Fackelabfahrt 2014: Fire in the Snow

Thursday, 27. February 2014

by Daniel Davis Wood

Last night allowed Ecole students and staff to take part in one of the most beloved events of the Winter Term: the Fackelabfahrt. To prepare for a skiing and snowboarding adventure that takes place after the sun has set, everyone grabbed a flaming torch and then stepped onto the piste for a downhill run in darkness with only fire to light the way.

The night began with the entire Ecole community meeting at the Käserstatt Bergrestaurant for a delicious pasta meal prepared by the chefs on the mountain. After dinner, students gathered in families, grabbed their torches, and set off along the blue piste leading down to Lischen. Students could ski down or snowboard depending on preference, while those students who preferred not to take the piste were able to hike down along the sledding trail.

As one of the teachers who led the hiking group, I have to say that it was a wonderful experience to walk a familiar path in the dead of night with no sounds to hear but the grumble of the flame in hand, the crunch of snow underfoot, and the quiet laughter and chatter of students nearby -- until a skier or snowboarder rushes up alongside you, all adrenaline, and lets out a whoop of excitement as they leave a trail of fire in their wake.

At the end of the run, everyone caught the gondola from Lischen back down to Wasserwendi Twing, and then, to finish off the night, the community met up again on campus for donuts, warm drinks, a bonfire, and a dance party in the snow.