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Final Report of the TOPtoTOP Award Expedition

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Picture gallery of the TOPtoTOP Award Expedition, if you want to add some pictures email Mohit to get the password.
Picture gallery from the start of the TOPtoTOP Award Expedition in Maloja
Final Report TOPtoTOP Climate Solution Award 2010 in Switzerland
This event under the lead of Presence Switzerland was possible thanks to the two main sponors SGS und Victorinox, as well as swissnex, Mammut, Jungfraubahnen, Bergbahnen Engadin, BKW, Zermatter Bergbahnen, Camping Maloja, Biketec (Flyer), Glacier Express, Bielersee Schiffahrtsgesellschaft, Grindelwaldsports, Grindelwald Tourismus, Hochalpine Forschungsstation Jungfraujoch, Tropenhaus Frutigen, STIMBO, Speedrunner and many volunteers.
31. Juli – 20. August 2010
Winners of the “TOPtoTOP Student Climate Solution Contest” from 1 Chile, 1 Australia, 1 Japan, 1 Singapore, 1 India and 2 China plus 1 reporter from Chinese TV ICS plus 5 members of the Schwörer family, Gabi Bolliger as a main volunteer plus 1-5 supporters depending on the activity; participants listed below:
# name nation email school / university*
1 Tiffany Käsermann Japan, University of Queensland, Australia
2 Mohit Agarwal India Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
3 Macarena Sandrock Chile Universidad Austral de Chile (UACH)
4 Joqui Hocking Australia high school Melburne
5 Gao Pan China, Sichuan University
6 Christopher Ngoi Singapore, Nanyang Technological University
7 Wang Nuan China Shanghai, Jiaotong University
8 Zofie Feytons ICS TV China, RITS University for Audiovisual arts
Concept and goals:
Each winner works together in a team with another student and takes part in the “Swiss TOPtoTOP Tour” through Switzerland.
On the tour they will collect the most exciting examples and efforts to protect the climate and study the impacts of global warming during their climbs in the Swiss Alps.
Each participant has done 3 daily reports on and each team did a PowerPoint presentation about their tour and findings. The students from Chile, India and China got a Victorinox watch for their best reports and presentations. All students got a voucher for Victorinox products and the “TOPtoTOP Award” diploma signed by PRS and TOPtoTOP.
The DVD about the event will be produced by Jacqui Hocking from Australia till mid October. Together with their presentations they created great tools to be “ambassadors” for a better future and to present the most innovative solutions to protect our climate.
First Week: Saturday 31.07. – Sunday, 08.08.2010
We met the goals we set:
• All arrivedl between the 29.07.2010 and the 05.08.2010, during the TOPtoTOP 10th anniversary camp, where the participants had the opportunity to meet more TOPtoTOP members and their families
• Acclimatization to the alpine environment
• Team building
Program: for details check
• Reunion on the campground Maloja in the Engadin Valley..
• Outfitting members with MAMMUT sport equipment
• acclimatization with sailing, cycling and climbing activities
• Impacts of climate change: Morteratsch Glacier, protection of Pontesina village cause of permafrost melting etc.
• Solutions: hydro electricity etc.
Second and Third Week: Monday 09.08. – Friday, 20.08.2010
We met the goals we set:
• build a strong network trough the adventure
• collect innovative climate solutions
• produce a documentary film of good hopes
Program: for details check
Monday, 09.08.2010: St. Moritz – Zermatt: GLACIER EXPRESS• Activity: preparation and safety to climb a high mountain, overnight in Zermatt
• Topic: Swiss public transportation
• Overnight in Zermatt
Tuesday, 10.08.2010: Zermatt: CLIMB OVER 4000 M: BREITHORN• Activity: cable car up to Klein Matterhorn, climbing mount Breithorn 4200 m, overnight in Zermatt
• Topic: study inside a glacier, permafrost on Matterhorn
Wednesday, 11.08.2010: Zermatt-Grindelwald: A VILLAGE WITHOUT CARS
• Activity: cable car up to Furi and Via Ferata in Gorner Gorge plus sail park, visit of electic car factory Imboden, public transport to Grindelwald
• Topic: electric factory Imboden

Thursday, 12.08.2010: Grindelwald: CLIMATE TRAIL
• Activity: Climate trail with iPhone support to Bäregg
• Topic: tourism and climate change
Friday, 13.08.2010: Grindelwald – Jungfraujoch: TOP OF EUROPE• Activity: Unique railway to Top of Europe, scientific and technical tour, overnight in Mönchsjoch Hütte
• Topic: visit of limate laboratory in high altitude, technical tor of TOP of Europe
Saturday, 14.08.2010: Jungfraujoch – Grindelwald: UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE
• Activity: glacier trek on the longest glacier in the Alps, because of bad weather we did a crevasse rescue exercise on 3800 m. Each participant was in a crevasse. In the afternoon we did 100 m abseiling and visiting the gorge behind Grindelwald.
• Topics: rescue and team bilding
Sunday, 15.08.2010: Grindelwald: BIGGEST INDOOR SAIL PARK
• Activity: time to work on presentation, in the afternoon fun in the biggest Indoor Sail Park in Europe
• Topics: team building
Monday, 16.08.2010: Grindelwald – Frutigen – Bern – Biel: THE SWISS GREEN HOUSE
• Activity: visiting Tropenhaus in Frutigen and Bundeshaus
• Topics: recycling the warm water from the Lötschberg tunnel, direct democraty
Thusday, 17.08.2010: Biel: SOLAR + WIND ENERGY
• Activity: wind + solar energy, scientific presentation
• Topics:
o Solar plant (14-15h), hike (15-16h) and windfarm (16-17h)
o Climate and vegetation dynamics by Christoph Schwörer, Institute of Plant SIence & Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research, University of Bern
Wednesday, 18.08.2010: Biel: WORLDS BIGGEST SOLAR CATAMARAN
Activity: sailing on the Bielersee sailing boats and the biggest solar catamaran worldwide (MobiCat), public presentation as a exercise for the Award Celebration
• Topic: in the morning: coordination of documentary film, production of presentations for awards giving
Thursday, 19.08.2010: Biel – Luzern: ELECTRIC MOBILITY REVOLUTION
• Activity: from Biel by electric bike (Flyers) to Huttwil to electric bike factory “Bike tech” and from there by train to Luzern
• Main topic: electric bikes
• Other Topic: Swiss Cheese factory, Schaukäserei Affoltern
Friday, 20.08.2010: Luzern – Brunnen – Ibach: CLIMATE SOLUTION AWARD• Activity: Sailing from Luzern 09.12 to Brunnen 11.09 and further by public transport to Victorinox in Ibach for lunch at 11.45h and visiting Victorinox 13.30 – 14.30h
• Topic: Award giving at Victorinox in Ibach plus presentation, 14.30 h – 16 h
• Event ends at 16 h in Ibach, final dinner and overnight in Jakobstal at Sabine’s parents
On the expedition we made a press release and give interviews to local- (i.e. Engadiner Post), national- (i.e. Beobachter) and international media (i.e. HAARETZ daily, Israel).
The participants communicated and will communicate the success of the event to their media back home.
ICS TV from China joined us for the event and produce of the 80 h of footage 10 documentaries with 20 Million visitors each.
The feedbacks were all great from all sides! Here some examples:
“… Everyone in my school is now very interested on my 3-week trip to Switzerland, So I plan to give a presentation in my school the day after tomorrow and I will invite them to taste the chocolate and chess I brought back. I would like to talk about our stories and my feelings…”Debbie, China
“Thank you very much for such an amazing experience! I will never forget it for the rest of my life!!” Tiffany, Japan
“I just arrived safely in Singapore! Thanks so much for this amazing experience!” Chris, Singapore
„Es freut mich natürlich auch, dass die Tour in der Schweiz so erfolgreich war. Wir konnten gut spüren, dass alle Teilnehmer sehr beeindruckt waren, bleibende Erinnerungen mitnehmen und positive Botschafter geworden sind. Auch unser Team war vom Besuch in Ibach tief beeindruckt.” Carl Elsener, Victorinox
„Juste un petit message pour te dire que j’ai eu beaucoup de plaisir à prendre part à la journée du “Climate Solution Award” dans ses locaux de Victorinox à Ibach. J’ai été très impressionnée par le travail consciencieux et de qualité livré par les 7 participants à ces 3 semaines intensives que vous avez organisées pour eux en Suisse. Leurs présentations finales nous ont permis de découvrir et ressentir à quel point leur séjour en Suisse a été marquant pour chacun d’eux, et cela à divers niveaux… » Fabienne Bavaud, PRS
For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the main coordinator Dario Schwörer:

Day 20 ~ Macarena (Ibach)

20 August by Macarena Sandrock
This was a crazy day!! After breakfast in the hotel, some of us went with Dario to little hike around the place and others packed our things. Then we left the hotel to catch the boat. We met there with Fabienne, the representative of the Swiss government, Peter from Swiss Pavillion and with Sabine’s father. In the boat everyone was finishing the last details of their presentation and at the same time, looking the nice view from the mountains and the lake. I really could not believe that this amazing trip was finally getting to the end. The boat brought us to Ebach. There we visited Victorinox, where the world-wide-known knives are done. They had a meal prepared for us that we enjoyed with the view of the valley. After lunch we change our clothes and we dressed our national or typical costume. It was very nice how everyone has a different style.
The tour started. The process is certainly amazing; they have two different processes to assemble the knives. One is automatic and the other one is hand-made. So, they first cut the steel with the shape that they want for the knife. They put some pieces in a machine with ceramic stones and water to polish and make them shiny. The pieces also go to a hardening process. Not all the pieces have the same hardness; it depends on the composition of the steel. They change the composition exposing the pieces to a 1050 degrees heat aprox and changing they molecular structure. Here they define the flexibility and the hardness for every piece. Then we saw how they adjust the thickness so every piece has the right dimension. They also produce the plastic coverts with twenty different colors, but the red one is the predominant. Then they let us assemble our own knife. I think this was the most exciting part of the tour! Everyone was very happy and interested in doing this for themselves. We saw how two ladies were working and then they guide us to put the right part in the correct place. We also wrote our names in the knife, I mean, we told them our names and they wrote them down. So, there is a department where the specials knives are done step by step by persons, and after others check them so they can assure the quality of the product.
The automatic process was very interesting too. A lot of machines assemble every part perfectly. And finally two or more persons check the knife to see if everything is ok.
What really surprised me was the recycle system that they have implemented in the company. Every piece of steel they send it back to the steel supplier to make cheaper steel, and even the leftovers of the polishing process they reuse, compressed them again. For the heated water that they use for cooling the processes down they also have a use. They heat the entire building and other 120 apartment in the nearby with the pipe-tube system. That is really something amazing! How they are using even their waste for something useful! I hope more companies in Chile could start using this system so we can reduce our consumption of wood for the heating.
Other important and valuable thing of this company is that they offer job for local people and also to persons who have some incapacity, for example, persons that cannot see. That is the case of Mr. Heinzer who is blind and has worked for the company for forty-six years, he really loves to work assembling knives and he is also afraid for the future cause in two more years he will retire, but he loves his work so much that he doesn’t want to leave! That is impressive!!! He could have a normal life thanks to Victorinox that gave him the opportunity to work there. But Mr. Heinzer is not the only one, there are at least other 25 people who have some kind of problems but with the help that Victorinox provides them they can have a normal life now. That show us how this company cares about their workers and how helpful and enjoying the work can be for them. This is part of the tradition of the company that for years has been in the hands of the same family, this is an important fact for the environment inside Victonrinox.
The moment of the presentation was finally there. We were nervous but at the same time we wanted to finish this last challenge. One by one the groups presented their ideas. It was a special moment, some cried others laughed others keep in the same normal mood. We voted one for the other one and finally we had the winners. It was a hard decision for the jury to choose, because all of us have done our best. Finally, for my surprise Mohit, Debbie and I were the chosen ones. I still cannot believe it! We received a wonderful watch from Victorinox and all of us had like 200 ChF to spent in the store. That was a crazy moment, we couldn’t decide what to bring, and thinking in our family and friends, and what was the best choice. Some of us were practical and bought some stuff for the kitchen, others brought knives for their entire family and others just picked the best thing they could for themselves. Then, we rushed, packed our things and run for the bus. We had to change trains a lot! Like in the entire trip! Now we can say that we are experts catching trains and moving fast. Little by little we left Gao and Tiffany behind, cause they were already going back to their homes. The rest of us continued traveled together to Sabine’s parent’s house. Night has come. There, in Jakobstahl, they received us with a beautiful path with little candles all over the garden. It was very romantic and we ate dinner outside. For the end of this report I leave the best part, we saw volcano firework with all the family, and Mohit Chris and I slept in the treehouse! Our child dream came true! Tomorrow we say goodbye, but I know that we will meet each other, hopefully soon. This was the best experience I had have in this years that opened my eyes and made me aware of what is happening around me, this was really revealing and I hope I can share this with my friends back in Chile.

Day5 ` Gao Pan (Pontresina laret market)

Day 5 (5th August/ 2010) – (Reported by- Gao Pan)
Team building, Report making and visiting typical Swiss market.
Due to the heavy rain, we had to change the plan today which was sailing.Instead we did team building and making report for the last several days.
After discussion, 3 teams were built up as: Team 1, Wang Nuan from China and Christopher Ngoi from Singapore;
Team 2, Jacqueliwe Hocking from Austrilia, Tiffany Kaesermann from Japan and Gao Pan from China;
Team 3, Mohit Agarwal from India and Sandrock Macarena from Chile.
Every person will take responsibility for one single day’s report and each team will make a final presentation to summarize all the expedition.
10.00 – Team working, report making at restaurant in Maloja camping base. 20100805_Pontresina_Gao_04.JPG
After whole night’s raining, the up part of mountains were covered with snow making the veiw more beautiful.
16.44 – left for Pontresina for the Swiss typical market
It took 55 minutes from Maloja Posta to Pontresina by bus, everywhere along the road are nice views, Lush forest, the mountain covered with snow and clear lake, which are always the precious gift from nuture. As human being, shouldn’t we return something? 20100805_Pontresina_Gao_06.JPG
17.40 – Reached Pontresina Rando around which the fortnightly “Laret Market” is situated.
The town is not so big, no crowds of people, no shouting noise, it’s so quiet, even though today is market day! 20100805_Pontresina_Gao_07.JPG
Among the 4 basic human being survival requests, living requires the most consumption of the energy and natural resource. So for the building, it’s very important to be designed and built in sustainable way to protect the nuture. 20100805_Pontresina_Gao_08.JPG
Here’s one simple example in Pontresina, not only the old type of houses, but the luxury modern hotels have windows with wood cover plates outside. It’s not only for cool façade, the most important is the wood window cover can prevent the thermal energy transfering so easily, so the energy comsumption for air conditioning can be saved. Less consumption, more enjoying of the nutrue.*
18.45 – Enjoyed the concert in the tent
Wang Nuan, Zofia, Mohit and I enjoyed the band performance so much that we missed the 19:48 bus back to Maloja.
20.48 – Left Pontresina back to Maloja Posta
After 55 minutes bus, we had to walk in dark rain and wind evening another 30 minutes back to camping base. Was hoping the tent and sleeping bag is relatively dry, haha, you can not expect more in such weather.

Mocho – UACH – Pacific – CH

Wir sind gerade auf dem Weg ins Spital St. Gallen. Salina hat eine Lungenentzuendung. Bezueglich Fest und Taufe gibt es zur Zeit noch keine Aenderung. Updates auf dieser Page oder Tel. 052 378 10 50 bzw. Tel. 081 723 39 77.
NOTE: Alle Informationen fuer Andri’s Taufe und Willkommensparty am naechsten Wochenende den 16.-17.12.2006 hier als Download (pdf).

Caco from CECS offered the equipment and Dario his guiding know how. That was the formula to organize a workshop in ice climbing and crevasse rescue for young people from the region. Our members and friends from Switzerland Iris und Urs just joined us and climbed the first time in their life a volcano! Dario has had the pleasure to enjoy the spring snow at the end.
The start of this trip was a nice lunch at Erico’s place. He’s dream is to become a mountain guide. His grand grandfather came to Chile. It would be great when he can join the Swiss mountain guide formation in the future. To do so, it would be perfect to get a donation for his ticket to Switzerland, so that Dario can teach him skiing this winter? Email to if you want to donate sth for his ticket.

The next day we had a TOPtoTOP presentation in the botanical institute of the University Austral of Chile. Salina was again a big help!
Christina, the director of the institute offered us to plant an Alerce tree in the beautiful botanical garden of the University for Andri. Gino Casassa has done a nice prayer and so we planted the Alerce over Andri’s and Sabine

Andri’s Odyssey

After Andri’s long odyssey from Patagonia to Robinson Island to the Marquises to the Tuamoutus to the Society Islands to Easter Island to Argentina we have had a nice welcome in the school “Esuela Confederation Suiza” in Victoria Chile, arriving from Peter’s place in Freire where we took the new opened railway.

They honored us for our help together with the support of the Swiss Ambassador Andre Regli to realize a workshop for these disabled children.
After this ceremony we traveled 300 km by bus to Valdivia with the idea, to pick up our belongings and to travel back to Argentina to get our baby there. All this because of our health insurance CSS: In the last moment they sent us the message that they will not cover the birth. In this situation the only solution was the long journey back to Argentina where the births are free. We felt like Maria and Joseph…
BUT! … we arrived in Valdivia and soon after the pain already started. We thought that we have one more week! Fortunately we have been at Federico and Helena’s house and they have been like angels to us. Salina could feel that something was wrong and so we couldn’t go to the hospital immediately and we had to wait till she felt asleep. Finally at midnight after a long day with school visit and a long travel by bus, Federico gave us a lift to the hospital. Sabine has had already a lot of pain and I was afraid that the baby would come on the way. Entering the hospital her waters broke and 20 minutes after Andri was born. We were so happy that we did not feel the tiredness of the odyssey!

Our first visitors the next day were Federico and Helena, followed by Ramon, Jens and Ania, Family Meynet, Ximena, Juan-Carlos, Heidi and Avuela. To minimize costs we moved to our two angels Federico and Helena where we have had a wonderful view from our room over Valdivia and where we celebrated Andri’s birth with a Swiss Fondue together with Fernando’s Family.
Like always we slept all four in the same bed and that was the best for our children to become a team.

Traveling back to Victoria to plant a tree for Andri at the playground of the school “Esuela Confederacion Suiza” we were invited at

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