For Hansueli Klossner, not being outdoors is even worse than being stuck in flat terrain.
The Alpine foothills weren’t high enough for him and he felt he wasn’t spending enough time outside as a carpenter, so Hansueli Klossner completed another apprenticeship as a roofer and moved to Grindelwald. There he met several mountain guides – men he had admired since his childhood – who often helped out in roofing jobs in the off-season. He soon realised: Mountain guides are just human beings and since he was a human too, why wouldn’t he be able to do the same thing? And so he became a mountain guide twenty years ago and has been ever since, some time even working as a trainer and expert examiner for the Swiss Mountain Guide Association. And he is sure: There is no better life for him than the one he is leading in Grindelwald. We accompanied him on a skiing tour to the “Uf Spitzen” summit and some ice climbing and even found time for a nice chat in between.
Hansueli Klossner: As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be outdoors. Even when I was a carpenter, I felt like I was spending too much time indoors, working on interior constructions. Now the mountains are my “workplace” – what more could I want?
Hansueli Klossner: I’ve lived here for 27 years, so I guess I can call it my home. Home is where you feel comfortable. We live in a place where people go on holiday. Those who know how to appreciate that can enjoy a very high quality of life up here.
Hansueli Klossner: Compared to the mountains you are tiny – staying realistic is key. If someone goes up a mountain thinking they can do whatever they want, the mountain may teach them an unpleasant lesson and make them very humble very quickly.
Hansueli Klossner: It doesn’t really matter what level of experience you have; whether a guest is a beginner or a more advanced mountaineer. Seeing them learning from me and growing through the experience is great!
Hansueli Klossner: There is no safety guarantee on the mountain, so we mountain guides are like risk managers. Of course our job comes with a lot of responsibility. That means saying “no” at times – even if the guests would like to go on a certain tour. You have to stay level-headed and cool and can’t afford to get too mixed up in emotions. It’s important to communicate and explain realistically.
Hansueli Klossner: I do it all: ski tours, mountain climbing, ice climbing, snow shoe hikes, etc. That’s what makes my work so wonderful. I’m a person who needs a lot of variety. My job as a mountain guide offers me just that.
Hansueli Klossner: I have two little daughters (three and four and a half years old) and the older one is beginning to realise that I am sometimes not at home for a while when I’m on a longer tour. When I come home, she says: “Daddy, don’t go away for such a long time.” That definitely hits a nerve.
Hansueli Klossner: I’d say I’m enthusiastic yet realistic. If something fascinates me I show it and I am always happy to share my joy with my guests.