Slip-on Grippers for the Ice Palace

edited November 2023 in Switzerland

We recently returned from the "Switzerland: Europe's Crown Jewel" tour. While the tour was very good, overall, one problem area was the visit to the Ice Palace and the Ice Bar at the Jungfraujoch. The floor is ice and is quite slippery when you’re wearing regular shoes.

We were a group of 26 people in the age group 60+ to about 80 and falls in this age group can be quite serious.

There’s a solution to this problem, if Tauck will address it. In the sport of Curling, team members are on ice and are quite active in launching the stone and in sweeping. They must have something that gives them better traction on the ice, while not marking the ice as crampons would.

Turns out, they do. There are special “curling grippers” that you can slip on your shoes to provide traction on ice. Here’s one place that sells them, but I found many others, all at about the same price (around $18).

https://www.hugecurlingsavings.us/products/hexa-curling-grippers-1

It may be that Tauck does not want to provide these slip-ons for their customers. But if you are going on this tour, you might want to spring for these slip-ons. It will make a big difference in your enjoyment of the Ice Palace.

I think Tauck should warn people who sign up for this tour about the danger of the Ice Palace and the Ice Bar (how slippery and difficult it is to walk there) and suggest that they bring something like these curling grippers for safety.

Comments

  • Lotus girl doesn’t seem to think it was much of a problem. I can only assume that Tauck has not had anybody fall, or I am sure they would rethink the itinerary.

  • edited October 2023

    Lotus girl doesn’t seem to think it was much of a problem. I can only assume that Tauck has not had anybody fall, or I am sure they would rethink the itinerary.

    If you put a number of people, aged 60 to 80, on an ice rink (for example) and ask them to walk to the other side, you're going to get some falls, and some of the falls will result in serious injury. I'm happy she did not have any problems, but I sure did, my wife sure did, and a friend traveling with us sure did. And I really doubt if we were the only ones having a problem walking on that ice.

    I discovered through some research on the web a report that the medical team at the Jungfraujoch treats a significant number of guests for falls in the Ice Palace every week. I did not keep a link to that report but it seems reasonable. Old people walking on ice is a recipe for falls.

    For someone to call the medical team after a fall, they probably are concerned that they have some injury. Otherwise they'd just get up and walk on. So the number of falls in a week is probably a lot more than the number the medical team treats.

    [Thinking about Tauck, we were told that we were the 741st tour of Switzerland by Tauck. Now, not all of them went to the Jungfraujoch, but let's say that 300 did, and each of those tours had 25 people. That's 7,500 people. The chance that not one of those 7,500 people had fallen when walking on that ice is a very low probability event.]

  • We wore rubber soled light-weight snow boots, and I sort of remember hand rails and we were fine, (75 and 85). It was literally the high point of that trip (tour)

  • Appropriate shoes--sturdy, hard rubber soles--worked fine for us (late 70s and early 90s at the time.). I was initially concerned for my husband, but once he got going there was no stopping him. As sherry_schare indicated, there are rails to hold and you can take your time. The tour directors were there to assist those who were hesitant at first. I see no need to pack special footwear attachments for such a short, one-time event.

  • I have some yak-trax for walking on ice in New England, but didn't use them on this trip -- only because I forgot to bring them. I managed fine without them, but it might be a good idea to bring them. They weigh next to nothing.

  • We too survived it surrounded by a horde of giggling Japanese school girls who were challenging each other to not use the handrails, then doing pratfalls to their great amusement. To expect Tauck to post a warning? If they do that for everyplace you could slip and fall on their tours your Green Book would have as many stickers as a ladder. And to endorse a foot gizmo that is not intended for this use…not gonna happen. Use common sense. If you don’t feel secure walking on the ice, turn back and wait in the anteroom.

  • Thx for the tip, MikeHenderson

  • edited November 2023

    Yes, someone has fallen! We took this tour in early October and three of us fell like dominoes!! No one was hurt bad but I heard one lady in another group had to be transported out and she broke her wrist. The Ice Palace floor is ice too so definitely hold on to the handrails. It was a fantastic experience though and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Maybe don’t get too close to the person in front of you😊

  • edited November 2023

    You can enjoy an ice house on the Baltic trip also if you search around Stockholm. This was on a Wind Surf trip.

    _****_


    My wife was tempted to try a Double Axle or a Toe Loop. (;-)

  • edited January 12

    I found some other slip-on ice grippers at Lee Valley - https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/home/clothing/footwear/accessories/58247-stabilicers-lite

    A bit more expensive than the curling slippers, but they look like they'd work and be easy to put on.

  • Slip on grippers can be life saving for sure.Unfortunately we realized it in hindsight.We were on a non Tauck’ tour in October.After going to north cape where there was a lot of ice and snow ,we were in a warmer place with no precipitation on the day of tour; we were not on guard and sure enough there was residual ice on the pavement that caused several people to fall including my husband.Luckily even though he hit his head on the pavement in addition to falling on the left side,he got away with just bruising the chest wall.There were others who broke ankle and shoulder on the same day.The ship started selling the grip ons that day .I had two boxes unopened n my closet with the grippers I bought before the trip and decided not to pack because we had winter hiking shoes!Not going anywhere really cold without the grippers.

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