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Behind the Scenes – the Making of Alpinehikers Videos

Behind the Scenes – the Making of Alpinehikers Videos

We finally shot some video for our website to show off just what makes our alpine hiking tours so amazing. We’ve been talking about it for years, but this year it actually came together with the help of our stellar team members, and the expertise of Yellow Tent Nomads. Videographers Aaron and Madeline were coming to the Alps already, they’d worked with two of our guides before, who highly recommended them as “easy to work with”.  Magic words in my book! So we made plans and put a quick schedule together for two of our prime hiking regions: the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc.

Hiking in Zermatt and the Matterhorn Region

First they did some filming in Zermatt with Hayden Buck, one of our main guides, and his lovely wife Koeun, our summer Helpline manager. They documented the trails there, the Matterhorn, the exceptional views of Monte Rosa from Gornergrat, the quirky and adorable black-nosed sheep, and the wonderful Hotel Europe. It’s a fabulous region.

Alpine hiking above Zermatt
Hiking above Zermatt with videographers Aaron and Madeline of Yellow Tent Nomads

Chamonix and the Tour du Mont Blanc

Then Aaron and Madeline headed to Chamonix and Mont Blanc. One of our tour designers, Eryka Thorley, was hiking the southern portions of the TMB as part of a research trip, and I arrived in Chamonix at the same time. We had a beautiful day hiking to Miage, where we got to experience a stunning, and very typical corner of the TMB.  We got a lot of great footage, then took a long lunch break and just enjoyed the mountains for a bit. Later, we had one rainy day that we made the best of, but the weather gods made up for it the next day with a gorgeous morning at Col de Balme.

Filming at Col de Balme, Mont Blanc region
Filming at Col de Balme

Wow! It sure is beautiful in Chamonix. The mountains are unbelievable, and there are trails everywhere, huge glaciers streaming down, lifts heading up in every direction. Our Great Hikes of Mont Blanc is a fabulous tour, with 6 full days exloring the trails around Chamonix and Courmayeur. Sign me up! The town has a ton of hip new restaurants with names like Moo, Mumma, and Big Mountain Brewery. Everywhere you turn there’s another trail runner or mountain climber or famous athlete of some sort. It’s a giant alpine playground, with cable cars, and paragliders and people enjoying the mountains. It might not be quaint and quiet anymore, but it is vibrant and fun.

Hotel Gai Soleil, tour du Mont Blanc, guide interview
Madeline interviews guide and tour designer Eryka Thorley at Hotel Gai Soleil along the Tour du Mont Blanc

Extending the Video Shoot – On to the Bernese Oberland!

Our video shoot was going to be short – a day in Zermatt, some video footage of Mont Blanc, and done – but after a few days reflection I realized we couldn’t shoot an Alpinehikers video and not go to the Bernese Oberland.  Not happening.  Luckily, Aaron and Madeline were flexible, and wholeheartedly agreed to extend the shoot for a few days. Yay!

So we packed up the video cameras and headed to the Bernese Oberland.  First stop, Obersteinberg. Aaah…. so relaxing. You feel any lingering tension melt away immediately. We stopped literally at the end of the road and started hiking. The route to Obersteinberg features 360 degree views, waterfalls, gigantic mountains, a small goat farm, grazing cows, wild blueberries, and hardly any people – at least compared to Mont Blanc. We hiked for a few hours, eventually reaching my favorite mountain inn, Obersteinberg.

inn-to-inn alpine hiking, Obersteinberg, Lauterbrunnen Valley
Dawn over Obersteinberg, a remote mountain inn and working alpine farm.

Two of Our Favorite Mountain Inns – Obersteinberg and Schwarzwaldalp

Obersteinberg is a working farm with cheese made by hand at the barn next door, no electricity (candles in the rooms), a cozy lounge, and unbeatable views. I’ve always felt like Obersteinberg epitomizes what we try to do at Alpinehikers. Find authentic, beautiful, memorable places and share them with you. At the inn that night were the three of us, plus two other Americans following Kev Reynolds’ Tour of the Jungfrau region book, a Dutch couple and about 8 Swiss hikers. That’s it. It was peaceful and pure. (Except for us silly Americans making a video.)

Hotel Schwarzwaldalp, mountain inn, hiking Switzerland
Hotel Schwarzwaldalp is one of our favorite mountain inns on our Bernese Oberland tour

After a great day there, we headed to Schwarzwaldalp, another favorite inn on our Bernese Oberland tour, and another place visited mainly by Swiss hikers. Again, the scenery is stunning and the cows practically stick their heads inside your window if the mood strikes. It’s authentically Swiss. We met one of our guided groups, a fun crew, who were all feeling great and ready for an adventure. Yes, there are mountaintop trains and cable cars in Grindelwald and Murren. There are zip lines, ebikes, runners and mountain climbers… they have all of that here too. But somehow it doesn’t dominate. You can feel the slow, steady mountain culture holding it all together.

5 New Videos to Explore

After all these great adventures, Yellow Tent Nomads put together 5 great videos for us to share with you. In them we explore different aspects of our tours, describe who we are and how we make the magic happen, look at what makes an inn-to-inn tour special, get out on the trail to hike the TMB, and more. Check them out and let us know what you think!

“Our goal was to capture not only the beauty of the Alps but also the history and spirit of this stellar tour company. We had a blast with everyone we worked with on this project. From wonderful hotel owners and staff, to awesome guides and tour designers, thank you for being so great to work with and bringing this video to life.”

– Aaron and Madeline, Yellow Tent Nomads


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