issue 2 - CHF 3.50 excl VAT


· Markus Bach: Founder of the Saanen Obersimmental Music School · Sommelier Claudio De Giorgi IN THIS ISSUE

· Friends of Menuhin Festival look to ­expand · Mountain rescue: speed & competence on the ground and in the air · Short story: Swiss Blue (part four)

· Gstaad family kitchen business wins global innovation award · Victory in Monaco for team Gstaad Yacht Club/Yacht Club Bielersee COLUMN

· The Inmates are running the ­asylum-seekers

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Letter from the Editor������������������������������������������������������� 3 Local Personality Sommelier Claudio De Giorgi������� 5 Local News Friends of Menuhin Festival look to expand circle of friends����������� 7 Mountain rescue: speed and ­competence on the ground and in the air���������������������������������� 9 Hospital concept fails after canton refuses to help fund yearly deficit ���������������� 9 Local Personality Markus Bach: Founder of the Saanen Obersimmental

Local News Short Story Events Local News


Music School�������������������������������� 13 Urgent warning ski accidents����� 13 Starting young����������������������������� 13 Swiss Blue (part four) �������������18,19 Events calendar����������������������������� 20 Gstaad family kitchen business wins global innovation award . . 21 Victory in Monaco for team Gstaad Yacht Club/Yacht Club Bielersee ��������������������������������������� 21 The inmates are running the asylum-seekers����������������������������� 22

Letter from the Editor Are we still charming? This question can certainly be asked of a globalisation weary population. Where interaction and transaction have the potential of being mixed up, where reams of decisions regarding businesses, buildings and public spaces are taken by financially sensitive committee’s - and a busy internet platform consumes more and more of our time, having us spend many hours of our days in a virtual environment. Charm is an effortless responsibility, you don’t have to smile, make eye contact, have a short conversation or even thank someone who serves you in a shop, café, restaurant or hotel but if you sincerely do, something nicer than a meaningless transaction takes place. Charm is entirely human and it’s this undertaking that results in something to which we all commonly connect with and enjoy. Charm requires of us to not wear our heart on our sleeve, not make our problems someone else’s, to display empathy, tact and bring


politeness and respect to our public places. It requires us to do all of this with a degree of integrity and honesty as charm is not something you can fake. Charm takes time to nurture and requires safeguard, because once lost, it’s near impossible to reinstate. We all have experienced somewhere that we have sworn to never return to and so many times the reason is a lack of charm, be it the place itself, the people or both. Likewise we have all met charmless people whose reputation becomes an awkward obstacle for future interactions with them. I guess charm is something that is bred. It’s what our parents and society instill within us, be it through example or tutorial. I do sometimes wonder whether the, ‘let’s give our children the best there is’ parent population of today, give enough thought as to how charming they are bringing up their precious little ones. Are they really equipping them with what it takes to lead a

societally comfortable life where charm is a two-way street? So the big question, in this article’s context must be, is Gstaad still a charming place populated with charming folk? History tells us that traditionally Gstaad carries the fine accolade of charm. This question is something each and every one of us who have something to do with the place, be it work, play or simply breathing in and out, should consider as we are surely all answerable to it. As we move towards the close of this successful GstaadLife winter season, I begin to think about what we shall be populating the forthcoming summer months with. I think it should be charm, bucket loads of it! Best wishes

Peter Sonnekus-Williams Editor in Chief

also on www.gstaadlife.com

Gstaad LIFE, Anzeiger von Saanen, Kirchstrasse, P.O. Box 201, 3780 Gstaad, Phone: 033 748 88 74, Fax: 033 748 88 84, E-Mail: info@gstaadlife.ch, Website: www.­ gstaadlife.ch ­Management Board: Frank Müller, Peter Sonnekus-Williams Publisher: Frank Müller frank.mueller@gstaadlife.ch; Editor in Chief: Peter Sonnekus-Williams ­peter.­sonnekus@gstaadlife.ch; Pro­ject Management and content coordination: Sanet Sonnekus-Williams Columnist: Mandolyna Theodoracopulos Translations: ­Diana ­Oeh­rli Editorial: Peter Sonnekus-Williams, Tina Dossot, Anita Moser, Huck Scarry, Christine Eisenbeis Polygraph Team: Jonas Bach, Desirée Bach Printing: Müller Marketing & Druck AG, Gstaad Advertising: Peter Kuntze-Schneider peter.kuntze@gstaadlife.ch, phone 033 744 46 64 Subscriptions: Fabienne Koitka tel. 033 748 88 74

UPFRONT Gstaadlife is available in these Hotels ***** Gstaad PALACE: +41 (0)33 748 50 00, info@palace.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL PARK: +41 (0)33 748 98 00, info@grandhotelpark.ch ***** GRAND HOTEL BELLEVUE: +41 (0)33 748 00 00, info@bellevue-gstaad.ch ***** WELLNESS & SPA HOTEL ERMITAGE: +41 (0)33 748 60 60, welcome@ermitage.ch **** Hotel Alpenrose: +41 (0)33 748 91 91, info@hotelalpenrose.ch **** Golfhotel Les hauts de gstaad: +41 (0)33 748 68 68, mail@golfhotel.ch **** Grand Chalet: +41 (0)33 748 76 76, hotel@grandchalet.ch **** HOTEL ARC-EN-CIEL: +41 (0)33 748 43 43, www.arc-en-ciel.ch **** Hotel BERNERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 88 44, info@bernerhof-gstaad.ch **** Hotel Christiania: +41 (0)33 744 51 21, info@christiania.ch **** Hotel GstaadERHOF: +41 (0)33 748 63 63, gstaaderhof@gstaad.ch **** CHALET HOTEL HORNBERG: +41 (0)33 748 66 88, willkommen@hotel-hornberg.ch **** HOTEL OLDEN: +41 (0)33 748 49 50, info@hotelolden.com **** Hotel Steigenberger: +41 (0)33 748 64 64, gstaad@steigenberger.ch *** Hotel Bellerive: +41 (0)33 748 88 33, bellerive-gstaad@bluewin.ch *** Hotel Alpenland: +41 (0)33 765 91 34, hotel@alpenland.ch *** Hotel Alphorn: +41 (0)33 748 45 45, office@gstaad-alphorn.ch *** Hotel Alpine lodge: +41 (0)33 748 41 51, info@alpinelodge.ch *** Hotel des Alpes by Bruno Kernen: +41 (0)33 748 04 50, info@desalpes-kernen.ch *** Hotel Kernen: +41 (0)33 748 40 20, info@hotel-kernen.ch *** Hotel Landhaus: +41 (0)33 748 40 40, landhaus-saanen@bluewin.ch *** Hotel Saanerhof: +41 (0)33 744 15 15, hotel@saanerhof.ch *** Hotel Solsana: +41 (0)33 748 94 94, info@solsana.ch *** Hotel Spitzhorn: +41 (0)33 748 41 41, hotel@spitzhorn.ch *** Posthotel Rössli: +41 (0)33 748 42 42, info@posthotelroessli.ch *** SPORTHOTEL VICTORIA: +41 (0)33 748 44 22, info@victoria-gstaad.ch *** Z'loft Hotel: +41 (0)33 744 69 69, info@zloft.ch Hotel Bären: +41 (0)33 755 10 33, hotel@baerengsteig.ch Hotel Geltenhorn: +41 (0)33 765 30 22, F: +41 (0)33 765 32 31 Hotel Sanetsch: +41 (0)33 755 10 10, F: +41 (0)33 755 18 11 Hotel Viktoria: +41 (0)33 755 10 34, hotel_viktoria@bluewin.ch Hotel Wildhorn: +41 (0)33 765 30 12, hotel@wildhorn.ch

Picture on the Front Cover by:


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Friday 17 February 2012 Page 5

LOCAL In-depth PERSONALITY article

Interview with Sommelier, Claudio De Giorgi By Peter Sonnekus-Williams Claudio De Giorgi is a wellknown personality in Gstaad. He is Sommelier at Caveau de Bacchus Gstaad, a position he has held since 2004; prior to that he spent 10 years as Head Sommelier at the Gstaad Palace. Wine is Claudio’s passion and it has been ever since he left his formal studies at Italian hotel school. PSW: What is your understanding about the wine palette of Gstaad. Is it clear what the residents and guests of Gstaad prefer? CDG: We of course cater for a broad range of customer choice however there are certainly preference trends that we recognise. Overall I would say in order of preference we see a lot of this: red Bordeaux, white Burgundy & Swiss white wines. Then Italian - Tuscany and Piedmont followed by Spanish reds and finally a small amount of new world wines.  PSW: Do you think that the Gstaad clientele are generally well learned about wine? CDG: To be honest, I must say yes. First of all the region attracts a high level of gastronomic conscious clientele. Together with this will come an appreciation and knowledge of good wine. From the quality of the

enquiry we usually can tell. A lot of people living or visiting Gstaad, I think, have good cellars themselves and they are often looking for a wine from a particular Chateau or a good vintage. One cannot generalize but overall it seems that our customers are well traveled, experience a good level of living and make a good selection of wine to accompany a good food occasion. PSW: With the massive range and availability of wine in the world today, how do you go about choosing what to stock. Is it a tricky process? CDG: Yes it is complex but we do have our way of handling this. First of all we visit specific wine expositions around Europe. The year starts off with VinItaly in Verona, then Bordeaux Primeurs, Salon de Vins   Loire and finally Vinisud in Montpellier. We get good insight from these expositions, meet producers and understand their vintages. Next we visit individual producers throughout the year, developing key relationships, understanding their personalities as well as gather first-hand experience of what makes them special. This we can share with our customers. Next we look at strategy; a business like ours requires a balance of what we buy

to keep and what we buy for regular sales for that period. This process of recognising what we call “vin de garde” is a delicate one which requires a balanced view as well as a good knowledge. Finally we must take a view on wine consumption trends of our customers and check if our selections are suitable. We ensure that we have a good balanced offer  in terms of our price range; we must have very good possibilities for entry, middle and premium prices. For instance we have wine with a very good ratio regarding quality to price. In February our “wine of the month” is a Cotes-du -Rhone for SFr 12 a bottle. Caveau de Bacchus is also known for its good selection of superb wines in large bottles, (grand flacon age). This area we pay attention to and keep a good balance of stock between our shops here in Gstaad as well as in Lausanne and Geneva. PSW: There is a lot of different styles to making wines nowadays as well as different parts of the world where wine is made. For you, what stands out regarding region or winemaking styles? CDG:  The proliferation of wine bars and the increase in repertoire of people drinking wine without a meal, is influencing wine making and this is a point to consider. This essentially has broadened the range of wine possibilities available to the public. The development of organic styled vineyards, lightly carbonated and light in alcohol, are all worth noting as influential trends.  Of course Swiss wines, often being lower in alcohol, are an attractive find for tourists who often don’t find Swiss wines abroad.  For example Chasselas from Yvorne, Dezaley,

Chardonne & Villette are very popular and as some of us know, there is no better wine for a fondue! PSW: You must have met some very interesting characters, What are some of your most memorable experiences at Caveau de Bacchus Gstaad? CDG: Our shop is particularly special as we share a chalet with Chopard. Each year we collectively invite special winemakers, customers and friends to our unique environment to experience some of the world’s finest jewellery and finest wines. During these occasions I have been privileged to meet with some of the worlds most esteemed wine estate owners and for me in my profession, these are some of my most memorable experiences. Adding to this is of course the large population of customers, each with their unique ways and stories, this is always a pleasure for me. One occasion I recall well is that of a regular customer from Bern who loves champagne. On arrival the customer chose a number of bottles of what I refer to as the best champagnes in the world. A Dom Perignon, a Crystal Roederer, a Krug Cuvee Brut and a Clos du Mesnil ‘96. The customer then asked us to prepare the champagnes to taste.  We made the preparation in Riedel glasses which the customer now keeps as a private set in our shop. Quite memorable.      PSW: How would you define your reward in your work here in Gstaad? CDG: When a customer  returns to Caveau de Bacchus, saying: “The wine that you advised me was very good,  thank you,”  this is my reward. 


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Music needs friends Registration as Festival Friend or Donor (see article in today's issue)

I would like to support the Menuhin Festival 2012 as a Festival Friend. Yearly contribution amount: SFr 2,200

To benefit from the free tickets, please indicate four of your preferred dates: 18.8.2012 25.8.2012 1.9.2012* 24.8.2012 31.8.2012 8.9.2012

* General meeting and dinner of Festival Friends

I wish to remain anonymous I support the Menuhin Festival Gstaad as a donor with SFr____________ Please contact me: Name: Address:

Please return the completed coupon to: Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Beatrice Frautschi, PO Box 65, 3780 Gstaad Phone 033 748 83 38 or info@menuhinfestivalgstaad.com

We thank you for your support.

Zip / City:


Vernissage & cocktail inaugural en présence des créateurs le samedi 18 février de 16:00 à 20:00

Exposition au chalet Farb du dimanche 19 février au dimancheExposition 4 mars 2012 au chalet Farb du dimanche 19 février au dimanche 4 mars 2012 de 16:00de 16:00 à 19:00 à 19:00 Vernissage & cocktail inaugural en présence des créateurs le samedi 18 février de 16:00 à 20:00

Menus Plaisirs


Chalet Farb


et sur rendez-vous Caroline Freymond +41 (0)79 456 9181 et sur Philippe Cramer +41 rendez-vous (0)79 429 5950 Florent Bouteiller +41 (0)78 909 9181 8187 Caroline Freymond 079 456

e-mail: info@menusplaisirs.ch Philippe Cramer 079 429 5950 Florent Bouteiller 078 909 8187 info@menusplaisirs.ch FARBSTRASSE 20 e-mail: I 3792 SAANEN


Antiqua Menus Plaisirs




Friday 17 February 2012 Page 7


Friends of Menuhin Festival look to expand circle of friends “Friends of the Menuhin Festival Gstaad” is an association that supports the music festival each year with approximately SFr 470,000 in donations and sponsorships. In the summer of 2011, Franz Rosskogler took over the presidency of this organization. Our sister publication, the Anzeiger von Saanen, discussed with him the importance of the festival’s “Friends” and their goals for the future. Since when have you been a patron of the Menuhin Festival? The association of patrons and friends has existed for 23 years, and in 2009 the name “Patron” was renamed “Festival Friends.” With the Hotel Le Grand Chalet, I have been a member of “Friends” for the past 20 years. How many members are there of “Festival Friends” today? In 2011, there were 191 “Festival Friends”, including holders of a “Welcome Gold Card” as well as numerous additional donors. What is the role that should be the purpose of this association and why should one become a member? First and foremost, it is to support the festival financially. Through a membership, we hope to better connect music lovers with the festival. Of course, members receive very good benefits in return. Most important is the overall sense that we need to support this great cultural event in a rather small place like Gstaad. What does the association “Friends of the Festival” want to achieve?

The promotion of culture, youth development with children’s concerts in the sense of Yehudi Menuhin, and, of course, the financial support of the Festival. What is supported with this money? Does the money go into the program? Through their contributions, the Friends finance the Amateur Orchestra Week and the children’s concert. The rest of the money fully flows into the festival. What significance, in your opinion, does the Menuhin Festival have in Saanenland? As the second largest classical music festival in Switzerland, it has a great economic importance for tourism and local trade. It brings culture with top artists to Saanenland. Even yearround residents can attend these concerts without having to make long trips. What are the different options you have to support the Menuhin Festival Friends? What are the categories? Either as a festival “friend” with a fixed membership fee, or as a donor with any donation amount that you choose. Of course, any amount is welcome. What benefits do festival Friends receive in return? Festival Friends receive two concert tickets valid for concerts in the tent four times. Depending on the yearly program, there is a choice from between six and seven concerts. In addition, Friends receive: an invitation for two to a “Friends Dinner” at the Gstaad Palace after a concert; a ticket for a parking space near the

tent; as well as a coupon for a glass of champagne. In January this year, all members were invited to a dinner at the Spa-Hotel Ermirage Schönried, a partner hotel of the Menuhin Festival. Donors are mentioned on the program according to their wish. Can one, as music lover, support the Festival as a private sponsor with a large amount? Those interested are very welcome to do so and are welcome to contact member of the board of the Menuhin Festival Hansueli Tschanz (Phone 033 744 74 54). You are looking for more people to support the festival financially. Why do you want more “Friends” and which goal have you set for yourself? Our goal is to keep the “Friends” we have and to find new ones. New “Friends” mean more support for the festival. Whom should we contact if we would like to support the festival? What is the process? You will find all the needed information in the advertisement in this issue of the “Anzeiger von Saanen.” Can you say a word about your management team? The current board consists entirely of local members, and in summer we will be able to count on an additional visitor members. There are club structures with president, treasurer, etc., and their associated tasks. Does the money collected benefit 100 percent the festival, or does a portion flow into the administration? The board works free of charge, so

the total amount flows into the festival. What is your opinion about the project, Les Arts Gstaad? The cultural advantage with the additional opportunities should be undisputed. Worldwide tourism recognizes three cornerstones that have as their goal the very greatest importance and are therefore particularly attractive: – Natural wonders like the Matterhorn or the Niagara Falls and many more – Natural resources for health purposes such as hot springs, special climate, etc. – Man-made structures like the pyramids or even an Empire State Building. Famous and much visited monuments are the Sydney Opera House, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao or the new Opera House in Oslo. People cannot simply produce natural wonders, and hot springs do not exist in our region. A spectacular cultural center such as the planned Les Arts Gstaad would certainly bring additional cultural and architectural tourism to Gstaad. For our region, this would be desirable, especially during the too long shoulder seasons. To conclude, please give us three short, concise reasons why one should become a “friend” or donor of the Menuhin Festival. Music needs friends, friends are culture, and culture is an important part of our society today! Thank you for this interview and good luck for the future. Gstaad Festival Office: Tel 033 748 83 38 Translated and adapted by Diana Oehrli


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Mountain rescue: speed and competence on the ground and in the air who are employed by the cable cars - arrive at the accident scene first to provide first aid help and to assess whether a helicopter landing is feasible. Thanks to contact between patrollers and air rescue teams, a helicopter can arrive with the appropriate preparation, bringing the applicable medical equipment and know-how in order to save lives. “Due to the many material flight transports we make in the summer,” said Thomas Kämpfer, pilot and base leader of the 10-member team in Saanen, “we get to know most of the patrollers, because they work in farming or on construction sites. They know where we are stationed and reachable in winter and we profit from their local knowledge. Such a social network is priceless for a fast response in an emergency.”

Air-Glaciers SA is headquartered in Sion. The two base stations in German-speaking Switzerland are in Saanen and Lauterbrunnen. The base station of Air-Glaciers SA Saanen is located at the airport. Three helicopters are available: one for helicopter transport, one for taxi flights, and one specially equipped for rescue missions. Two licensed helicopter mechanics are available full-time on-site. Daily from December 17 until Easter, an emergency team is on-call consisting of: an emergency physician and a paramedic and pilot. Per season, Air-Glaciers GstaadSaanenland flies 150 rescue missions. Since 1965, Air-Glaciers has responded more than 40,000 times to mountain and road emergencies. During the summer, Air-Glaciers

makes material transport, sightseeing and taxi flights. Approximately 80 dead or injured cows, for example, are flown each year. One can become a supporting member as with the other Swiss helicopter companies. A helicopter rescue is not contingent on whether one is a member. The Air-Glacier base in Saanen can be booked year-round for flights - especially for emergencies - at 033 744 55 50. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY TINA DOSSOT AVS 29.11.2011 Foto: Tina Dosot

Thanks to teamwork between area patrollers and helicopter rescue teams, the injured in the mountains can be tended to in a timely matter. In order to maintain this level of cooperation, area patrollers attended a continuing education course organized by Air-Glaciers AG this past November. The course took place at the Saanen airport and allowed participants to freshen up their knowledge as well as learn about important innovations in search and rescue techniques. Providing in-flight medical care has become the accepted and fastest practice. Depending on the location of an accident, response will come from either: Air Zermatt, Air-Glaciers or Rega. Response time is within minutes. Even before the arrival of a helicopter, however, patrollers -

Hospital concept fails after canton refuses to help fund yearly deficit Cantonal government has rejected to commit funds to help cover part of a SFr 5.5m annual deficit as proposed in a plan presented by Spital STS AG, the company that runs Saanen Hospital. The plan - titled the “Hospital Simmental-Saanenland Concept” - was developed in 2011 and was to turn both Saanen and Zweisimmen hospitals into health centers, each with their own focuses. Saanen Hospital would have dealt with ambulatory and outpatient services, and Zweisimmen with inpatient acute care. The SFr 5.5m annual deficit was too expensive for Spital STS to shoulder alone, causing it to request that the canton and the municipalities share in the burden. All the municipalities of the Sim-

mental-Saanenland region - with the exception of Niedersimmental - committed to fund a share of the deficit, as long as the canton would do the same. The canton announced in mid-January 2012, that it was unwilling to participate, stating that for political regional reasons, it could not commit to taking on any additional financial commitments. “From an overall perspective, it would be problematic to support a single lone region,” read a press release by the cantonal health department. Local politicians and hospital leaders have voiced their disappointment over the canton’s decision and lack of suggestions. “We had hoped for a different answer,” said Peter Dolder, chairman of

the board of Spital STS AG. He is also disappointed that the canton did not take into account the securing of adequate health care in the region when making its decision. “It takes an hour to get to the next closest hospital in favorable road conditions,” Dolder said. Now, there exists an urgent need for action, Dolder believes. The uncertainty is large, especially for staff. Although the “Hospital SimmentalSaanenland Concept” has failed, the hospital board is confident that a viable solution will be found. Sadly, “a solution with two locations is not financially viable,” Dolder said. The hospital board will work out solutions and present them to the affected municipalities

by early April. “We need to win over the authorities with a common solution,” Dolder said. “It is important that we are all pulling in the same direction.” Municipal President Aldo Kropf estimated that the population in the Saanenland-Obersimmental region grows to approximately 40,000 people during peak season. He believes that to only ensure the health care needs of the year-round population is shortsighted. “It cannot be that the nearest hospital with acute care is in Thun,” Kropf said. “If the supply of care is further reduced, ambulance services need to function even better.” TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY ANITA MOSER AVS 24.01.2012


VON U N G E R G a l l E R y

KlEINES laNDHaUS, SaaNEN, +41 (0)33 744 44 11, maIl@URSVONUNGER.cOm

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Friday 17 February 2012 Page 11

Magie en Bois



innen / architektur

As a general contractor for private real estate, Zingre Chaletbau AG stands for high quality construction for over 60 years. Since the beginning of this year, ­Annabel Zingre, a certified interior architect and industrial designer, leads the family business as the magie en bois

zingre chaletbau ag solsanastrasse 10 3792 saanen tel. +41 (0) 33 744 47 91 www.zingre-chaletbau.ch

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16.01.12 16:49

third generation. She calls their work “Magie en bois”. “The cornerstone of our company is the strive for beauty. With the know-how and passion of our team, we offer future-orientated realisations of an ancient trade in the fields of carpentry, joinery, wood design, architecture and interior architecture.” We offer our customers – if they wish – a turn-key solution. We place great value on the personal dialogue with our customers and offer a reliable service and after-service.

For Annabel Zingre it is important to look to the future and incorporate new impulses for environmental friendly and sustainable business strategies. She is proud that Zingre Chaletbau AG is a Minergie partner and built two of the first certified Minergie houses in the ­region. As the young entrepreneur puts it:

We do not just deliver workmanship, but pure life spirit. Zingre Chaletbau AG. 3792 Saanen Solsanastrasse 10, Tel. 033 744 49 74

Gasthaus Rössli Feutersoey is open Gasthaus Rössli in Feutersoey reopened its doors at the beginning of the winter season. To the delight of many chalet owners and locals, Catherine Reichenbach is open again during the summer season, offering the same high standards as usual. At the beginning of last year Catherine and Hubert Reichenbach sought a buyer for the Gasthaus Rössli. Kurt Glur, Matti Immobilien AG and Bach Immobilien AG bought the property as Plot EC 277, which made it easier for couple Reichenbach-Rochat to adopt a futures view. Sadly Hubert Reichenbach died in July 2011, who for years held the future of the ”Rössli” in his hands. Many locals and guests at the time thought that the Gasthaus was closed. Catherine Reichenbach still regu-

larly hears that many regulars believe the restaurant is closed. ”Catherine Reichenbach remains the manager of the Rössli. In addition to the long-term staff at the Gasthaus, the team has been looking for additional staff for the kitchen. This popular restau-

rant’s choice is still the same,” says Marcel Bach. ‘Before the winter season, the restaurant was refurbished. A new wooden floor was laid in the dining area, the rooms got a fresh coat of paint and new curtains were hung. Sheepskins, for comfort and warmth, cover the chairs on the terrace, so that

guests can enjoy the winter sunshine. The kitchen facilities will be further modernized in the future. The continuation of the business is important for us. The Rössli is open until the end of the winter season and then again between mid-July and mid-September, then again for winter’ says Bach.


Friday 17 February 2012 Page 12

Gastronomic evenings at the restaurant Marco Polo

Oth Sombath, Restaurant Oth Sombath (Paris)

Patrice Caillault, Restaurant du Domaine de Roche­ vilaine (Billiers, Bretagne)

André Jaeger, Restaurant Rheinhotel Fischerzunft (Schaffhausen)

Reservations: +41 (0)33 748 98 00

With his own restaurant in Paris, and having worked many years in the most eminent hotels and restaurants in Europe, Oth Sombath proposes modern, reinvented creations inspired by the kingdom of Siam. Visit Thailand during a magical evening, without having to leave Gstaad.

On the shores of the gulf of Morbihan, Patrice Gaillault is recognized as a Chef who values the local cornucopia of produce at its best. At the Grand Hotel Park he offers a menu entirely dedicated to its local celebrity and “prince of the seas,” the Brittany lobster.

Celebrated by critics as one of the most acclaimed Chefs of Switzerland, André Jaeger presents a cuisine marrying European recipes and Asian perfumes. Enjoy a feast of flavors and cultures on a Yin & Yang journey.

Finally, the kitchens of the Grand Restaurant will be taken over by the new Chefs of the hotel Le Richmond, Geneva, from 24th to 26th February. Trained by Alain Ducasse, they will certainly delight house guests and passing clients alike.

Dinner on 17th February.

Dinner on 19th and 20th February.

Dinner on 21st and 22nd February.

Dinner from 24th to 26th February. Unique events: De Grisogono exhibition (until February 20th) Ted Scapa’s exhibition (until March 18th) Feb 16th 2012 A.C. Bang Fashion Show Feb 17th 2012 Chef Oth Sombath at the restaurant Marco Polo Feb 18th 2012 High Fly Gstaad Feb 19th to 20th Chef Patrice Caillault at the restaurant Marco Polo Feb 21st to 22nd Chef André Jaeger at the restaurant Marco Polo Feb 24th to 26th Hotel Le Richemond, Geneva, at the Grand Restaurant March 18th End of season

Friday 17 February 2012 Page 13


Markus Bach: founder of the Saanen ­Obersimmental Music School BY Peter Sonnekus-Williams Markus S. Bach was born in Saanen and received his first musical training from his father. He recalls that this was a time when there was no organized music school in Saanen, just one or two locals who could play an instrument would help out when they could. Today Markus can be proud of how those early days influenced him to be the founder of what is the Saanen Obersimmental Music School, which now has 40 registered tutors and more than 500 pupils studying a broad variety of musical disciplines. After a commercial education, Markus first studied music at the Conservatory of Berne, then with Professor Jules Philippe Godard in Lausanne and finally he went on to further his studies in London. Following this was a long career in

Swiss Army Bands where one of his prestigious positions was President of the Swiss Army Bandmaster Association, which deals with the content and organization of Swiss Army Bands. For 22 years Markus led the Brass Band Berner Oberland, which he also founded and was several times Swiss champion and five times winner of the Swiss Entertainment contest.

Today Markus is a regular jury member of music competitions throughout Europe and is a conductor of various orchestras and wind ensembles. He and his wife Margrith have two sons and two grandchildren. Music continues in the family with both sons following significant professional musical conductor careers.

Markus has an impressive list of International accolades made up of recognitions and awards from various cultural and musical associations, who have lauded his dedication and commitment to the Musical arts. He has been officially recognized as the architect of the European Brass Band Championships and elected honorary president of its association.

Asking Markus what he wishes to share with the readers of GstaadLife, he tells me that we should encourage exposure to our readers of the long established and cherished local musical concerts, such as the “Saaner Altjahrskonzerte” (Saaner Old year concerts) and the Saaner Easter concerts. As the President of the Cultural commission of Saanen, he further encourages our

readers to visit the Saaner Proms and what is known in Swiss German as a Saaner Abesitz (evening to talk). This precious and insightful activity attracts large groups of locals who listen to stories of the region, its history and its people. Such activity perpetuates culture and firms the roots of a place with its people and is well worth getting to know.

Starting young! 5 year old Jacky de Jong of Grund is taking her snowboarding quite seriously. She is trained by members of the team at Pure in Gstaad and is

beginning to travel to tournaments in and around Switzerland as well as over the borders. This picture was taken early February 2012 in Ober-

stdorf Germany of Jacky and former Olympic champion Nicola Thost, the first ever Olympic woman’s gold medal winner in Snowboard

Urgent warning! Two accidents that occurred on Eggli recently involving skiers and Piste grooming machine equipment led The Director of Bergbahnen

Destination Gstaad AG, Mr Armon Cantieni, to issue an urgent warning to the public. He says in his press release, “After 17h00 the ski slopes are extremely dangerous and it is forbidden to ski after this time - the risk is enormous and should never be underestimated.’ The potential danger lies less in the skiers own ability, but with the barely perceptible danger that emanates from the tension cable the

piste machines use in their nightly operations on the slopes. This cable is used to anchor the large machines to anchor points on the slopes which are in varied positions depending on the conditions. The cable can reach up to 1 Km allowing the Piste grooming machines to work a large radius and steep terrain. It can sink below the snow unseen then suddenly pull taught, when the machine moves and create a deadly obstacle. “Depending

on the force, it can split a man with a clean cut in half,” says Armon Cantieni dramatic words. Thankfully the two skiers involved in the accidents escaped relatively unscathed, one was ripped clean out of their ski bindings though. A narrow escape. There are some occasions to ski in the evening, this must be checked with Gstaad Saanenland Tourism.


Friday 17 February 2012 Page 14

Real Estate – A stronger autumn than the franc for Burrus & Partners in Gstaad In light of the Swiss franc’s significant strength, Denis Burrus, real estate agent in Gstaad, was expecting a quiet autumn for his agency Burrus & Partners. It ended up going the way! Denis, your autumn was not as quiet­ as you had imagined it would be? Usually, autumn is quiet unless there have been contacts during the summer months. Potential buyers, generally enjoying their winter ski vacation to location scout, arrive early in the subsequent months. This fall, however, I was very busy, and the volume of business was surprising given that the franc soared! How do you explain the current situation; the Swiss franc is very expensive? With concerns in the euro zone, banks now inspire less long-term confidence. The obvious solid shelter is the stone in Gstaad as well as the wood, of course! But geopolitical or economic factors aside, the resort of Gstaad’s

natural charm, its tranquility and safety preserve its appeal. Some customers are also attracted by the “AAA” education for their children offered in one of the international schools, which has its winter quarters here in the region. Where do your buyers originate? Many are British, American, Belgian or French; the approaching French elections always bring potential buyers. A major customer, as seen from one of the BRIC countries, recently visited some chalets. Others come to us from other Swiss resorts, tired of having to share the slopes with younger less cautious skiers. It was five years ago that you came to Gstaad following 18 years in charge of mountain real estate for de Rham Sotheby’s International Realty. What has changed for you? I knew how important it would be to be based in Gstaad and to frequently meet with the regulars. I have many acquaintances here, and I take part in many events. In-

creased encounters and a deepening of contacts have allowed our agency to chug right along. Can you tell us about a remarkable home ownership that has changed recently? For the “exceptional,” or remarkable assets as you say, discretion is a must! We have earned a reputation for our range of residential high-end offerings: one of our strengths is our ability to personally follow our clients—sellers and buyers—throughout our relationship. Outside of this personal relationship, no one needs to be aware of a major transaction in progress. A website, www.burrusandpartners. com, however, shows some prop­ erty? Our site presents, apart from our agency, those properties that are available at reasonable market prices. The exceptional properties are not included. Their owners do not want this exposure. Again: discretion! Will you still have time this winter for some getaway ski time on

Gstaad’s pleasant slopes? From mid-December to mid-March, I have little time, even on Sundays. Fortunately, some of my appointments during the season are on the slopes, at the invitation of clients. But even on skis, I remain contactable at all times, thanks to modern telecommunications. This allows me a little relaxation in the mountains and is also valuable when I receive the odd middle of the night call from a customer who is forgetful of the time difference due to jetlag! BURRUS & PARTNERS LUXURY REAL ESTATE SA Bodestrasse 19, GSTAAD 3780 +41 33 744 37 37 www.burrusandpartners.com


Friday 17 February 2012 Page 15

Interior design and decoration – Rougemont Quality, experience, inspiration and competence are words that come to mind when describing the mother and daughter Interior Design duo. Their office is located in the picturesque village of Rougemont. Tamara’s Design specializes

in luxury and contemporary chalets in Gstaad Valley, Verbier and Crans. They also decorate luxury villas and residential ­interiors along Geneva lake. Federica Sessa, whose father was a well-known Italian architect, is a qualified Interior designer. Her daughter Tamara Sessa is a

qualified Interior architect. They opened their first showroom in 1993 and have since been applying their skills to a long list of demanding clients. Tamara and Federica collaborate with local architects, providing an illustrated proposal of the project. Together they create ­elegant and timeless interiors that are each an expression of the clients individual style. Once an agreement is reached, planning is implemented by adhering to a ­rigorous time schedule and systematic follow-up to ensure clients satisfaction.


Frederica Sessa, Interior Designer

2 Rue des Allamans CH-1659 Rougemont Tel.+41 (26) 925 94 00 info@tamarasdesign.com www.tamarasdesign.com

Hom Le

Tamara Sessa, Interior Architect



A L L BRONZ E FUR NITUR E – SCULPTUR ES Exhibition at the Salle Baccarat, Gstaad Palace from Monday 20th to Friday February 24th, 2012, from 11 am to 10 pm

All bronze, such is the challenge taken up by Hom Le Xuan for his new collection of unique furniture, which begins an annual event. As an interior designer and landscape gardener, Hom Le Xuan has built his concept of interior decoration throughout the years, successfully blending tradition of luxury and modernity, as his multiple projects bear witness to, both in France and abroad

GL_Inserat_LeXuan_print 1

WWW.HOMLEXUAN.COM 0033 (0) 608 23 68 70

10.02.12 09:43

In-depth ADVERTORIAL article

Friday 17 February 2012 Page 16

Staub AG – the interior design and kitchen professional in your area Roger and Patrick Staub as lamps or decorations, the customer will find a wide selection of fabrics for all kinds of covers as well as all forms of curtains: traditional curtains, blinds, Roman blinds, pleats, drapes for the rod or rail system.

Whether contemporary-modern or rustic: customers with either luxury tastes or price consciousness will find a wide variety of quality high-end products at Staub AG. Names are not always descriptive (Staub means “dust” in German). Thus, the 100-year-old traditional house of Staub AG is neither dusty nor does it stand for over-the-top prices, as can be proven by taking a tour through the interior design store in Chalet Madora. However, “a slight restraint from locals is still felt,” observes manager Roger Staub. The range of offerings in the furnishings area covers a wide spectrum and extends from the contemporarymodern to the rustic. “Clear forms and simple designs are the trends,” Staub says. Individuality is an important hallmark: the company offers the opportunity to have furniture custom made according to customer requirements in its own joinery. However, Staub Interiors works with reputable suppliers and manufacturers and offers a wide range of furniture programs, in favorable as well as in the exclusive area. Curtains and fabrics In addition to rugs, accessories such

Test a mattress in bed studio During the winter 2009/2010, the bed studio opened in the same building. “Now, the entire range has better visibility and customers can sample the beds by lying on them,” Staub says, listing one of the benefits. “We have a large selection of beds, mattresses and accessories such as pillows, duvets, and bed linens.” Ultra-modern production The focus of the company’s joinery in Feutersoey is in kitchen and interior design. Known as a leading expert in kitchen design, Susanne StaubRomang remains responsible for this area. A trained interior draftswoman, she too is a member of the management team. In the ultra modern workshop, the computer and CNC wood router center have long since replaced the planer. “Thanks to the latest technology, we produce quickly and efficiently,” emphasizes business manager Patrick Staub. In the joinery, he employs 12 staff, including two cabinetmaker apprentices. Consulting is the beginning and the end The two managers and Susanne Staub-Romang attach great importance to consulting on an individual basis. “Our service begins long before you buy, regardless of whether it’s about curtains, kitchen or a mattress. Competent advice on products and the basic design are the alpha and omega.”

Staub AG Timeline 1904 Johann Staub opens workshop in Rougemont 1905 Move to Saanen 1930 Construction of a new workshop 1940 Hans Staub takes over the business 1960 Interior design is added 1969 Max Staub takes over business Generational changeover The generational changeover began six years ago. In 2005, Roger and Patrick Staub entered the family business. In 2010, they were made partners, and their parents handed

1971 Opening of retail store in Gstaad 1976 Move of interior business to current location 1989 Move into new workshop in Feutersoey 2004 100 years of Staub AG 2010 Opening of bed studio, Roger and Patrick Staub become shareholders and take over management them the management of the business. Roger Staub is responsible for the interiors area; his younger brother Patrick is manager of the joinery and kitchen planning. www.staubgstaad.ch


Friday 17 February 2012 Page 17

Antonella Boutique Antonella has 15 years experience working with cashmere garments, and has a beautiful cashmere collection in her boutique on the Promenade. Garments are made from the finest 100% cashmere from Italy, where Antonella designs and manufactures the collections herself. Antonella’s collection of 100% cashmere, cashmere piuma and cashmere & silk garments have a phenomenally soft, tactile feeling that gratifies you, as soft as a caress, giving the warm feeling you will love throughout the seasons. Each garment is made to bring you the unique and luxurious feel, which only comes from the highest quality Italian cashmere – arguably the best in the world. The beautiful cashmere dresses embroidered with Swarovs-

ki crystals are stylish and unique. Whatever your lifestyle, you will find Antonella cashmere to be simply chic and comfortable. The “primadonna” of Antonella’s boutique, must be the beautiful and fashionable collection of Sable fur coats from designer Giuliana Teso, which envelopes you with soft, silky and luxuriously light fur. An absolute fashion and glamour garment, while giving warmth, richness and maximum comfort. Discover the exclusive Casadei womens shoe collection at Antonella’s. Dream footwear of sophisticated workmanship for the self-confident and alternative woman. One hundred percent made in Italy from exclusive and hand-finished materials and imprinted with skilled work-

manship. A special line embedded with Swarovski crystals could be ordered for the perfect evening out. A timeless and fashionable favorite in the snow is the Hunter boot collection available at Antonella’s, which comes in all colors. Customers can indulge in a beautiful collection of Italian lingerie for that special occasion or simply spoil

yourself. Antonella offers an elegant collection of accessories to match the glamour of her garments. She also focuses on customers’ needs and preferences to accomplish elegant, timeless collections, with emphasize on color. Antonella – Promenade 9 3780 Gstaad – Tel. 033 744 34 07

Rebuilding of Schuhhaus Romang: Schuhhaus Romang has been a access the shop without having to aim. “In today’s business world, family business since 1913. In use the steps that front the store loyalty is a very powerful concept, order to serve their valued cus- at present; the shop will be aligned therefore staff working at Schuhtomers better, they are rebuild- with the Promenade level. Storage haus Romang will be there to weling their shop on the Promenade space underground will be more come back customers and fulfill in Gstaad this year, which will open-planned and effective for their usual role,” says owner ChrisGeehrte Kundinnen und Kunden result in a refreshed retail expe- staff. The interior will be updated toph Romang. Um Sie zukünftig noch besser bedienen und modern, unser Angebot grosszügiger zu können, rience. to a stylish, contemporary Buildingpräsentieren will commence on 19 überlassen ab Mitte unser bisheriges Geschäftshaus den2012 Bauleuten und freuen Although thewir shop will beMärz fifty 2012 Gstaad finish – and should cater to March and Schuhhaus Rosquare and stillÜbergangszeit con- the tastes their diverse(s. clientele be ready for their2012 100uns aufmeters eine bigger spannende imofBrunnehus Plan 2 mang ). Ab will Anfang Dezember sists of one as neuen it does Schuhhaus now, whichRomang is made up locals and visiyear celebration 2013. Mean1 herzlichinwillkommen. heissen wirlevel, Sie im amofbisherigen Standort customers will in future be able to tors alike. Finding a balance is their while, you will find us in our interim







a eL Alt

Sutterstrasse Pro m en a 1

Our opening hours and contact details remain the same for this period: Monday – Friday: 08h30-12h30 13h30-18h30 Saturday: 08h30-17h00




s ras est

Parking Ober-Gstaad

shop in the building “Brunnehus” (see map 2  ). At the beginning of December 2012, we will be happy to welcome you back to our new shop 1 “Schuhhaus Romang” on the Promenade Gstaad.

de Parking Ober-Gstaad


Address as from 19.03.2012 until 08.12.2012: Postfach 372, Brunnehus, Promenade 17, 3780 Gstaad, Tel. 033 744 15 23, Fax 033 744 99 83, schuhhaus-romang@bluewin.ch

s nen ue La


Friday 17 February 2012 Page 18

Swiss Blue (part 4) by Huck Scarry

Swiss Blue is a short story appearing in four parts in the winter issues of GstaadLife. This is the fourth, the last part. In the previous parts, we accompanied Jack Douglas, a young American who has recently moved to Switzerland. Jack drove up to Gstaad on a sunny Friday afternoon for a weekend of skiing. He had a couple of wonderful runs all to himself at Pra Cluen. But the afternoon was too short: by a mix of chance and enthusiastic impulse, Jack placed himself on the chairlift for one final, glorious run. But his chair didn’t reach the top. We rejoin the story accompanying Toni in the cab of his snowcat. Toni is preparing the pistes. It is evening. It is windy. It is snowing hard. It is cold. Toni reduced the throttle and the roar of the engine subsided a bit. He pulled his walkman out of his parka pocket, flicked a small switch with his thumbnail to “FM”, and rolled the wheel under his finger looking for DRS and the news. He squeezed the earphones tighter to his ears, under his wool hat. The powerful lights of the snowcat shone into the blizzard raging outside, but not far. The snowfall had become a racing wall of white, and it was getting difficult for Toni to judge just exactly where he was driving. Although the wipers beat as fast as they could, snow was being shoveled onto the windshield between each sweep of the blade. He learned of a couple of accidents on the Autobahn, due to the snow, and the weatherman told him nothing more than what he could see himself outside. He flicked the walkman back to “Tape”, pressed the “Play” button, and ABBA poured from his earphones again. He opened the throttle and the snowcats’ wide treads began moving forward on each side of his cab. Toni was now above the treeline. He swiveled the searchlight from side to side, looking for the next runmarker. Luckily, this last section of the run ran parallel to the chairlift. If he could train the searchlight on the base of the pylons, he’d be all right. Suddenly, something thin: a stick, appeared as if from nowhere just in

front of the snowcat. “Mamma Mia! Here we go again!” Toni sang along to the music in his ears. He looked briefly at the skipole standing obliquely ahead of him, and thought of the boxfuls of single gloves, skihats, and poles retrieved from beneath the lifts each season. This one would have to wait for next summer, he thought, driving over it. When his searchlight found the last pylon, Toni slowed the left tread, and made a wide half-circle turn, aligning the snowcat with the trail of packed snow he had made coming up. With the trail to follow, the descent would be easy, and, Toni hoped, quick. The snow no longer beat against the windshield, but instead, now hammered against the left-hand window. From inside, it looked as if it had been painted solid-white. Wind whistled through gaps in the rubber window moulding. Toni easily saw the skipole again in the headlights’ glare. He drove on past it, smiling as he sang along with ABBA, “How can I resist you!” Perhaps, had he been less distracted, and in less of a hurry to be down off the mountain, he might have wondered how the skipole his snowcat had just crushed and packed into the trail, now lay unscathed, poised atop the freshly packed snow. So painful, so stiff were Jack’s arms, so dead his hands, that

the first ski he tried to throw just tumbled out of his feeble grip and clattered down beneath the chair. His second ski landed close to the snowcat, but outside the beam of the headlights. Jack screamed and howled with all the strength he could muster. He threw a pole. This landed in front of the machine, but was promptly run over. His second pole, his last chance, he saved for the snowcat’s descent. Clearly visible in the headlights’ glare, atop the freshly-packed snow, it had to have been seen. Why hadn’t the driver stopped? Jack kicked with his skiboots in fury. The snowcat’s roar lessened as it passed over a knoll and descended into the forest. The yellow light flashing from its roof grew weaker as it disappeared into the curtain of snow, and then feebly, finally extinguished. In the evening, Mr. Winter would give any hotel guest planning to return after midnight, a key to the front door. Closing the office, he pondered whether to call Mr. Douglas or not. Then he decided just to leave the front door unlocked. The next morning, Saturday, he woke up early as usual. It was still black outside, but from the drifts on the windowsills, he immediately saw the amount of snow that had fallen that night. Snowflakes still swirled furiously in front of the window like tiny, white ballerinas. He read -13˚ on his thermometer.

When he had washed, shaved and dressed, he stepped out from his apartment and into the front hall. He could hear a snowshovel scraping the pavement outside. He opened the front door and saw Thomas clearing a narrow path through thigh-deep snow. A snowblower rattled mutely somewhere down the street. “Guten Morgen, Thomas!” “Good Morning, Papa” Thomas replied, “Your barometer never lies!” Mr. Winter smiled. “I’ll make some coffee” and he stepped back inside. But before going to the kitchen, he climbed up the stairs to the reception. All the keys were gone from the board except for one. He sighed and then went down to the kitchen. While preparing coffee, he listened to the news. There had been some accidents, some road closures, and some downed trees and electrical lines. The weather station atop the Jungfrau had recorded winds of up to 98 kilometers per hour in the night. Thomas came in, cheeks rosy pink, wearing epaulettes of snow on his shoulders. He shook his wet hat into the kitchen sink. “A cosy day in” Mr. Winter said, above the hissing of steam, heating milk in a pitcher into a frothy, soft cloud. Over coffee, they chatted about the snow still to be cleared around the hotel, but Thomas could tell his father’s mind was elsewhere. “Papa, this morning I also saw the

Friday 17 February 2012 Page 19

key hanging on the board. But don’t forget: he’s young and it’s the weekend. Maybe he met someone. There’s more to skiing than snow.” Mr. Winter nodded. His son was probably right. Mr. Douglas would turn up in a while, relaxed and happy. Apart from the ski school trainer lift, none of the skilifts were operating in the morning. Although the wind was gone, snow was still coming down. It was hoped that all the avalanche-prone runs could be cleared of danger to have the lifts open by noon. Erika left a message for Jack on his mobile mailbox. She and Isabelle wouldn’t be coming up today. The roads were bad and the lifts not working. They would come tomorrow, for the day. Could he call her back? She left her number. It was 8:30. Fredi Schneeberg sat in his truck at the bottom of the Chalberhöni road. He phoned Meylan to be up at the chairlift in an hour, so they could start clearing the chairs of snow. “D’accord, Patron!” replied Meylan. The narrow road up to Chalberhöni was one of the roads blocked by fallen trees. A few kilometers up, one could have heard the chain saws of the fire department, cutting the trunks. The fireman at the roadblock spoke into his walkie-talkie, which crackled and answered in metallic tones. He walked over to Fredi’s truck. “In about a half-hour you should be able to drive up. The snowplow has already gone up.” Fredi switched-off the engine and rolled up the window. The cloud cover was splitting and the sun began to sparkle on the freshlyfallen snow. Only a few snowflakes floated wearily down from the sky. Now and then, a great lump of snow would free itself from a tree branch and tumble in a cloud of white powder. After a time, some blips sounded from the fireman’s walkie-talkie

and he exchanged a few words with it. Then he gave Fredi a wave, to send him on his way. The snowplow was parked below the restaurant, some 200 meters before the chairlift station. It had already cleared the small parking lot between the two, so Fredi drove past and parked there. He got out of his truck and looked up at the chairs. They resembled a giant pearl necklace, hanging down from the forest. It wasn’t a beautiful sight, if your mind was on sweeping each chair free of snow. He trudged through thigh-high snow toward the station. It had been pretty cold last night, so the snow was dry and fluffy. The fences outside the station entrance had vanished under the blanket of snow. Fredi unlocked the wooden door and pushed inwards. He went inside and came out a moment later with a snowshovel. He got to work tamping down the snow outside the entrance, and shoveling a footpath back to the parking lot. Then he thought it was time for a coffee. Meylan would be along soon. He planted the shovel in the snow and began to walk up to the restaurant. Then he saw a red car with Vaudois plates driving up the road. It honked twice. Fredi recognized it as Claude Paschoux’s; the ski patrolman. Meylan was sitting in the passenger seat, waving through the open window to Fredi. “Au boulot!” he called, laughing “Arbeiit!” Reaching the restaurant, Fredi brushed his trousers of snow, stomped his boots, and went in. Meylan knocked the snow from his boots, kicking the doorframe twice. He went into the chairlift office, while Paschoux looked in the machine-hall for brooms. Meylan turned a large switch which sent power to the electric motor of the lift. He pressed a button which activated a loud, low horn, and moved a lever which set

the great wheel in the machine-hall into motion. Slowly, the cable and chairs moved with it. The two men placed themselves in the bright morning sunshine at the front of the station, either side of the chairs, which began to descend slowly, one after another. When a chair came in reach, they each gave it a few sweeps with their brooms, to dislodge what snow they could. Now and again they had to let a few chairs slip past, while they shoveled away the clumps accumulating around where they worked. With Paschoux there to help, Fredi was in no hurry, and so he ordered a second coffee. Then, when he was ready, he pulled from his pocket a handful of coins, and counted-out a little pile of various Centime pieces which he left on the table. He got up, called “Adé!” to the waitress and the cook in the kitchen, and went outside. He could see the two men below, working at the mouth of the station. Fredi closed his eyes for a moment, feeling the sun warming his face. He took a deep breath, and felt the clean winter air fill his lungs like a tonic. Then he heard a terrible scream. He opened his eyes and saw the men. They had stopped working, and the chairlift was still. Paschoux had slumped back, and leaned with his head bowed against a pylon. Meylan had also dropped his broom, and was waving his arms like a madman. Fredi thought one of them must be hurt, and he began to run down through the snow. Meylan saw Fredi coming. “Patron! Patron!” he screamed “C’est affreux! J’compends-pas! Vite!” As he came closer, Fredi thought the scene looked strange. Neither of the men looked hurt. Was this some sort of joke of Meylan’s? The chair hanging between them had an unusually large amount of snow on it. At first, Fredi thought it was a transport of garbage bags from the summit sta-

SHORT Story tion. But then he saw the legs. The chairlift, nor the runs it served, didn’t open at noon, nor for the rest of the day. The road up to Chalberhöni was also closed. The police would give no immediate reason for the closure, and most people thought it had something to do with avalanches. Detectives were being called in from Bern. They would be in Chalberhöni in a couple of hours. The Gendarmerie Vaudoise also had to come up from Chateau d’Oex, since the victim may have gotten on, or have been put on the lift at the summit. Along with the police cars, an ambulance and a fire-engine stood near Fredi’s truck. The body had frozen to the metal bars of the chair. It was tricky with the blowtorch, to remove it without damage. Fredi Schneeberg, Yves Meylan, and Claude Paschoux were questioned separately up at the restaurant. Their accounts of the previous afternoon all agreed and their alibis of the evening seemed solid. That evening, Mr. Winter and his son were also questioned. None of the men, nor the police, could understand how, nor why, the young American had found himself at night on the lift. On Sunday morning, Jack’s car was easily found in the parking lot of the Eggli gondola lift. It was the only car still buried under snow. The police had it winched onto a flatbed truck, to be taken down to the carpound in Thun. As the flatbed truck left the village, and picked up speed on the road to Saanen, a tanker-truck for milk approached in the opposite direction. The blast of sidewind from the tanker blew a pile of snow off the roof of Jack’s car, which splattered on the highway like flour. No one noticed the tiny black object which was blown off with it. Seconds later, Jack’s cellphone was crushed by the wheels of a postal bus.

In-depth EVENTS article

Friday 17 February 2012 Page 20

real estate


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See you again in summer 2012! Next issuses: June 22, July 13, August 3, August 14 2012

Events Calendar ■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17 & 18 Test run with a 100% electric car at the Gstaad Hotel Palace. Tesla motors stops at the Gstaad Palace. Schedule your personal test drive with Mr Michel! Contact +41 (0)78 916 88 77 for more info. ■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 24 & APRIL 7 11h00–18h00: Winter market in Gstaad on the Kapälliplatz with lots of home-made products. For more info, contact +41 (0)33 744 78 83.

■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17 – SUNDAY, 26th Art Exhibition of oil paintings by Oskar Buchs at the Gallery Buchs. Open from 14h00-17h00. Closed on Mondays!

■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 17 – MARCH 15 Art Exhibition of Yan Oulevay and JeanPierre Mocci at Bijouterie Adler Gstaad. The exhition is open if Adler Joailliers is open. Contact +41 (0)33 744 66 80 for more information. ■■SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 13h00-15h30: Guest-Apero in Lauenen. Apero for all guests and locals from the destination Lauenen at the beginning of the cross-country ski run “Rohr”. Information at the Tourist office or contact +41 (0)33 765 91 81. ■■SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 16h00-20h00: Air gun shooting event at the “Sportschützen Gstaad-Saanen”. The price is per passé. Contact +41 (0)33 744 53 06 for more info. ■■SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 High Fly 2012 at Rübeldorf: This freestyle event in the midst of the Swiss Alps has developed from a traditional event into one that is of international character. It is considered to be the only winter event of its kind in Switzerland. Freestyle motocross, freeskiing and snowboarding combined with pyrotechnic effects will ensure a loud show spectacle. SFr 10-25. www.high-fly.ch ■■SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18 – 25th Curling Championship Switzerland: The

MELAND AGENCE MALIBU GmbH Brigitte Brand 033 744 30 38 agence.malibu@bluewin.ch

Friday January 17 2012 until Wednesday March 14 2012

Swiss Curling championship this year takes place in Gstaad. Free entry! For more info, contact +41 (0)79 652 31 38.

■■WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 29 & MARCH 7 19h00-21h30: Night Skiing on the Wispile. Ski slope Zückerli and Rütti. Adults SFr10, Children 10-16 years: SFr5, Children up to 9 years of age – free! For more info, contact +41 (0)33 748 87 37.

■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 15h30-16h30: Snowman competition in Schönried at Moosbar. Register before 23.02.2012 with Jasmin Beetschen (Tourism office, Gstaad). Great prizes to be won, with plenty to eat & drink. For more info, phone +41 (0)33 748 81 15. ■■FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 & MARCH 23 Party in the restaurant Sanetsch, Gsteig, with DJ Bruno. For more info, contact +41 (0)33 755 10 10.

■■SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26 12h30: Traditional sledge race on the Hornberg, in Saanenmöser. SFr 20-40. Everybody is welcome! Contact +41 (0)79 356 14 45 for more info. ■■SATURDAY, MARCH 3 & 4 Björnstadlauf (cross country ski) Swiss cup at the Schulhaus Feutersoey. For more information, contact +41 (0)79 206 24 94 or www.scgsteig.ch

■■SATURDAY, MARCH 10 19h00: Menuhin Academy Orchestra Sponsor conert at the Mauritius church Saanen. Free entry – collection. Contact +41 (0)33 744 12 33 for more information. ■■WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14 13h00: Ski race of company’s in the Saanenland. Registration compulsory. Locality: Wasserngrat. Rate SFr 100. Registration until March 7 2012, at Ernst Frautschi, Gstaad. Phone +41 (0)33 744 54 60. ■■Church Services St Peter’s English-Speaking Anglican Church, Château-d’Oex 18 February 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank 19 February 2012, 17h30 Evening Worshop. Rev. Penny Frank 25 February 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank 26 February 2012, 17h30 Evening Worshop. Rev. Penny Frank 27 February 2012, 10h00 – 10h30 Circle of Prayer. Rev. Penny Frank 3 March 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank 4 March 2012, 17h30 Evening Worshop. Rev. Clive Atkinson 10 March 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank

11 March 2012 Holy Communion. Rev. Clive Atkinson 12 March 2012, 10h00 – 10h30 Service of Healing. Rev. Penny Frank 17 March 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank 18 March 2012, 17h30 Evening Worshop. Rev. Penny Frank 24 March 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank 25 March 2012, 17h30 Evening Worshop. Rev. Penny Frank 26 March 2012, 10h00 – 10h30 Prayer Circle. Rev. Penny Frank 31 March 2012, 10h00 – 12h00 Open Church. Rev. Penny Frank Web: www.allsaints.ch/chateaudoex Contact: pennyfrank1@gmail.com

■■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 / 033 744 06 61 Medical emergency 0900 57 67 47 Dental emergency 033 748 02 00 For additional useful numbers please visit www.gstaadlife.ch/usefulnumbers

■■SATURDAY, MARCH 3 Snow Golf Trophy of Boërl & Kroff on the Wispile, Gstaad. The competition is based on the traditional rules, however rules can be adapted to the winter weather condi tions. For further info: www.snow-golf.ch ■■SATURDAY, MARCH 10 Gstaad-Saanenland Sarina Verbandsrennen: Slalom & Riesenslalom. Phone +41 (0)33 744 42 13 for more info.

Your confidence is our highest commitment

Gstaad 033 748 77 88 · Feutersoey 033 755 19 51 www.raiffeisen.ch/saanenland


Friday 17 February 2012 Page 21

Gstaad family kitchen business wins global innovation award A business founded in 1872 that is the oldest remaining specialized retail business in Gstaad, still run by the family’s fourth and fifth generation, recently won a prestigious award for “outstanding business and sales presentations for retailers of household items in Switzerland”. The business “Von Siebenthal für

Tisch und Küche” had to meet numerous criteria including business strategy, vision, business design, store layout, sales display, shelving, shop windows, marketing and promotion, customer service, staff training and innovation. The winners of the Global International Awards (GIA) 2012 will be

honored at the world’s largest fair for home and housewares retailing, the International Home & Housewares Show 2012. The family employs eight persons who work under the direction of Gottfried and Katharina von Siebenthal as well as Claudia von Siebenthal Fust and Silvia Nolan-

von Siebenthal. “This is one of the world’s most highly regarded and prestigious awards,” said Gottfried von Siebenthal. A fitting accolade for the store that will celebrate its 140-year anniversary this coming year. TRANSLATED AND ADAPTED FROM THE ARTICLE BY CHRISTINE EISENBEIS AVS 09.12.2011

Victory in Monaco for team Gstaad Yacht Club / Yacht Club Bielersee most experienced teams, namely the Irish from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Italians from Lake Garda and the Swiss from the Gstaad Yacht Club/ Yacht Club Bielersee, joined by rank outsiders the Tunisians, who qualified for the final sessions on the Sunday. The final battle between the team Gstaad – Bielersee and the Lake Garda Italians saw victory go to the Swiss, who were delighted to be sailing in such mild Mediterranean conditions in the middle of winter. Intense competition on the water was matched by an excellent atmosphere ashore, with the Yacht Club de Monaco organizing several fun events, such as the Pasta Party and chocolate tasting session, generously put on by the Chocolaterie de Monaco. The social, educational

Photo: Franck Terlin

Photo: Eric Mathon

Monaco, 22 January 2012 – The third edition of the Monaco Optimist Team Racing regatta, organized in collaboration with Slam, FxPro and Chocolaterie de Monaco, attracted 12 teams of four representing eight nations. “I am a big fan of the Team Racing format, as it combines values which are part of our sports and educational policy. I welcome the development of this sport. For teenagers

who regularly sail solo, this discipline encourages teamwork and is the first step towards racing as part of a crew,” said Bernard d’Alessandri, Secretary General of the Yacht Club de Monaco. He was speaking at the prize-giving which saw the Gstaad Yacht Club and their friends from Yacht Club Biel mountain-dwellers clinch the FxPro Trophy. All four also received sports clothing from Slam. After two days of intensive training mid-week on brand new Optimists provided by Erplast, no less than 42 races were run over the weekend to determine a winning team from among the 48 competitors. Aged 12 to 15, they were under the watchful eye of an international jury comprising Alfredo Ricci and Bruce Hebbert, two top specialists in this discipline. In the final analysis it was the three

HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco encouraging the young sailors.

and sporting aspect of the event was much appreciated by HSH Princess Charlene, who dropped in to encourage the youngsters on the opening day. Final Result 1. Gstaad Yacht Club/ Yacht Club Bielersee (SUI) 2. Fraglia Vela Desenzano (ITA) 3. Fédération Tunisienne de Voile (TUN) 4. Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL) 5. Société Nautique de Genève (SUI) 6. Yacht Club Italiano (ITA) 7. Sea Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg (RUS) 8. Yacht Club Sanremo (ITA) 9. Clube Naval de Cascais (POR) 10. Circolo della Vela Sicilia (ITA) 11. Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) 12. Yacht Club Pionierski (POL/RUS)

Photo: Franck Terlin

Monaco Optimist Team Racing 20-22 January 2012. Forty-two races eventually separated the 12 teams, representing eight nations, who were delighted to meet HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco when she made a special visit to encourage them on the opening day.

Regatta in the waters of Monaco.

Prize giving ceremony – winning team GYC / YCB with all participants.


Friday 17 February 2012 Page 22

The Inmates are Running the Asylum-Seekers BY mandolyyna theodoracopulos

During the summer of 2008 I spent several days on the Greek island of Patmos. Every morning on my way to the beach I would stop for breakfast in the port to meet my friends. We would sit in a little café next to the police station. Eventually we noticed the island‘s sole jail cell, which was adjacent to the café. The cell was small - maybe three by five meters - and packed. Arms were hanging out of the two windows that faced the main square. Eventually one of my friends went over to see what was going on inside. There were about 15 people men, women, and children - locked up. They often pled for cigarettes, which we happily provided. We got to know some of them. The men who spoke English were educated. One was a scientist. They had come from Iraq. War refugees. They were being held indefinitely. No one knew what to do with them. Fortunately, Patmos isn‘t a bad place to be locked up. But Greece isn‘t exactly where one wants to be at the bureaucracy‘s mercy. The hot-button issue in Switzerland these days seems to be asylum and immigration. Switzerland currently hosts nearly 62,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. Cantons are struggling to absorb the influx. Perma-

The increase is attributed to changes in North Africa. Asylum-seekers are mostly from Eritrea, Nigeria, and Tunisia, comprising roughly 2% of Switzerland‘s total number of foreigners. Some locals worry that they‘re a safety threat. Others are more concerned with humanitarian principles. So how responsible are the people from stable countries for refugees from unstable countries? If we lived in a world without borders, the burden of responsibility would fall on everyone, no matter how distant our points of origin. But as we do not live in such a world, there is only a moral responsibility to one‘s immediate community. Any further responsibility is an individual‘s choice - in theory, anyway. The system is flawed. But which system? Is the Dublin agreement causing problems, or is it the Geneva Convention itself? The latter was drafted in WWII‘s aftermath and set an international standard for dealing with war victims. Sixty years on, the face of war has changed, and so too its victims. But war itself seems unlikely to disappear anytime soon. War‘s victims shall exist in perpetuity, or at least it looks that way. This is bad news for stable European communities. Eventually, the burden of instability will spring up from within, especially if immigrants fail to adopt European conventions and culture. We see

this happening already in England and France. Big alarm bells are not yet sounding off, but with an ever-growing population and everexpanding wars, these issues will become more critical. Instability in Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia is often the result of Western efforts such as “nation-building” and the selling of “democracy.” Does this mean the West is responsible? Are Americans and Europeans responsible for Iraqi refugees since the invasion? Absolutely. But are Europeans responsible for Tunisian refugees since the Arab Spring? Definitely not. Switzerland has absolutely no direct responsibility for asylum-seekers because it is not a member of NATO or the EU and has not invaded a foreign country in over 700 years. The collateral effects of promulgating democracy are far greater than politicians seem to realize. A peaceloving country such as Switzerland should not have to carry the burden for aggressive nations such as England and America, though they do so willingly and despite its impact. Asylum-seeking is a political problem. But the moral issue is greater. Who is ultimately responsible - the countries at war or the countries at peace? The only humane way to solve this problem would be a widespread and permanent cease-fire. I wouldn‘t hold my breath banking on this, though. So in the meantime, I say ship ‚em back!

Photo: zanthia, Photocase.com

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GstaadLife Nr2, February 2012  

GstaadLife, the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

GstaadLife Nr2, February 2012  

GstaadLife, the exclusive monthly publication about the good life in Gstaad.

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