Home > Our Camps > Special! > Old Camps > Skiing and Snowflakes
To sign up
Add to wishlist
Would you like to photograph gorgeous snowflakes and take them home with you? Do you wish to learn how to construct arctic homes? And while we’re at it, would you like to fully take advantage of the mountains during our downhill ski trips on dream pistes? Then come join our team on this fun-filled trip and take advantage of this opportunity to practise your skiing and your ski jumps while giving your brain a workout with the geology research program Research Program Collaborate with scientific organizations. Actively take part in participative science research programs. All this is possible with our plankton discovery sailing expedition. . You mustn’t forget the splendid evenings when we will also spend studying astronomy under the dome of the telescope at Saint Luc! This trip is ideal for families.
Taking place over new year, this trip will give you an absolutely magical New Year’s Eve (see below). This trip is perfect for adults, families, teenagers and children either accompanied or travelling solo.
The snow is a fantastic terrain for learning and playing. During the trip you will be able to practice and perfect your skills in downhill skiing and, at the same time, take part in scientific activities on a theme that is quite modern: photographing snowflakes and nivology (the study of snow).
Mega snowball fights, downhill skiing, building igloos, hot chocolate and raclette... to put it simply, it will be pure joy.
Given the scientific research Scientific Research Participate in scientific research research programs. Help advance research on oceans to help us understand them better. Do this on our nature courses on dolphins and whales. opportunities of this trip, you will be able to help advance current scientific research Scientific Research Participate in scientific research research programs. Help advance research on oceans to help us understand them better. Do this on our nature courses on dolphins and whales. with the research program Research Program Collaborate with scientific organizations. Actively take part in participative science research programs. All this is possible with our plankton discovery sailing expedition. MINEO.
You will start to see snow in a completely different way!
The snow will no longer have any secrets from you, thanks to nivology (the science Science La science est désormais l’affaire de tous. Découvrez la science d’une manière ludique et active. Nous vous proposons d’en découvrir plus sur nos expéditions à la voile, découverte du plancton. of snow) you will understand why snow is slippery and why it can be dangerous. By using different techniques to measure and observe snowflakes and blankets of snow, you will discover the different physical and chemical properties of snow.
You will also learn to capture snowflakes and take photos of them using digital cameras with manual focus or even learn to freeze the snowflakes and their crystalline forms with another secret system! This technique will permit you to observe the snowflakes for as long as you like with your binoculars. You will also learn other simple techniques that are particularly innovative and which were adapted and put in place by Objectif Sciences International!
The film below shows teams out in the field during a camp in which both families and children took part.
Depending on your interests you could easily partake in a snowman-building contest or one for constructing an igloo with the best insulation or even take part in making snowflakes in a laboratory. The main priority will be to make sure that you are having fun in the snow. What’s better than being able to enjoy science Science La science est désormais l’affaire de tous. Découvrez la science d’une manière ludique et active. Nous vous proposons d’en découvrir plus sur nos expéditions à la voile, découverte du plancton. while also having a blast with winter sports!!!
If possible, the participants will be separated into age groups of 7-0, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18 and adults. In the case of groups registered as a family, family members will be together for certain activities while at other times during the day the parents can take advantage of their free time.
Every morning will be dedicated to skiing so you will receive your fill of the fluffy, white snow! After a picnic at the top of the tracks and equipped with skis and scientific tools, we will study what the snow hydrologists analyze. What are the risks of snow thaw and of avalanches and what is the density of snow? Portable weights, magnifying glass, and temperature probes will all be there to let us completely understand the mountain! The weather will not change without us not knowing!
Time’s a wastin’? Even better! Head to the center to create new snowflakes and taste delicious old-fashioned hot chocolate.
It will often be sunny (Valais
Switzerland Every year the NGO Objectif Sciences International offers several science camps in Valais, Switzerland, on different themes (fauna & flora, architecture, palaeontology, geology, drones...) You will find, at the following link, more information about our nature camps. is famous for its 300 days of good weather per year), therefore we will ski as often as possible then take a nice deserved break and have a 4 star snack at the summit. This will be a good opportunity to learn a little about using maps, a compass and a GPS to orient yourself. It seems like we would have a hard time boiling eater for tea due to the altitude... but shall we try?
Every evening we will dine in the warmth surrounded by friends. We will finish each day with super evening activities organized for you by our educators.
Snow is a form of precipitation that is made of ice that accumulates into flakes. Kleper Johannes, a famous astrophysicist of the 17th century, was one of the first scientists to study the formation of snowflakes. From then, it was a Japanese scientist in the 1930s who succeeded in creating snowflakes in experimental conditions. From this we learned that the shape of a snowflake depends on, among other elements, the temperature and its water saturation... you will find out much more during the camp!
While creating these numerous photographs and technical drawings of these ice crystals, you will be adding to the encyclopedia of snowflakes managed by Objectif Sciences International!
The classification of snowflakes continues to develop with 121 categories to this date. Recently, new forms of snowflakes have been discovered. Why not discover a new one this winter?
After understanding how an avalanche forms, you will meet a skier who will teach you how they purposely trigger avalanches each morning in order to protect the ski area. We will also learn how to prevent and react to this kind of natural risk. You will become a responsible and knowledgeable skier.
Our second objective for this camp is to construct igloos that are effective at keeping out the cold. The architecture and the principles of thermal insulation have evolved over the years so why not use them to rethink a housing type that is as old as humanity? And if we succeed in our mission, the most daring participants could even spend a night in it.
The view from the accommodation is a panorama of the summits. It will take your breath away, but keep some it because you’ll need to save your breath for skiing!
The village of Saint-Luc is situated in the valley of Anniviers, which is a charming valley in the Valais Vacation Camp
Switzerland Every year the NGO Objectif Sciences International offers several science camps in Valais, Switzerland, on different themes (fauna & flora, architecture, palaeontology, geology, drones...) You will find, at the following link, more information about our nature camps. of Switzerland. With its “raccards” (grain stores built on stilts) and its hay lofts, Saint-Luc has a unique architectural style that is completely adapted to the constraints of mountain life.
The surrounding mountains rise to above 3000m, with four of them even surpassing 4000m! That includes the Cervin (Matterhorn), the tallest and most famous mountain in Switzerland. The geology is particularly rich in this valley, due in part, to the formation of the Alps. This area was known for heavy mining in the 18th century (copper, nickel, silver, lead). Today, it is possible to visit certain mines with OSI, particularly in the summer with the camp “Le TrésOR des MINES”.
The area is just as beautiful in summer as in the winter. Whatever we see out of the windows or when we go for a stroll whether it be the lakes, the mountain passes, the summits or the high fields, the view will be breath taking. There are numerous glaciers, like Moiry, at the foot of which we bivouac in the summer. During our outings, some of which will be with the biologists from the camp “Pisteur des Alpes”, we will follow the tracks of Alpine fauna, we will see the stags while passing by weasels and grouse and why not a wolf!
In winter, Saint-Luc/Chandolin is a big ski resort adapted to beginners as well as professionals for skiing and snowboarding. This resort offers:
- guaranteed snow thanks to artificial snow makers.
- 75 KM of ski pistes.
- 1 cable car, 2 ski lifts, and 13 ski tows
- 1 snowpark
- 1 luge track of 3.5 km
- free shuttle buses
Our accommodation will be in the valley of Anniviers in the Grand Hôtel du Cervin. A magnificent hotel dating from the romantic era in the Alps, it was constructed in 1883. It is today classified as a historical site in the Valais. This hotel, which is found in the heart of Saint-Luc, offers us easy access to the ski tracks in winter and to the hiking paths in the summer. Also, we can easily access the bus from La Poste Suisse (Swiss post office) that serves all the important places in the valley.
The interior of the Grand Hôtel du Cervin has been regularly maintained since its initial construction and has been renovated while keeping to the history and architecture of the place. Our rooms will be equipped with four beds with two bunk beds in the children’s rooms and a double bed for the parent’s rooms. This grand establishment will provide us lots of space for our activities or just for hanging out.
The meals will be mostly traditional, from Swiss mountain delicacies to Italian cuisine. We will have traditional Swiss raclette once a week. We will live in this historic hotel in the heart of Swiss culture in a warm and family-like atmosphere.
For children who do not know how to ski, or for those that would like to improve, it is possible to add skiing courses with the L’École Suisse de Ski de Saint-Luc (Swiss School of Ski of Saint-Luc) to this camp. Your children will see themselves awarded with a medal at the end of the week and the younger children will receive medals from Snowli!
This camp integrates several evenings of celestial observations at professional quality using the telescope with 600mm focal point in the Saint-Luc observatory. This observatory is situated in high altitude within 2 minutes from the top of the cable car, which is in the same area of the hotel. It will be entirely reserved for our group in order to undertake observations in the evening. The evenings will be followed a later wake-up.
New Year’s Celebration
During the month of December we will celebrate the New Year as it should be celebrated, and during the summer months we will celebrate the Swiss National holiday on the first of August, very traditional at these high mountain altitudes.
The 31st of December at midnight there will be fireworks that will light up the whole valley, a truly magical sight. To celebrate the occasion we will make Swedish lanterns in the snow.
Emily Delpech is the manager of the research program Research Program Collaborate with scientific organizations. Actively take part in participative science research programs. All this is possible with our plankton discovery sailing expedition. MINEO and an educator on the camp Skiing and Snowflakes. A naturalist and scientist, she seeks to understand the world around her. She observes, listens, tastes, senses, feels, and imagines. She is astounded by the complexity of life, by the organization of her subject or by the immensity of mountains. Geology is her passion and she shares it as much as she can with those around her.
If she decided to become one of the science educators within the NGO OSI, it was with the goal of bringing a sense of wonder to the participants of the camps; to arouse their curiosity and to inform the young and the old in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Her natural curiosity and her joyful spirit are dynamic and contagious and make the camps more enjoyable. Come and join us in Saint-Luc and let yourselves be seduced by the magic of the Swiss Alps!
Elise MARC, Paratriathlon champion
_former participant of the Scientific Holidays of Objectif Sciences International
_“After my accident when I was a pre-teen, it was during one of the camps of OSI in 2006 that I cycled for the first time. I am grateful to their educators for their capabilities and their skill in overcoming obstacles. They made my stay at the camps absolutely wonderful!”
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Do I have to know how to ski to attend this camp?
No, it is not mandatory to know how to ski as children and adults who do not know how to ski can register for skiing courses at the l’École Suisse de Ski (the Swiss School of Skii) of Saint-Luc in the mornings (contact us). The scientific activities in the afternoon will allow you to take advantage of the snow in other ways in addition to learning how to ski thanks to this camp!
2) What if I already know how to ski?
Skiing makes up an integral part of the science activities of this camp. Participants who already know how to ski can undertake different tracks to sample different types of snow, which is necessary for continuing the research project. To photograph snowflakes or to study blankets of snow, we will cover all the different areas of the ski tracks. This will accommodate and please all levels of skiers, from beginners to advanced skiers, thanks to our important staff to participant ratio.
How to Get Here
The Valley of Anniviers is found in the south of Sierre (Switzerland), in the south east of the canton of Valais. Valais is found to the east of Lake Geneva, past Geneva and Lausanne.
- You can get here by your own means. (We will give you a map and a schedule.)
- We also organize departures from all the cities in the world:. Contact-us for more details
- Come by train with someone to accompany you or on minibus from certain cities.
- Come by plane : contact us for more details)
Concepts Learned during the Camp
Composition chimique - Cristaux - Cycle de l’eau - Dessin technique - Dynamique des fluides - Lumière - Minéraux - Avalanches - Nivologie - Prévention et gestion des risques - Igloo - Quinzee
Boîtes de petri - Camera CCD - Ecran de projection - Jumelles - Loupe de terrain - Loupe binoculaire - Machine à fabriquer des flocons de neige - Mallette de prélèvements - Microscope - Piège à flocons de neige - Vidéoprojecteur - Sonde à Neige
Ask a question