When Club 8847 – Piz Lagalb – Mount Everest was established by Bergbahn Lagalb AG in 1970, it quickly became well known, both in Switzerland and abroad. Could it have been because it attracted a few very special members – such as the Shah of Iran, who joined the club together with his 19 bodyguards? Or was it because of the conditions of membership – which were fascinatingly unique even back then? It’s likely that both of these factors played a part.
11 downhill runs from Piz Lagalb, one downhill run from the Minor ski lift and then the ascent on the footpath to Piz Lagalb and back again – with skis and poles in tow. Do it all in one day, and you were in the club. The sole exception: ladies were allowed an extra half day to complete the challenge – so they could take until midday on the next day. For CHF 5, you could buy a stamp card that you could get stamped at the checkpoints.
Once you had covered the 8,847 metres of vertical distance, you were “christened” at the clubhouse and immortalised on the membership board. Club members not only met regularly for drinks at Hotel Bernina in Pontresina, but also had access to special offers: discounts on day tickets and season passes for Lagalb, helicopter flights at special prices, access to the Wednesday Gala at the Piz Lagalb mountain restaurant, and meet-ups at the local night spots Clubhütte and Sarazena in Pontresina. The club grew to 1,000 members over the years.
In recent years, Club 8847 became inactive due to a lack of new members. Due to numerous letters from Lagalb fans and as a result of the transfer of Lagalb from Engadin Mountains AG to become part of our fairy-tale mountain scenery, Pontresina Tourism and Diavolezza Lagalb AG decided to relaunch the club. But it needed a new name. The number 8847 was the height of Mount Everest in metres. However, since then, Everest has been remeasured – it is now 8,848 metres. Therefore, the new version of the legendary Club 8847 is called Club 8848. Its purpose is to continue the spirit and tradition of Club 8847, foster a sense of unity and bring visitors and locals together. Today, the club already has over 1,000 members once again.