Switzerland & France Expedition:
Stories from the Field
Adventures of Canyoneering
August 1, 2017
Today was full of amazing adventures; it started out with us getting fitted with wet suits for our canyoneering excursion. This took about 30 minutes of us pulling, jumping, and tugging to get them on. When we finally got them on, we submerged ourselves into the cold glacier water. Once we got used to the water, we zip lined into a waterfall while people slid down waterfalls simultaneously. The canyoneering was an absolutely amazing experience! We were all ecstatic, and even though it was our last day of the trip nobody let it get to them.
Later on we went to the last dinner as a group. We all got dressed up nicely and went into the beautiful Chamonix and had laughable moments together. After that we went back to the hotel and got cozy and looked at final photos and the final video together. This brought out the tears in everyone. Later on, we said our last highs and lows for the past two weeks. The highs were full of gratitude with how easily everyone had bonded and how glad they were that they came on this trip. And the lows were all how sad it is that we have to leave each other tomorrow. Overall, this day was full of adventures, but was also full of moments that showed how much we all love each other.
Enjoy the film group’s final project!
Cows and Waterfalls
July 22, 2017
Our day began with two local mountain trains. Then we caught a cable car to our hike for the day in Mürren. After Anika and Lara persuaded the entire cable car to participate in a video, we arrived at our starting point. We hiked up a steep hill, captivated by the snails, the passing fog and Ross’ resemblance to Mick from Crocodile Dundee, up to everyone’s highlight of the day… cows! We spent a great portion of the day taking photos/videos of the cows in action, making friends and naming them in the process. Many of us even got licked or swatted by their tails.
After, we left the cows and came to the top of our hike. At the top, we played a series of games including human knots and massage trains. All of this was captured on Ross’ drone. Hungrily and happily we ventured back down for lunch in the mountain town of Mürren. Lunch was very appreciated, though many of us got caught eating in the rain at the end. After, we had time to wander and explore the town and do some impulse buying for some patches and souvenirs. Then we rode a gondola back down the hill with scenic views of waterfalls and the skyline. We arrived at Trummelbachfalle, which is a series of 10 glacier waterfalls, and was probably the highlight of our resident Nat Geo cave expert Robbie Shone’s trip. We climbed stairs and went through caves to see all the chutes and falls from various angles and standpoints.
Through this, we learned a lot about photography in the dark with help from our experts. The waterfalls were unlike anything we had seen before and we were either taking photos/videos or admiring the view. We took a train back to Grindelwald for dinner (which included many laughs), went home, and we gladly slept and stretched out to get ready for our early morning adventure to the top of the Jungfrau!
Trams, Trains, Gondolas and Zipping through Switzerland
July 25, 2015
Our time in Switzerland is wrapping up, and we’ve really packed in the fun! Our first day started with a gondola ride up to First, a nearby tall peak with views of Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger peaks in the background. After a hike up to an alpine lake, we took three methods of descending the mountain: zipline, hike, and scooter! The final adventure of the day was an excellent and inspiring presentation by our Nat Geo expert, Keith Ladzinski.
Last Days Adventuring in France
July 12, 2015
After wrapping up our Swiss adventure at the mighty Matterhorn, our group continued on to France to meet Keith Ladzinski, our Nat Geo expert. Keith has already been busy inspiring this next generation of adventure photographers! During our first days, we ventured into Mer de Glace, a glacier that has been receding dramatically over the last 150 years and where European alpinists and tourists blend together to explore the ice and the surrounding peaks. Led by expert mountain guides, the group split into smaller groups and “hiked down” to the moraine using climbing ladders that allowed us to get to the ice sheet. Once on the glacier, the groups visited ice caves and glacier rivers where we practiced ice hiking with crampons and ice climbing with piolets. To finish the day we hiked to the mountain chalet where will spent the next 2 days exploring the higher peaks of the French and Italian alps!
Four Days in the Swiss Alps
July 31, 2014
After dinner tonight the group was discussing how much we’ve experienced in just four full days here. The first morning, the group did a “photo boot camp,” learning about shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and taking photos using all manual settings. After our class time we took a tramway up into the clouds and hiked to an alpine hut. The weather was stormy, with curtains of rain and wind, but also occasional open skies and views to the glacier and waterfalls over dark cliffs. The students took full advantage of the weather, experimenting with slow shutter speeds and flowing water, as well as small apertures and wide panoramas.