Hiking danger – swissinfo

There’s been a sharp increase in hiking and climbing accidents in Switzerland over the past few years. This year alone, at least 40 people have died in the Swiss Alps. It is believed that people often over-estimate their abilities. (SF/swissinfo.ch)
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Border Stories – swissinfo

The American climber and writer John Harlin III begins the third and final chapter of his attempt to travel the entire 2,000km Swiss border. After paddling and cycling along the northern and western borders, this summer he will climb the thin, and often dangerous, alpine line that separates Switzerland from its southern neighbours. (Michele Andina, swissinfo.ch

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Generational change – swissinfo

The Rauber family live in the Onsernone valley – an isolated part of southern Switzerland. Besides a long arduous trek to get to the family farm, photographer Fabian Stamm had to win the Rauber’s trust before he could take pictures to document their mountain life. Family patriarch Filippo Rauber speaks at the beginning, setting the scene. This swissinfo.ch report was done in collaboration with the journalism school, MAZ, in Lucerne.
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Edelweiss going commercial

580255_35656485.jpgThe edelweiss, one of the symbols of Switzerland, could soon be heading down from the alpine slopes into florists’ shops. Scientists say that they have managed to grow the bloom at ground level and with stems long enough for bouquets. The whitish star-shaped edelweiss normally grows at between 2,000 and 3,000 metres in altitude. It has been a protected species in Switzerland since 1962. Extracts of the edelweiss, and particularly the Helvetia variety, are used in suncare products and in anti-wrinkle creams. It is believed that the plant’s antioxidant properties, a result of its exposure to strong ultra-violet light at altitude, means that it can counteract the human body’s ageing process. The flower has long been used in logos and in thousands of tourist articles.

I’m too sexy for my skis

ski.jpgSwitzerland’s tourist industry is heading into the winter season flush with confidence, featuring a bare-chested ski instructor in its new marketing campaign. Switzerland Tourism‘s advertising features a topless male ski instructor. A competition is part of the international campaign. Up for grabs is a weeklong ski holiday, including private ski instruction. Anyone taking part votes for the ski instructor shown on the Switzerland Tourism website they consider the most attractive. Each week, the candidates receiving the fewest votes are dropped from the list until only the “best-looking ski instructor” remains. There will be a draw to choose the winner of the ski package. This is not the first time tourism has bet on sex appeal: last year, a campaign tried to attract women to Switzerland during football’s World Cup.

Going home

In autumn, Swiss cows leave their mountain pastures before the cold finally sets in, returning to the farm. The journey is an opportunity to hold a colourful parade in the many villages they travel through on their way home with their owners.