Prix Montagne goes to Appenzell-based ski manufacturer

Timbaer Skimanufaktur has won the Prix Montagne 2021, which recognizes commercially successful projects and companies in mountainous regions. The Baumwipfelpfad Neckertal treetop walkway in Mogelsberg in the canton of St.Gallen secured the public award.

The two co-managing directors of Timbaer, Andreas Dobler and Dano Waldburger, receive the Prix Montagne 2021 from jury president Bernhard Russi.
The two co-managing directors of Timbaer, Andreas Dobler (left) and Dano Waldburger, receive the Prix Montagne 2021 from jury president Bernhard Russi. Image Credit: Max Hugelshofer, Swiss Mountain Aid

The Schweizerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für die Berggebiete (SAB/Swiss Working Group for Mountain Regions) and the Swiss mountain rescue organization Schweizer Berghilfe have awarded the Prix Montagne every year since 2011. It recognizes commercially successful projects and companies “that demonstrably and exemplarily contribute to added value, employment or economic diversity” according to a press release. The award winners for 2021 are the ski manufacturer Timbaer Skimanufaktur from Appenzell and the Baumwipfelpfad Neckertal treetop walkway from Mogelsberg.

Timbaer has been manufacturing skis with a patented wooden core since 2016. They are created in Appenzell using elaborate craftsmanship. The company sells around 100 pairs of skis each year, but it also produces skis for other markets. Co-Founder Dano Waldburger is quoted in the press release, saying: “Over recent years we have invested an enormous amount of energy in realizing our dream of producing our own skis. We are absolutely delighted with this recognition and the confirmation that we are going in the right direction.” Together with Co-Founder Andreas Dobler, when he first founded the company he decided on a name that illustrated the link to their home. Timbaer is a portmanteau of the English word timber and the German word for bear (Bär), which is the heraldic animal of Appenzell. The award is worth 40,000 Swiss francs.

The Prix Montagne 2021 public award went to the Baumwipfelpfad Neckertal. It is the first treetop walkway in Switzerland and attracts around 100,000 visitors to Mogelsberg each year. Furthermore, it won the majority of the 6,500 votes from the online poll for the public award. The prize of 20,000 Swiss francs was funded by the Mobiliar cooperative. Florian Knapp, Senior Manager of CSR Mediation at Mobiliar states: “The treetop walkway is a prime example of how to promote soft tourism and sustainably support peripheral regions. It draws in people who are seeking to experience nature and at the same time offers highly welcome jobs.”

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