Skiing and Snow Flakes in the Simmental Valley

Winter in the mountains is synonymous with skiing and... snow. And where there's snow... there are bound to be snowflakes! Do you wish to pierce the (...) Further Details

Skiing and Snow Flakes in the Simmental Valley

Winter in the mountains is synonymous with skiing and... snow. And where there's snow... there are bound to be snowflakes! Do you wish to pierce the (...) Further Details

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Introduction

Would you like to photograph gorgeous snowflakes and take the pictures home with you as souvenirs? Do you want to learn how to construct Nordic homes? Have you ever wondered how avalanches are formed? And while you’re at it, would you like to hit the slopes during our downhill skiing trips on fantastic tracks? If you said yes, then come join our team on this fun-filled trip. Take advantage of this opportunity to dust off your skis and perfect your ski jumps, all the while giving your brain a workout with the geological 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. . This trip is ideal for family and solo vacations.

The stay

The snow is great for learning and playing. During the trip you can practice and perfect your downhill skiing skills while taking part in quite recent scientific activities: snowflake photography and nivology, the study of snow.

Giant snowball fights, downhill skiing, igloo-building, hot chocolate and raclette... To put it simply, it will be pure joy.

The trip’s scientific activities will allow you to advance the MINEO 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. ’s current scientific research Scientific Research Participate in scientific research research programs. Help advance research on oceans to help us understand them better. Do this on our nature courses on dolphins and whales. .

You’ll begin to look at snow from a completely different angle!


Are you curious about the fluffy white stuff that you ski on? Thanks to nivology (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. of snow), you’ll learn why snow can be slippery and why it can also be dangerous. While using different techniques to measure and observe snowflakes and snowpacks, you’ll discover the different physical and chemical properties of snow.

You’ll learn to catch snowflakes and take their portraits using digital cameras with manual focii, and even learn to freeze snowflakes in their crystalline forms with another secret system! By doing this, you can observe the snowflakes under a microscope for as long as you like. You’ll also learn other simple yet particularly innovative techniques that were adapted and refined by Objectif Sciences International!

Depending on your interests, you can also participate in a crazy snowman-building contest, compete to construct the most efficiently heated igloo, or make snowflakes in a laboratory. The main priority will be having fun in the snow. What’s better than enjoying the wonders of 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. while having a blast playing winter sports!!!

Skiing Lessons

Those who don’t know how to ski, or those who want to improve, can purchase skiing courses with the L’École Suisse de Ski (Swiss Skiing School). Children will see awarded medals at the end of the week!

Video

The research project

Snow is a kind of precipitation made up of ice crystals clustered into flakes. Johannes Kepler, a famous seventeenth-century astronomer, was one of the first scientists to study the formation of snowflakes. In 1930, a Japanese man formed snowflakes during an experiment. From this, we learned that snowflakes’ shapes depend on temperature and water saturation amongst other things… you’ll discover the rest on the trip!



By taking photographs and creating technical drawings of snow crystals, you’ll contribute to Objectif Sciences International’s snowflake encyclopedia!

Snow crystal classifications are still growing; to this day, there are 121 categories. New types of crystals were recently discovered—why not discover a new one this winter?

After learning how avalanches are formed, we’ll discover how to prevent and react to this natural hazard. You’ll become a responsible skier who is aware of the dangers the mountain presents. You’ll also learn how to use avalanche transceivers and administer first aid.

Our second objective will be to build cold-resistant Nordic structures. Architecture and thermal insulation principles have changed significantly. Why not use them to revisit shelters that are as old as humanity? If we succeed, the bravest among us could even spend the night there.

The location


At 1,068 meters of altitude, the mountain village of Lenk is in the Swiss Alps’ Simmental Valley. It’s at the foot of the Wildstrubel massif, home of the Plainte Morte glacier. With summits reaching nearly 3,000 meters of altitude, you’re guaranteed a thick blanket of snow all winter long and a great view of the sky.


Several springs, called the "seven fountains,” gush from the rocks and flow into the river Simme below the Plaine Morte glacier on the Rezlialp. These sulfurous springs are renowned for their effects on rheumatism and respiratory illnesses. It’s why the hotsprings are so famous!

It’s picturesque year-round. Whether you’re gazing out the window or going on a stroll, the lakes, mountain passes, summits, and pastures take your breath away.

The Simmental Valley offers extraordinary views and a welcoming atmosphere.

During the winter, 50 ski lifts and 185 kilometers of trails are open in the ski areas around Lenk im Simmental. The Metsch gondola lift traverses the entire Adelboden-Lenk ski resort, which contains mostly easy courses, but also features medium-difficulty trails, large carving tracks, snowboarding parks, and a permanent racing course.

That’s right: parents can go skiing during the winter trips, twice even!


Lenk was certified “family-friendly” thanks to its family-oriented activities, not to mention the Lenkerhof Alpine Resort’s hotsprings that visitors can enjoy.

Day to day proceedings

If possible, groups are divided by age: ages 7–9, 10–12, 13–15, 16–18, and adults. For family registrations, family members will be grouped together for some activities, while at other times of the day, parents are free to do as they please.

Mornings are reserved for skiing. Don’t worry; you’ll have plenty of time on the slopes! After a picnic at the top of the mountain, we’ll pack up our skis and scientific materials and go see what the nivologists are studying. How dense is the snow? What are the chances of thawing and avalanches? We’ll follow the mountain minute by minute with portable scales, magnifying glasses, and temperature probes—no change in the snowpack will happen without us knowing about it!

What if the weather goes sour? No problem! We’ll head to the center to fossilize new crystals and enjoy some old-fashioned hot chocolate.

And if the sun come back out? We’ll hit the slopes again and then take a well-deserved break by enjoying a four-star meal at the summit. It’ll be a great opportunity to learn how to orient ourselves using maps, compasses, and GPSes! We heard it’s hard to boil water for tea because of the altitude… Wanna give it a shot?

During our outings with biologists from the “Tailing the Lynx” camp, we’ll follow the trail of Alps wildlife—everything from chamois and deer to ermines and grouse, and maybe even… lynxes!
Every evening, we’ll stay warm indoors and share Swiss delicacies in a convivial atmosphere. Our educators will top off the day with awesome nighttime activities, like astronomy nights.
We may also join the “Star Finders” astronomy camp and observe numerous stars and constellations.

Every evening, we’ll stay warm indoors and share Swiss delicacies in a convivial atmosphere. Our educators will top off the day with awesome nighttime activities, like astronomy nights.
Tous les soirs, nous dînerons au chaud des spécialités Suisse en toute convivialité. Nous finirons chaque journée par de supers veillées organisées par les éducateurs, dont des soirées astronomiques.

New Year’s Party

As we should, we’ll celebrate the New Year during camps that take place at the end of December.

At midnight on December 31, the fireworks that blanket the valley create a magical atmosphere. For the occasion, we’ll be making Swedish fire torches in the snow. We’ll have lots of other surprises too!

The team




Emilie Delpech heads the MINEO research program and is the educator during the Ski and Snowflakes camp. As a naturalist and scientist, she tries to understand the world around her. She looks, listens, tastes, smells, touches, and imagines. She’s blown away by the complexity of life, the organization of matter, and the immensity of mountains. She loves geology; that’s why she’s so great at spreading that passion to the people around her.

She decided to become an Objectif Sciences International educator to fill the camp participants with wonder, spark their curiosity, and teach young and old in a fun, friendly atmosphere. Her natural curiosity and upbeat attitude are contagious and energize participants. Come join her and let yourself be enthralled by the magic of the Swiss Alps!

Sponsors

Elise MARC, paratriathlon medalist
Former Objectif Sciences International Science Camp participant

“After I had an accident as a pre-teen, I attended an Objectif Sciences International camp in 2006, where I first started pedaling. I’d like to thank the educators for taking the time to listen and never backing away from a challenge. I had a great time!”
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Accomodation


We’ll stay at the Kuspo Center in the Simmental Valley. It’s only 1 kilometer from the village of Lenk, and close to footpaths that lead to ski courses in the winter and hiking trails in the summer. Since we’ll be only a few minutes’ walking distance from the trails, we’ll reduce our carbon footprint. A bus regularly travels to the Lenk station, allowing us to easily access the village’s services.

The Kuspo Center features three modern chalets that can house up to 450 people. We can stay in spacious rooms with bedding and Nordic duvets for two, four, twelve, or sixteen people. Each chalet contains large offices and rooms to hold our activities and store our skis.


Diverse, delicious buffets are served in the dining room. The dining areas can also be used as gathering places for organized activities in the evening. Halls and athletic areas are available around the center, and there’s also a game room and a large terrace, where you can relax in the sun. We’ll immerse ourselves in Swiss culture in the warm, family atmosphere of this magnificent valley.

To join us on this trip, you can


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