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Magic Wood Facilities under Threat

© Dark Sky Media

The popular accommodation and restaurant facilities Bodhi Camping, Backpackers Generoso and Gasthaus Edelweiss in the Swiss bouldering haven of Magic Wood are currently under threat as the public utility contract for the family-run enterprise has been abruptly cancelled by local authorities. Thomas Saluz and his family have managed day-to-day running of the campground, hostel and restaurant for the last decade, while staunchly advocating for climbing access to the Wood.

Magic Wood, Ausserferrera, Switzerland.  © Dark Sky Media
Magic Wood, Ausserferrera, Switzerland.
© Dark Sky Media

A petition has been launched to demonstrate the climbing community's support for the Saluz family and their business, which currently has over 1600 signatories from 'boulderers, ice climbers, ski tourers, hikers and friends of "Magic Wood", Avers and the community of Ferrera.' The petition reads:

'Family Saluz shall remain tenants of the "Edelweiss" and the camping "Magic Wood" in (Ausser-) Ferrera!

Please sign this petition for the attention of the municipal council Ferrera and help to keep the Saluz family as tenants of the restaurant "Edelweiss" and the camping "Magic Wood"! So the camping and the Edelweiss will stay as we know it. Otherwise, prices may increase (what Thomas always was fighting against!) and other restrictions are threatening!

After more than 10 years of building a sustainable business for his family and his employees, countless cleanup days, ice climbing events and a great commitment to the bouldering community, the Saluz family was terminated the lease of the restaurant "Edelweiss" and the camping "Magic Wood" for flimsy and objectively incomprehensible reasons.'

According to information in the petition, the local council cited unfounded reasons for dismissal, extending to quality of service, food and cleanliness. The petition references positive online ratings and comments on websites such as Google and TripAdvisor which contradict the council's claims. 'It seems that personal differences are the real reason for dismissal,' the petition proposes. The business launched a crowdfunding campaign during the COVID-19 lockdown, which raised over £11,000 through donations in exchange for accommodation rewards.

Access to Magic Wood has been delicate over the years, and a change in tenancy could threaten climbers' access to the site, and/or result in price hikes.

Numerous professional climbers and industry leaders have spoken out in support of the Saluz family on social media, emphasising the positive impact of Thomas's work in building a climbing community hub around the area and contributing further through the organisation of events and clean-up days.

The tenancy situation will be resolved in court following a hearing on 6 August.

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