In Grächen, the tourist venture Grächen AG organised a big stage race together with all the resort’s ski schools, sports shops and the Snow-bike Club, each featuring one special snow sport. The Grächen mountain railways & cableways, the restaurant in the skiing area and two hotels also took part by offering discounts and free accommodation for the children attending the event.
The 1st World Snow Day gave children the opportunity to get to know and try out various snow sports on Grächen’s Hannigalp by taking part in fun competitions either as individual competitors or as team players. At the avalanche field they were also taught valuable information.
Stage 1: Snowshoeing and sledding
Who’s fastest? This stage consisted of an internal competition in two parts: first up was “snowshoeing”, followed by “sledding down the hillside course”.
Stage 2: Snow-biking
Here children had the opportunity to get to grips with snow-biking. First, they were taught how to steer and brake a snow bike. The participants were then allowed to snow-bike down a short course marked out on the hillside.
Stage 3: Using probe poles to locate a surprise in the avalanche field
The participants were taught about avalanche safety and rescue.
The topics addressed included:
• Safety on the slopes
• What are the avalanche risk levels?
• Is it dangerous to go off-piste?
• What to do in the event of an avalanche, both as a victim and as an observer
• Rescue work in an avalanche cone (Recco system)
The children were then given probe poles and asked to locate a box of sweeties buried in the avalanche field.
Stage 4: Snowboarding
A snowboarding instructor gave a 10-minute snowboarding lesson at beginner’s level. Each child then had the opportunity to try out the snowboard for themselves with the instructor’s help.
Stage 5: Ski competition
With skis 2.5 m long and fitted with bindings for five children, making progress required a great deal of skill. The participants were split into two equal groups and made to compete against each other.
Stage 6: Freestyle skiing
Here the children were given a special demonstration by an up-and-coming talent from the freestyle scene (Amadé Biner). Together with a helper, the children had the opportunity to have their first go at freestyle skiing at a mini-freestyle park.
The event was rounded off with a prize-giving ceremony and diploma presentation for all the participants, complete with musical entertainment.
From all the positive feedback we’ve received, we know that the 1st World Snow Day on Grächen’s Hannigalp was great fun for all the children. Below are two of the messages we received:
Last Sunday our two boys took part in the World Snow Day in Grächen and they came back at 4 pm totally thrilled by the event!!!
So we wanted to thank you for this wonderful day.
Our children really enjoyed all the different stages and we know they had a truly memorable day out. Given that we’re on the slopes at Grächen most weekends, this was of course a wonderful and very interesting change for the boys, and we would like to thank everyone for all their hard work and dedication!