The Malta Independent 23 September 2019, Monday

Stella Maris College Scouts have a Swiss Alpine adventure

Monday, 11 September 2017, 15:09 Last update: about 3 years ago

The Stella Maris College Scout Group have returned from another adventure abroad, this time having the magnificent Swiss Alps as the centre stage and its luscious forests and water falls as the backdrop.  This trip comes four years after the last Group visit to Keswick in the UK, two years to the month since the Group's participation in The Scout Association of Malta's contingent for the World Scout Jamboree in Japan.

The Group journeyed to the Alps where it resided at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC), a world famous scouting centre accommodating thousands of scouts from all corners of the globe. Twenty-six members of the Group, comprising of 10 leaders from various sections, 10 scouts and six ventures, left Malta on 15 August for a nine-day adventure of a lifetime. The holiday was jam-packed with all sorts of excitingly thrilling activities, ranging from spectacular hikes with breath-taking views, to zip-lining, ice-climbing, cycling, white water rafting and much more.

It was always an early rise, being awake by 6.30am or before, for a quick breakfast and a walk or bus ride to different locations every day. During the stay, the group visited Oeschinensee Lake for tobogganing, rowing boats and a quick dip in the frigid waters. A steep train trip landed the group at the mountain top Jungfrau, also known as Top of Europe at 3,454 metres above sea level, where a snow-fight and snowman building competition invariably took place between the members. Here, the group visited the ice palace and the various displays within the mountain tip. We then journeyed back taking the train down to Eigergletscher and a steep three-hour downhill walk by the North Face of the Eiger Mountain down to Grindewald. The fourth day saw the group hanging around like apes at the Adelboden adventure park for some adrenaline surge from the several zip-lines, high ropes course and jumps from the bridge. The day ended with a relaxed chill out at the Kandertsteg pool. Another day saw members cycling the rough paths passing by streams and forestry while admiring the scenic views. Going back was no easy task as the steep paths back to the centre took their toll over the members.

For a night, the group then split into two, whereby the Troop section took a route through the Ueschinen Valley to the mountain hut at an elevation of 1,890 metres above sea level. The Troop spent the night in a hut where they cooked their own dinner while warming the cold hut with fire logs, all this without having access to electric power. Being in the middle of nowhere, a look at the starry skies left members fascinated with a view which they had never seen before. After the walk down to the Centre, the members had some fun time climbing Jacob's Ladder.

Simultaneously, the Unit Section departed on their own separate journey, where they ascended towards Fründenhütte, located at approximately 2,600 metres above sea level and overlooking the Oeschinensee Lake. Getting there was an intense challenge for the group which entailed a four-hour long hike, ascending over 1,000 metres through a series of paths and trails. Upon completion of the hike the group arrived at the hut where they enjoyed a warm meal and some well-needed rest. After a night's rest at the Fründenhütte, the Unit journeyed towards the glacier with spiked crampons on their boots and ice axes for grip onto the icy terrain for a much-anticipated ice-climbing activity. During the activity, the Unit was instructed on how to climb ice walls by using their ice axes, spiked boots and climbing skills.

On the last day, the group experienced yet another exhilarating activity...  water rafting and all members ended the day with a visit to Thun and its Castle.

As with all good things, this incredible experience came to an end with all the members feeling dead tired but full of memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives. The group is already undergoing plans for their next adventure.

  • don't miss