28 June - 02 July 2019: Come back to the mountain for Aiglon's 70th. Visit our site for more details.
The spirit of "Ex" is central to Aiglon’s philosophy. There are many kinds of expeditions at Aiglon, and they are an important part of what makes an education here unique.
While students at most schools are spending their weekend having a lie-in or catching up on homework, up to half of Aiglon’s students, of all ages, will be out on an expedition. These trips, scrupulously overseen by experienced and highly trained staff and experts, are both fun and challenging, and may involve the acquisition of new skills or trying out exciting activities: camping, orienteering, kayaking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.
Expedition activities vary according to the seasons, from Switzerland’s celebrated Via Ferrata in summer, to ski-touring in winter. Examples of expeditions include: kayaking and camping at Lac Léman, road cycling on the circuit at Bex (with safety instruction from the police), and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing between mountain huts in the Dents du Midi.
Every student will be exposed to activities new to them, some of which they may find extremely challenging, or outside their comfort zone. Nonetheless, with encouragement and support, they all rise to those challenges. Students consistently describe “going on ex” as among the highlights of their time at Aiglon: from the sense of accomplishment at achieving more than they thought themselves capable, to the wonder of being in an environment very different from home and reliant on their own resources, to the friendships forged amid the lows and highs of a challenging trip.
"High Ex" is what Aiglonians call the most challenging form of expedition – that undertaken high in the mountains.
High Ex will usually involve technical skills, which will have been fully tutored in advance and will be carefully supervised when in the mountains. Aiglon employs a number of qualified specialist mountain guides. Rock climbing, ice climbing, glacier travel, and the use of gear such as crampons, ice axes, and carabiners are all standard on High Ex.
As a reward for their efforts, our students get to stand on mountain summits; and the confidence and self-knowledge acquired on High Ex stands them in good stead for the rest of their lives.
Once each term, students will undertake multi-day trips known as "Long Ex’s".
Daytrips to places of interest are popular weekend activities, but once a year each year group will also travel further afield for a multi-day trip – "Cultural Long Ex" (or CLE).
Students are encouraged to find inspiration in these cultural and historical encounters and workshops, and to go on to pursue their own creative projects. Junior students tend to go to locations in Switzerland, while senior students have recently visited Oslo, Prague, and Paris.