Biotech Skiweekend in Engelberg

06.04.2017 | Biotech Alumni

Von:  Andrea Spinnler, Andreas Kyburz

It is Friday 17th of March 2017 early afternoon at the Basel SBB main train station. A horde of BSSE master students, PhD students and Alumni is waiting desperately for the train to arrive that will bring them to the mountains. It shall be a weekend full of fun, skiing and lots of interactions between former and current members of the Biosystems Science and Engineering department of ETH Zürich.

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Biotech Skiweekend in Engelberg
Biotech Skiweekend in Engelberg

A weekend to meet up with fellow students but also a chance for the youngsters to talk to older students or alumni to get some advice on future steps. The 2.5-hour train ride to Engelberg, a beautiful mountain village in the vicinity of Lucerne and the famous mountain Titlis, went over quickly.

Delightful Evening

At arrival at the Schützenhaus Espen, the housing for the next two days, people picked their beds in the 16-bed dormitories and settled down for a relaxing evening with a tasty barbeque and some of the most enjoyed biotechnologically produced drinks. People started mixing up in little groups, playing cards, dancing or just discussing about various aspects of life. As bad weather was forecasted for Saturday nobody was in a hurry to go to bed.

Grey Day

The next day everyone gathered around the TV in the eating room just to see a blurry image of greyness from the camera on top of Titlis. Unfortunately the weather frog predicted correctly this time and rain started pouring down already in the morning and wouldn’t stop all day long. No matter what, people started gathering their ski equipment after a short breakfast and started walking towards the gondola. The few people who decided not to ski first went to the information office in town just to be disappointed that most attractions were closed due to the bad weather. Not wanting to stay inside for the rest of the days they made their way up to the middle station “Trübsee” for a slightly wet snow hike.

Wet Clothes, Warm Welcome

Some hardcore skiers stayed on the slopes until late in the afternoon while most people came back shortly after lunch time in a soaking wet condition. At the end of the day the drying room in the cellar of the house was full and all the radiators were covered with pants, gloves and jackets. All participants were still in high spirits and were looking forward to the second night of nice food, music and entertainment.  After a self-made mulled wine welcome after skiing, sponsored by the Biotech Alumni, hungry stomachs were waiting for their share of spaghetti. Being tired from a long day of skiing, walking and partying, most people went to bed rather early, only to be awoken by another group of house tenants in the middle of the night. A lesson learned by that incident: always bring ear-plugs if sleeping in a multi-bed dormitory with very thin walls.

Better Weather, Great Weekend

Fortunately, the weather on Sunday turned out to be much better than expected. After a quick clean-up of the house people hurried towards the gondola again to make the best out of the snow conditions before the trip home to Basel.

All the participants came to the same conclusion at the end of the trip: The ski-weekend should and will take place again in 2018.


Funded by Nikon, Zurich Instruments, Red Bull, ETHZ, ETH Alumni

In collaboration with the Biotech Student Association (BSA) and the Mittelbau. 

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Fri Jul 21 13:02:12 CEST 2017
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