It was a spectacular launch for the new "Cool Beds" gift box experience. Jochen Schweizer celebrated the premiere of his unusual roomnight packages in the Saalfelden-Leoganger Steinberge mountains.
"That was far and away one of the most thrilling nights of my life", Jochen Schweizer, a businessman from Munich and purveyor of exceptional gift experiences, commented on the morning of December 9 as he climbed out of his bed at a dizzying height in the Leoganger Steinberge mountains. He had spent the night of the premiere together with a guest winner fromLeipzig, one fromMunichand two fromSalzburgin the most spectacular of his new "Cool Beds", a new experiential offer from the gift specialist. Participants with sufficient stamina and pluck can spend the night in 'portaledges' (portable ledges), a deployable hanging tent system designed for mountaineers that is otherwise used only in extreme sports and over rough terrain.
During the night of December 8 to 9, 2011, what only professional mountaineers normally have the nerve to use accommodated Jochen Schweizer and another four daring guests for arguably the most awesome night of their life: 50 metres above an abyss, 1,300 metres above sea level, with the thermometer reading minus five degrees Celsius, huddled together in the tightest of spaces in a portaledge resting against a precipitous vertical rock wall – but naturally well secured by snap hooks, various ropes and anchor points driven into the rock, and an experienced mountain rescue team. On the morning after this unforgettable night the participants were rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view across the winter wonderland at the foot of Leogang's 'local' mountain, the Birnhorn.
"It was uniquely moving. I felt exposed yet at the same time safe. The portaledge was unexpectedly cosy, the sleeping bag nice and warm despite the clear, cold air on the mountain face. The moon cast a mystical, silvery light over the Leoganger Steinberge, above me was a canopy of stars and I was right in the midst of it all. On my right I could feel the rock, and on my left was a precipitous drop into the deep – it was an indescribable feeling and a fantastic experience," says Jochen Schweizer of his own personal premiere night.
Stefan Pühringer, managing director of the company Saalfelden-Leogang Touristik GmbH, is equally delighted with the new 'accommodation' in his region: "As a climbing locality between the Leoganger Steinbergen and the Steinerner Meer we have demonstrated yet again our Alpine competence with this once-in-a lifetime project. We are delighted to be able to include the "Cool Beds" as a permanent part of our offering in future!"
Accompanying Jochen Schweizer were four venturesome 'steep face sleepers' from Salzburg, Munich and Leipzig, who had won the unique chance to experience for themselves an "Eyrie Roomnight" – as the new experience is called – through a competition organised by the gift specialist. "It's fantastic and a real highlight when the sun rises, the tent top is opened up and you can enjoy the view across the mountains in absolute peace and tranquillity," 37 year-old Frank Kutter from Leipzig enthused. And his portaledge partner, 31 year-old Nikolas Diringer fromMunich, added: "When I opened my eyes in morning and saw the panorama – it was worth it if only for that special moment."
And what is it like to spend the night on the rock face as a pair of lovers? Christian Gruber, 29, fromSalzburg: "The whole time I was deeply relaxed. My biggest worry was whether Marlene could sleep and was feeling okay." And his girlfriend Marlene Meingast, 27, says of that very special night. "I'm so glad I plucked up the courage. The mountain team dispel your fear and are absolutely great. But most of all I kept looking to make sure I was still secured."
On the morning after the exhilarating night Jochen Schweizer even surprised his guests with a special breakfast. Armed with fresh rolls and a pot of hot tea, the former extreme sportsman abseiled down to the winners of a stay in his rather different kind of hotel, to wish them a personal good morning. "My hotel has eight double beds, no stars at all, a shared toilet and no shower. Instead of heating it offers a warm sleeping bag, and it's a bit draughty – but it boasts the best views anywhere in the world."
Following the premiere in Saalfelden-Leogang, from 2012 the experience of a night's bivouacking on a vertical wall is available to anyone interested. For guests wishing to get their pulses really racing when they take to their beds, Jochen Schweizer's new "Cool Beds" gift box experience offers another 35 exceptional ways of spending the night, besides the "Eyrie Roomnight". These range from a bed in a cornfield through a romantic night in a tree house to an overnight in the Vaticanor the Jumbo Jet Hostel in Sweden. The gift box experience costs EUR 299 and is available from www.jochen-schweizer.de and at the more than 30 Jochen Schweizer shops in Germany, Vienna and Salzburg as well as at upwards of 3,000 commercial partners, such as Thalia and Postbank.