Many schools want to help their students get to the top – but only at Aiglon do students stand on the summit of their own mountain.
A situation in the Alps offers a physical and spiritual challenge such as the youth of today needs more than ever, in the shape of mountains to be climbed, on ski and on foot, and battles to be fought with the elements in the form of snow and ice, cold rain and cloud, sun and heat – let alone gravity.
The mountains are an inescapable presence in the life of our community. As students walk out of meditation in the morning, or criss-cross the campus between activities, they traverse a lush alpine pasture in summer, or a blanket of snow, metres deep, in winter.
The school takes its name from the French word for a young eagle, and like these magnificent birds, Aiglon’s campus is nested among mountain peaks. It occupies a sunny, south-facing plateau, at 1,250 metres (over 4,000 feet) above sea level, in the small town of Chesières-Villars, with the Mont Blanc massif in view. Towering above it is a beautiful ridge of mountains, the Dents du Midi ("Teeth of the South"), so named for their series of jagged peaks – seven, in all – that bite into the horizon.
Just as the mountain inspires, it also challenges. For most students our unique environment can be, literally and metaphorically, a steep climb. Students quickly learn to be sure-footed on the wintery walk between lessons!
Some students may have picked Aiglon specifically for its Winter sports programme, while others will be newcomers to the array of mountain-specific activities in both winter and summer. But on graduation, all students readily agree that Aiglon’s stupendous setting occasions some of the most memorable experiences of their school career, be those sporting, artistic or expeditionary.