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Journey to Norway

After our ¨roadshow¨ to schools in France and Spain, we spent some weeks in the Swiss Alps to plan the next expedition legs. Simon joined us in Grindelwald (see his welcome below) and was of big help teaching our kids. Nearly every day we have been on ski-tour in the magnificent Jungfrau region. It was like spring-skiing with mild temperatures, good snow, blue skies and lots of sun rays. Becoming fit we decided to participate in some ski mountaineering races. We also visited the car-free village of Quinten. It is another community-driven example to become more sustainable and we are happy to join their efforts to build a solar-driven ferry over the lake.

The journey back to the expedition sailboat ¨Pachamama¨, mid-January, we tried to do as carbon neutral as possible. It took us a total of 5 days by train, ferry, and bus and we had 23 items of expedition equipment to carry. We like to say thank you at this point to Colorline and the Norwegian family of Heidi and Eivind Bogerud to support us in our task. They even made it possible that we could participate at a cross-country ski-race in Oslo after arriving from Kiel by ferry.

As soon as we arrived at the boat moored in Kaupnager, we were invited again to a cross-country ski-race. Since then we were busy giving talks at Folkehøgskule, organizing the next talks, and brainstorming with the Sogndal Campus of Western Norway University of Applied Sciences on how we can join forces. We also started planning a sailing- and skiing- expedition to the highest mountain in Scandinavia on a 0- carbon footprint. Please save the date of our next big public talk on the 26th of February, 18.30 at the Sogn Folk Museum in Kaupanger and the clean up in Sogndal on the 6th and 7th of March.

On Tuesday we welcome the journalist Kristin Mueller from Germany for some days on board. She works on a report about our expedition for the ¨Jacht Magazin¨. 

Note: We are looking for the best practice examples to save our planet in Norway. Please email us, if you have good examples.

 

Welcome to our new crew member Simon Unternährer:

Simon joined the TOPtoTOP expedition in December 2019 and volunteers as a teacher for Andri, Noé, and Alegra. Simon did his Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Political Science in Bern and his Master’s degree in ‘Urban Studies’ in four European Cities. In between, he absolved three winters as a seasoner in Zermatt, traveled, and taught at different high schools. His interest in outdoor activities and sustainable solutions for our settlements and natural environment gave him the motivation to join our expedition for a while.

 

Here the report of Andri about our Journey to Norway in German (for English use Google Translate):

Am 13. Januar fuhren wir vom Skitourenrennen ‚Night Attack’ im Flumserberg zurück  nach Grindelwald. Es war die letzte Woche, bevor wir uns auf den Weg nach Norwegen machen würden. Sechs Wochen hausten wir nun  bereits in dem Chalet und konnten uns  so auf die nächste Etappe unserer Expedition vorbereiten.

Als wir beim Haus ankamen, war es kühl und die Strassenlaternen warfen einen Lichtschimmer in den Speiseraum. Plötzlich ging das Licht an; Mein Bruder Noe hatte jenen Schalter gefunden, der versteckt hinter der Holztür hing. In seiner Aufregung purzelte er sogleich die Treppe hinunter. Die folgenden Tage verbrachten wir mit Schule. Zudem trainierten wir für das nächste Skitourenrennen in Elm mit einem Aufstieg aufs Schwarzhorn.

Am Freitag machten wir uns zusammen mit Salina auf den Weg Richtung Elm und übernachteten unterwegs in Quinten. Im schneebedeckten Elm betreute unsere Freundin Meret die kleinsten Zwei, sodass wir anderen am Rennen teilnehmen konnten. Das Rennen lief reibungslos und wir räumten vier Podestplätze ab! Danach fuhren wir völlig erschöpft nach Vilters. Nachdem wir zwei Tage bei Nona und Neni verbrachten, fuhren wir zu Oma ins Jakobstal und packten all unser Zeug zusammen.

Im Zug nach Kiel konnten wir kaum schlafen; Bei jeder Haltestelle ertönte Lärm und das Licht war permanent eingeschaltet. 24 Stunden lang nicht schlafen zu können ist nicht einfach. Hartnäckig wie der Tag war, sah ich den ersten Sonnenstrahl. Es war 7.00 Uhr morgens, als eine Schulklasse ab Köln in unseren Wagon stieg. Ich war froh, dass die Klasse nicht schon um 12.00 Uhr mitternachts in Baden-Baden zustieg. Gegen 10.20 Uhr hielt der Zug in Kiel. Die Fahrt mit der Fähre von Kiel nach Oslo war sehr entspannt. Ich schlief gut und das Essen schmeckte hervorragend. Freundlicherweise wurden wir vom Fährenanbieter Colorline zu diesem Festmahl eingeladen.

Morgens um 7.45 Uhr sah ich die Westküste von Norwegen. Zwei Stunden später kamen wir in Oslo an. Unser Freund Eivind holte uns ab und seine Frau Heidi zauberte eine fantastische Fischsuppe zum Abendessen.

Um 18.00 Uhr abends fand ein Langlaufrennen statt. Es war sehr anstrengend, besonders da wir erst das dritte mal in unserem Leben auf Langlaufskiern standen. Da dies aber in Norwegen der Nationalsport ist, werden wir fortan wöchentlich ins Training gehen.

Weil es ein so warmer Januar war, hatte es auf der Leupe in Oslo kaum Schnee und wir konnten keine Abkürzung nehmen. 😉 In dieser Nacht schlief ich wie ein Murmeltier.

Die Reise von Oslo nach Kaupanger verlief reibungslos und wir freuten uns alle sehr, unsere „Pachamama“ wieder zu sehen.

Annual Report 2019

Thank you for 2019! We wish you all a Happy New Year!

Here the TOPtoTOP Annual Report 2019:

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TOPtoTOP Explore Inspire Act
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Touch Nature Ready for Action Clean Ups Melting Glaciers
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Work Shops Feel the Wind Research Electric Motor
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Inspiring Youth Save Our Planet

EXPLORE — INSPIRE — ACT: Our mission is to save our planet!

TOPtoTOP is the first expedition to traverse the seven seas and reach the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, connecting with all climates and relying only on the power of nature and the human spirit. ‘Along the way we have discovered good solutions for our climate and inspired more than 140,000 students in more than 100 countries through presentations and actions. Our message is one of hope, designed to inspire students and communities to act for a better future by sharing experiences of nature’s beauty and resiliency, and presenting innovations for a healthy planet’. Dario Schwörer

For more than 19 years, Dario & Sabine Schwörer, their family and volunteers have circumnavigated our blue planet to every climate zone, witnessing examples of climate change and its effect on communities, conducting field-based research, and sharing examples of innovative solutions they have learned along the way to protect, preserve and conserve our planet.

At the core of their expedition, they meet with students at schools and community groups, organize clean-up campaigns, and present examples from around the world of counteracting global climate change by living in an environmentally sustainable manner.

At the moment the focus of their activism and engagement with communities is in the far North, introducing guiding skills and outdoor sports to natives in the Arctic. This enables them to create an alternative source of income to survive in their fast-changing environment caused by climate change.

In this report, Dario and Sabine elaborate about their expedition, its goals, annual highlights for 2019, as well as their strategy, route, outlook and how you can support them in their amazing challenge to save the planet.

 

Our Progress — how we meet our goals

Again, we visited many schools and universities with our program. We cycled all the way up the Rhein River through 6 countries visiting schools along the way. We arrived at the source of the Rhein River and have been based in Ftan and Grindelwald, Switzerland, to visit schools, as well as Medemblik, The Netherlands, to complete the repairs of Pachamama. Participating in the “Topper World Championship” in Medemblik we held workshops and gave presentations to young sailors from 5 continents. Later we sailed from The Netherlands to Germany where we met the tall ship Thor Heyerdahl and captain Detlef Soitzek. It was very emotional for Dario and Detlef to meet again after 30 years. While visiting schools in Denmark we had another great encounter: After 13 years Pachamama met sailboat Escapade. Onboard were our friends Clartje and Pieter, whom we met last time in 2006 in New Caledonia. In Farsund, Norway we met Claudia and Jügen on sailboat Belle Epoque, whom we had last seen in Cordova, Alaska in 2013. In Farsund, our kids were able to join the South Norwegian Optimist Championship and Andri was awarded 1st place. In Stavanger, we met the expedition sailboat Gottardo with our friends Doris and Charles as well as meteorologist Siri, who became a celebrity in Norway. Lars, from Stavanger, was of big help organizing schools. His advice about where to go along the Norwegian coast was essential. In Bergen, we joined Action with the organization “Marine Wide”, before visiting schools in the Sogn Fjord, the second-longest fjord on the planet. We met finally Hanna, our friend, and expert in sustainability, whom we had last seen at our wedding. At the moment Pachamama is moored in Kaupanger. thanks to our friends Odd Tufte and Christian Zurbuchen. Christian’s wife Eli was able to get Dario connected with Sogndal Campus of the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, where he was able to present lectures to climate change Masters students.

At the end of October, we started our European “road-show” using Interrail. Thanks to our report on the Norwegian TV evening news, our old-time friends of the sailboat Empire contacted us. We last met in Mauritius in 2011 and were happy to stay at their new home before taking the ferry to Germany. After some talks in Switzerland, we continued to visit schools in France and accepted an invitation from famous Clown Francesco to go to Southern France to brainstorm about his “Eco-Circus” and learn some acrobatic tricks for our presentations. Climbing mecca “Buoux” was just around the corner and we had a blast. Our next base to visit schools was close to Toulouse, where Lotti and Marc and their two daughters are living an exemplary life together with nature. After our school presentation near Montserrat, Spain, we had the opportunity to get involved in a “zero Plastic” campaign, before having to decide whether to participate at the “Climate Change Conference” in Spain or to fulfill the agreed school presentations in Western Switzerland. Looking back at the Madrid results confirmed our decision to meet more students. It also strengthened our belief that “inspiring the youth to act” is the most efficient way to facilitate long-lasting change. At the annual assembly in Switzerland, we honored our former board member Gabi for her huge commitment to TOPtoTOP over nearly two decades as well as Marc & Lotti for her live project.

We have already accomplished a lot this year:

  • distance sailed: 1,900 nautical miles (of a total of 111,000 nm)
  • distance climbed: 40,000 altimeters (of a total of 500,000 m)
  • distance cycled: 1,700 kilometres (of a total of 23,300 km)
  • number of attendees at presentations: 15,000 (of a total of 140,000)
  • plastic collected in clean-ups: 2,000 kg (of a total of 60,000 kg)

 

Our major highlights this year:

The TOPtoTOP Global Climate Expedition and the “Marine Wide” Project have teamed up.

With our concept to get everybody on board, we have been received with open arms in Norway. For example, the petroleum museum in Stavanger has invited us to the opening of its climate exhibition. We also continued studying the changing migration patterns of whales between the tropics and the poles caused by the warming oceans. For the IPRC, we continued to gather statistics concerning Maritime Debris (pollution) as well as wildlife and climate data.

 

Some other highlights:

  • A variety of environmental activities from Norway to Spain
  • Community actions to fight plastic waste and Clean-Ups at many beaches
  • Going electric, thanks to the electric motor supplied by ‘Elco’ in New York
  • Presentations to schools and universities in each destination
  • Our “Climate Solution Contest” has met with great interest around the world
  • For the media coverage go to: https://toptotop.org/about/press/ . Everywhere we traveled the media were interested in an interview. In all destinations, TV, radio and print media reported very positively about the TOPtoTOP actions.

 

Our biggest challenge

At the beginning of November 2017, a brutal storm badly hit our expedition boat Pachamama in the harbor of Akureyri. Pachamama was in a yard in Medemblick, the Netherlands, where we hoped to finish the remaining jobs. Unfortunately, our vessel was still not ready when we contacted Greta’s office to bring her over to NY. We still have to deal with some issues but are positive that we will work it out in Norway.

 

Our Strategies — how we act

Our belief ‘to go together is to go far’ is a success: The family members and volunteers have gone far again this year and managed to repair the damaged expedition boat and still continue their mission.

 Our strategy to reach out more to get the media involved worked very well. This approach also helped us to get in contact with the school authorities to organize events and actions.

 We learned that our message is so much more powerful when our children and younger volunteers started to talk to their peers of the same age.

 We received activity feedback from TOPtoTOP members in 20 countries. Our ongoing story and challenge are the backbone that creates the unique global family of activists. Our global network is based on understanding and solidarity; – this to solve the global challenge we face with climate change.

 

Our Route in 2019 summarized

This year the expedition traveled through various parts of The Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Spain. Our aim was again to inspire young people with good examples of developing a sustainable relationship with nature. In 2019, we sailed many Norwegian fjords, the Norwegian Sea, the North Sea, the Baltic Sea, Limfjorden Strait, the Kiel Canal, and the Ijsselmeer.

 

Outlook 2020 – our campaign “Save the Arctic”

Pachamama is operating in winter 2020 at the West Coast of Norway, before sailing back into the Arctic towards Svalbard and continuing our circumnavigation of the Arctic with the NE-passage.

Facts:

  • Suicide rate in the Arctic = 25% under teenagers
  • Polar bears endangered
  • Average Arctic temperatures have increased at almost twice the global average rate. Ice dependent societies and wildlife are at increasing risk with shrinking sea ice cover.

 

Our Activism in 2020 in the Arctic:

  • Sharing sustainable solutions and facilitate community actions.
  • Transfer of sustainable tourism -, mountaineering – and guiding skills, to give new perspectives and hope to young people living in the Arctic to protect their environment, and enable them, to get an alternative source of income to survive in their fast-changing arctic environment caused by climate change. Get an idea: Inspiring Inuit kids to climb: https://vimeo.com/229485340
  • We aim to give remote places a voice and connect schools from different parts of the planet.
  • The ‘TOPtoTOP Climate Solution Award Expedition we hope to organize in 2020/21 in Norway: see the last Climate Solution Award Expedition: https://vimeo.com/85454324
  • Continue our LPS-campaign (Leave Plastic in the Shop campaign)

 

Long-term Outlook

We aim to inspire another 100,000 students over the coming years on our route circumnavigating the Arctic and the Americas from POLE to POLE in a figure of 8, making optimal use of the winds and currents.

Our ultimate goal is to save the planet through our inspiring examples and our actions. We aim to build a global network of activists to solve global challenges, based on understanding, friendship and solidarity.

 

Support us

It is time to save our planet! Our goal is to establish a lasting movement that inspires youth to act — even in 100 years’ time from now. Please consider an annual donation, see https://toptotop.org/donate/ .

The annual TOPtoTOP-membership is 50 USD/Euro/CHF per household/institution. A lifelong membership is 250 USD, please register at https://toptotop.org/donate/toptotop-membership/ .

Thank you for your support!

 THANK YOU

Without the generosity and hospitality of the people we meet on our journey, and without your support, our efforts would have been unthinkable. A big thank you also to our partners UNEP and myclimate, and to our main sponsor Victorinox. Our thanks also go to all the benefactors and all those who support our project with their TOP products and services, specially PredictWind, Patagonia, WEYTEC, Hostpoint, Sunware, Webasto, Echopilot, Elco, Optrel, BSI, Munters, and Ronstan.

 Special thanks to our members on the expedition Sabine, Dario, Salina, Andri, Noe, Alegra, Mia, Vital, Meret, Livia, Laura, Odd, Nacho, Pieter & Claartje, Ric, Family Andreas & Andrea Freimüller, Maja & Jaab, Hanne, Anita, Christian and Lea.

A special thanks Gabi Bolliger, Meret Jucker, Fiona Zimmermann, Hanna Law, Bart Ziegler, Peter Storm, Annemarie Büchler, Markus Roos, Dominik Schaub, Rosi & Ernst Ammann, Ottavia & Reto Schwörer, who have worked like little dwarfs taking care of administration, logistics, website, translations and bookkeeping.

We also wish to thank for their friendship and assistance to:

Pieter & Claartje Heerema, Charles & Doris Michel, Family Carl & Veronika Elsener, Philipp Ammann, Martin Schuster, Family Peter Käsermann, Claus Knoth & Ruscha Jurisch and Family, Eveline Egloff, Arngrímur B. Jóhannsson, Gudmundur Tulinius, Roland Smelt & Sossa Vagnsdottir, Sylvia & Juerg Zahnd, Monika und Peter Gruenenfelder, Bruder Martin Hieronymi, Kloster Disentis, Dominik & Sylke Schaub, Regatta Center Medemblik, Family Julie & Matt Deschamps, Marco & Ines Kappenberger, Karin Caderas & Marco Koch, Peter Gnehm, Family Jeff & Mary Fritsch, Family Torgen & Lindsey Johnson, Family Pia & Andy Zimmermann, Family Andy Freimueller, Stefan Baumann, Peter Locher, Reta Malaer, Family John & Cheryl Hunt, Family Bausmann, Mohamed Masoud, Mead Treadwell, Pierre Honegger, The Explorers Club, Roman Rueglister, Mario Okle, Family Pholenz, Bob de Angelo, Nancy Loving, David Hinkelmann, Steven Stern, Rigger Rainer Petras, Matthew Desorgher, Detlef Soitzek & Ruth Merk, Alex Dean and Sam, Eitert Sundt, Ulrich Welke, Cecile Nilsen, Johanna Brawn, Gundula Trefzger, Pal Atle Steffenson, Agnethe & Ole Agnus & family, Hortencia Vallverdi & Oscar Charnet, Lindsey& Bob SY Zimwi, Agnethe Salvesen, Jim-Age & Marlise Pederson, Lars Ole Gudevang, Bjorn Thore Leidland, Torunn Hatlevik, Silje Hatlevik Urang, Kjelfrid Bathun & Einar Losnegard & family, Sigrid Heiberg, Christian & Eli Zurbuchen, Mathilde Buch & family, Odd Tufte, Gunvor Steine, Natasha Tufte, Torbjorn Qrens, Per Odd Cerevsnes, Kathja Gesch & Ralph Krueger & Family, Magnus Mugaas Hegland, Martin Thor Valosen, Calum, Renate Kupper, Kurt Eizinger, Hanne Lykkja & Harald Ranum, Lotti & Marc, Moana& Jelena Boesch, Nadine & Francesco, Lora, Nacho, Lorraine Gallen & Miguel Talens, Philippe & Christiane Cuttelod, Ingebjorn Eik, Ingvild Bakken, Sondre Dalaker, Thomas Müller, Family Mareleine & Peter Hieronymi mit Christian, Family Fiona & Nicolas Zimmermann, Familiy Vanessa & Thibout Descoeudres, Cilgia Florineth, Fiola Nitti, Ric & Emma van Wachem, Jim & Lea Downson, Clark & Barbara Blynn, Elsmarie Rassmusen, Andrea Kuhn, Sereina & Mario Riatsch, Juliane Köhler, Geir Heitmann, Margrethe Vika, Siri

Special thanks to the following schools and institutions: Ecole Ill au Rhin; Molsskolen, Knebel, Denmark; Farsund Ungdomsskole, Farsund, Norway; Farsund Barneskole, Norway; Nylund Skole, Stavanger, Norway; Espevar Skule, Espevaer, Norway; Dalsayra Skule,Dalsoyra, Norway; Vadheim Skule, Norway; Sagatun Skule, Badestrand,Norway; Gaupne Skule, Gupne,Norway; Indre Hafslo oppvekstsenter, Manifjora,Norway; Ecole primaire, St Martin de Castillon,France; Ecole primaire Rene Cassin, Castelnau Barbarens, France; Lycees Pardailhan, Auch,France; Escola Sant Pere, Monistrol de Montserrat, Spain; Pre Fleuri International Alpine School, Chesieres Villars, Switzerland; La Garenne International School, Chesieres, Switzerland; College Alpin Beau Soleil, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland; Stavenger Seilforening, Norway; Evangelische Kirche, Sargans, Switzerland; Sailmaker Paul, Stavanger, Norway.

Merry Xmas

We wish you all Merry Xmas and thank you for your support!

For two decades we try our best to inspire young people to save the planet with positive examples we explore, and the environmental actions we organize. In outdoor sports, we see the best medicine to save the planet. It connects you with nature. This friendship is fundamental to act for a better future.

Please consider an annual donation or membership. Tax deduction documents find here.

End of October we went by ferries and trains on a European tour using Interrail. We slept most of the time in our sleeping bags in 19 different places meeting wonderful people. Thank you all:

Thanks to our report on the Norwegian TV evening news, our old-time friends of sailboat Empire, contacted us. We met last time in Mauritius in 2011, where we climbed an amazing looking mountain “Peter Both”together. – We were happy to stay at their new home, before taking the ferry to Germany. Thank you so much.

Our first talks we had in Swiss schools, followed by a presentation at the “energy city of Aadorf” and at the “Victorinox round table” in Zurich. We were quite impressed by the environmental spirit of the Lemania-Verbier International School

We continued to visit schools in France and followed an invitation of famous Clown Francesco and his lovely wife Nadine to Southern France to brainstorm about his “Eco-Circus” and learn some acrobatic tricks for our presentations. Climbing mecca “Buoux” was just around the corner and we had a blast.

Our next base to visit schools was close to Toulouse, where Lotti and Marc and their two daughters are living an exemplary live together with nature.

After our school presentation near Montserrat, Spain we had the opportunity to get involved in a “zero Plastic” campaign before we had to decide to participate at the “Climate Change Conference” in Spain or to fulfill the agreed school presentations in Western Switzerland. Looking back to the “Madrid results”, we think that we did right to meet with more students instead. It also strengthened our belief that “inspiring the youth to act” is the most efficient to get long-lasting change.

Just back in Switzerland, we all participated in the “Silvester Lauf in Zürich” where Alegra became 1st (4th in her category), Salina and Noe 2nd (8th and 11th in their category), and Andri because of a cold 27th in their age/category and train for next ski mountaineering races.

At our annual assembly, we honored our former board member Gabi for her huge commitment to TOPtoTOP over nearly two decades as well as Marc & Lotti for her live project.

At the moment we stay in Grindelwald, thanks to Bruder Martin’s mother “Madeleine”. Here we celebrate Xmas and have some time to recover before we are heading back to continue the expedition by boat.

Annual report coming soon!

 

Norway likes TOPtoTOP

Here some media we had in the last months in Norway. They like us as mediators between the people who worked hard their wholes lives on oil rigs and made Norway wealthy, – and the new generation who has to deal with a warmer climate in the future.

Here a TV-Report in the evening news.

Den seglande familien – p1 – Grenda – Norway

Den seglande familien – p2 – Grenda – Norway

Familien har budd 20 ar i seglbat  – Sogn Avis – Norway

A skutu um öll heimsins höf – Neytendabladid – Iceland

Jorden rund for klimaet – Spesiell seilerfamilie møtte elever – Nirway 28.8.2019 – Lister – Norway

 

Kaupanger

On the way back from Valdres we also checked out routes in the surrounding of the highest peak in Norway, Mount Galdhoppigen. We hope we can make it soon from the boat to the top on skis?

Sailing into Kaupanger:

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Thanks to Odd Tufte and Christian Zurbuchen we are now safely moored in Kaupanger near Sogndal. At night we made a Swiss dish for Odd and his kids:

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The next day we made a wonderful hike with two other families we met overlooking the anchorage of Kupanger:

From there we went visiting schools in the area. Dario did a lecture for the Sogndal Campus of Western Norway University and we had a big public presentation in Sogndal.

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We celebrated on the 16th of October the birthday of Laura and Dario first on the boat and then in Odd Tufte’s house. The traditional “treasure hunt” we did in the pitch dark.

 

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