Nature in the Summit - Level 3

Rope, crampons, and ice axes are ready: take on these mountains to observe the flowers and the animals in a higher altitude. Further Details

Nature in the Summit - Level 3

Rope, crampons, and ice axes are ready: take on these mountains to observe the flowers and the animals in a higher altitude. Further Details

Get involved with incredible scientific projects!
Science camps which could change the world!
Exceptional adventures and real projects for sustainable development

Introduction

This is a camp where you will discover and learn about alpine style mountain climbing and you will get to study the different fauna and flora! This is an unprecedented operation: you will identify different plants and animals on the way to the peak of the Swiss Alps, which will allow you to study the evolution of biodiversity in a different altitude and a different climate!

The stay

A Mountain Holiday!

 
Become an adventurer of biodiversity! During this unusual holiday, you will learn the following: how to use an ax, identify the plants found in higher mountains, how to move on ice, to unearth insects in this altitude, how to be roped and attached to your fellow comrades and you will even get the chance to observe a chamois and birds of prey! Many discoveries from different angles!
 
This will also allow you to study the fauna and flora found in higher mountains, most of them are actually unknown as very few mountain climbers are interested in them and very few biologists know how to climb mountains! Plants in the form of pillows are hard as stone, insects with no wings, butterflies that only fly one summer out of two, animals performing acrobats in the cliffs…we will indeed find funny things in this altitude, including many rare species that are endemic and rare to the world! However, it is also the kingdom of wild and prestigious animals such as the Alpine Ibex and the Royal Eagle!
 
Besides feasting our eyes on the landscapes and raving about the atmosphere at the summit of these incomparable mountains, what are the goals for this holiday? Well, the goal for this holiday is to monitor, year after year, the evolution of biodiversity in different altitudes in relation to the evolution of the climate. It is through the animals and flowers found in high mountains that we can most effectively study the impact of the ever-changing climate on biodiversity.
 
Along with our other holidays regarding nature and biodiversity taking place in the valley of Anniviers’ (“On the lookout for biodiversity” and “Patrol of the Alps”), this holiday is a large-scale operation, which continuously monitors the biodiversity of the valley, and you are able to take part in it!

© OSI : Sierre-Anniviers.ch, OSI/Iacopo Luino, Wolfgang Dirscherl/pixelio.de

 

Daily Life during the Holidays

 
You have guessed it, we will frequently be… on the mountains! A large portion of your holiday will be spent in higher altitude in order to learn the techniques used in alpine style mountain climbing and also to become familiar with the fauna and flora found in higher altitude. Therefore, a backpack, mountain climbing equipment, a field notebook, a magnifying glass, binoculars, a GPS, and all the required material from the LINABIO equipment (our great Identification Laboratory of the Naturalist Biodiversita) and we are ready to go prospecting at the top of the mountain!

However, what is prospecting? It is a time for observation, where we will enhance our 5 senses and our curiosity, in order to find and discover the great wildlife at the peaks of the mountains. This wildlife includes ephemeral flowers found at the edges of glaciers, birds nesting in the cliffs and other little critters who are seeking to escape our investigations! All the fun that occurs on this holiday is due to the natural and playful rallies, but also, in all seriousness, we are still scientists!
 
As it takes quite some time to get to the peaks of the mountains, we will have to spend a few nights in the mountains, in either a shelter or at a campground. Beware; the campgrounds are serious, as they are “5-star camps” that include breathtaking panoramic views, soft grass, comfy duvets and the opportunity to play games under the stars in the evening!
 
But even the most distinguished mountain climbers need some time to rest. All of this will be timed in a punctual manner at the animated centre with a myriad of extra-scientific activities such as games, parties, discovery workshops and other athletic activities!
 

© OSI : Sierre-Anniviers.ch, OSI/Sylvain Allombert/Iacopo Luino

The Research Project

 
Several science Science La science est désormais l’affaire de tous. Découvrez la science d’une manière ludique et active. Nous vous proposons d’en découvrir plus sur nos expéditions à la voile, découverte du plancton. objectives will be pursued during this trip.
 
The core of the project will involve the realization of the continuous work done in regards to the distribution of fauna and flora in high mountains: Which is to observe the evolution, year-after-year, at the lowest and highest altitudes of the mountains where the various species can be observed. This will allow us to collect high quality information regarding the impact that the climate’s evolution has had on the biodiversity, in particular, in the valley of Anniviers but also on the mountain in an overall perspective.
 
This project is also included in a larger project, which is to continue the work done so far regarding biodiversity in the valley of Anniviers. This is being realized through the Biodiversita program with our other holidays taking place at the same location (“On the lookout for biodiversity” and “Patrol of the Alps”). Therefore, the collected data will be added to our overall inventory concerning the biodiversity of this valley but also used to further our understanding on the different reasons behind the evolution of this valley.
 
On a larger scale, the data will be provided to organizations who are responsible for monitoring the biodiversity at the regional level (communities, associations), at the national level (Swiss Centre of the Cartography of Fauna managed by the University of Neuchâtel) and at an international level (GBIF - Global Biodiversity Information Facility). On a large scale, this data will benefit studies concerning the evolution of biodiversity in relation to - for instance - the evolution of the human pressure on the environment.
 

© OSI : Sierre-Anniviers.ch, OSI/Iacopo Luino

The location

 




Saint-Luc, a village deep in the Swiss Valley mountains of the valley of Anniviers, is wild and charming. The surrounding peaks reach more than 3 000m and 4 of the peaks are even above 4 000m! We will be able to gaze upon the Matterhorn mountain, the most famous mountain in Switzerland Vacation Camp
Valais
Switzerland
Every year the NGO Objectif Sciences International offers several science camps in Valais, Switzerland, on different themes (fauna & flora, architecture, palaeontology, geology, drones...) You will find, at the following link, more information about our nature camps.
. In this valley, the geology is particularly rich due to the formation of the Alps. Also, this particular location is known for its strong mining activity during the “Prehistoric” period (crystals, metals…). Today, it is possible to visit certain mines with Objectif Sciences International and various outcrop of minerals. Indeed, one of them in particular is quite special… as it shines in the night!




 



The landscape filled with mountains is beautiful in both summer and winter. Whether we are looking from the windows or headed for a walk, the lakes, the mountain passes, the peaks, and the meadows are breathtaking. There are still many glaciers, such as the Moiry, that are still in existence when the camps take place in the summer. The gigantic size of the dormant water is reflected as a mirror in the lake in this altitude and the views experienced always cause some form of emotion. The biodiversity which grows, runs, and flies here, is remarkable and abundant, from the alpine flora to golden eagles, deers and other original crickets. Therefore, it is the ideal setting to learn all the steps of hiking and maintaining a campfire.
 
In the valley of Anniviers, there are a few rustic villages and the valley is rather preserved, although it has been inhabited for a long time. Indeed, the valley has a rather rich history. We can find two locations that have cup shaped stones, the mysterious remnants from the “Neolithic” period, and many mills from the 18th Century, where rye flour was their dominant activity. You will have the opportunity to see all of this, the distinct, rustic, architecture has completely adapted to the constraints of being in the mountains.

 
During the summer, the villages of Saint-Luc, Zinal, and Grimentz, are the various trails starting points such as for those who are lovers of hiking in the nature and the mountains, for courses suitable for beginners, for those who would like to walk and for those who would like to bike, all in front of beautiful landscapes.
 
A major advantage of this location is the Swiss Post bus, which allows us to easily access all the sites found in the valley, while limiting our carbon footprint.


 

Astronomical Observations!

 
Finally, in either summer or winter, we will have the opportunity to visit and take advantage of the Francis-Xavier Bagnoud observatory located in Saint-Luc. The observatory is in possession of a 600 mm telescope, specialized and passionate animators who collaborate with the NGO Objectif Sciences International, and much more.
 

The Saint-Luc village is a village deep in the mountain that lives like the Planets, Stars and Galaxies! At street detours, you will discover Mars, Pluto, the Sun, Venus… painted on the walls. Meanwhile, the cottages have galaxy inspired names.

 
Saint Luc and the valley of Anniviers are both filled with history, geology, architecture and evidently biology, which integrates the human context with the environment: ideal to satisfy our curiosity!

Swiss National Day


On holidays that occur around August 1st, we will celebrate the Swiss National Day the right way. It will be celebrated in a typical manner in higher mountains, with fireworks, a bonfire, lanterns, and traditional music. During the winter stays, we will celebrate the New Year!
 

Below are some photographs taken by our photographer Armando SIN, at the Swiss National Day on August 1st, 2011, in the valley of Anniviers. These shots were taken with an artistic approach using colours of the past and images of old crafts that were presented on this day of celebration.
 


On August 1st, the whole afternoon and evening is a big celebration in the valley. After the party, we take the opportunity to sleep under the stars.
 

The Team

 

Sylvain Allombert is the manager responsible for the sciences and techniques behind the Research Program Research Program Collaborate with scientific organizations. Actively take part in participative science research programs. All this is possible with our plankton discovery sailing expedition. “Biodiversita” and the FBI trips. A doctoral thesis on the ecology between France and Canada will allow him to discover his vocation: the popularization of scientific knowledge in relation to biodiversity. In this association, he will develop the required skills in the field, working with all types of audiences from children to professionals. In a naturalistic perspective, he is a general practitioner who has practiced as an ornithologist, an entomologist and an ecologist, but also has touched other areas such as botanicals, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
 
On this trip in particular, Sylvain will be responsible for organizing the science Science La science est désormais l’affaire de tous. Découvrez la science d’une manière ludique et active. Nous vous proposons d’en découvrir plus sur nos expéditions à la voile, découverte du plancton. based activities, but he will also act as the special advisor of “insects” and “birds” for those who are adventurers! His extremely diversified knowledge regarding the natural world will not fail to satisfy the curiosity of the participants. He also has experience as a volunteer with the French Alpine Club and was responsible to initiate those into mountain climbing. Therefore he will bring those skills to the initiation of safety techniques to our participants.
 

Accommodations

 




Extraordinary : Our accommodation in the valley of Anniviers is the Grand Hotel - Le Cervin. A magnificent hotel, with historic significance dating back to the Romantic Era of the Alps, was built in 1883 and is now classified as a historic building by the Valais Vacation Camp
Valais
Switzerland
Every year the NGO Objectif Sciences International offers several science camps in Valais, Switzerland, on different themes (fauna & flora, architecture, palaeontology, geology, drones...) You will find, at the following link, more information about our nature camps.
. This hotel, which is located at the heart of Saint-Luc, allows us to easily access the slopes in the winter as well as the hiking trails in the summer, as it is less than a 15 minute walk from the cable car. This also allows to take advantage of the astronomical observatory, which is located at the top of the cable car. We also have private access to the cable car in the middle of the night, what a sacred experience! This will help us in reducing our movements and carbon footprint. Furthermore, we have easy access to the Swiss Post buses, which serves all the important sites of the valley.
 












The interior of the Grand Hotel - Le Cervin has been maintained on a regular basis since its construction and has also been renovated while respecting the history and the architecture of this location. We use the spacious rooms with 4 beds, where two bunk beds are in the children’s room and a double bed is in the parent’s room. This large building allows us to have many spaces for our activities and spaces to just hangout.

The meals, for the most time, are of typical nature such as local cuisine and italian cuisine. We are also given the chance to enjoy a traditional raclette once a week (it includes large cheese wheels which are melted, but we will not say more). Therefore, it is a warm and family friendly atmosphere to which we live in, in this historic hotel, at the heart of the Swiss culture, overlooking a beautiful valley.


Dates and Rates

From 750 CHF (700 €) depending on the dates and length of stay
Sunday July 12 
 _ - Sunday July 19
Sunday July 19 
 _ - Sunday July 26
Sunday July 26 
_ - Sunday August 2/center>
Sunday August 2 
_ - Sunday August 9/center>
Sunday August 9 
_ - Sunday August 16/center>
Sunday August 16

- Sunday August 23

Trips of 1 week in length
A few spots available

(Contact us!)

A few spots available

(Contact us!)

Registration is open

(contact us)

Registration is open

(Contact us)

Almost full

(see summer holidays)

Almost full

(see summer holidays)

Trips of 2 weeks in length
Almost full

(see summer holidays)

Registration is open

(see rates and registration)

Full

(see summer holidays)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1) Do we need to know how to alpine style mountain climb prior to participating to this camp ?

No, the initiation to alpine style mountain climbing will be taught during this camp

2) What are the risks taken during this camp? ?

During this camp, there are no particular risks linked to this activity: we will only take part in easy peaks of alpine style mountain climbing with no major risks and the participants will be supervised by a qualified mountain guide. Nevertheless, like all other outdoor sports activity, a sprained ankle or a little bump is always possible!


3) Is it reserved solely to very sporty participants?

The ascents that we will take part in will be of moderate length in order to have time to observe the fauna and flora. Intensive physical training is not necessary, but a minimum practice of sports is recommended to enjoy your holiday fully.

Concepts Learned during the Camp

Ecosystems - Population Biology - Indications of Presence - Reintroduction of Animal species - Animal tracking - Transects - Extractions - Ornithology - Botanical - Entomology - Mammalogy - Herpetology - Mycology - Natural environments - Biology communities - Biodiversity inventory - Sampling - Counting - Identification

Equipment Used

Topographic map - Landing Net - Butterfly net - Herbarium - Binoculars - Field Magnifying Glass - Binocular magnifier - Observation glasses - Digital Camera - Insect Trap - GPS - Identification key - Photo traps - Impression Molding - Field notebook - Sweep Net - Japanese umbrella - Flask

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