Maloja: Our values, our approach to life and how everything started in 2004
Maloja is not just a name, it’s a way of life. It’s the feeling of wanting to share beautiful moments with friends thus making those moments even more perfect. The desire never to give up being curious about the many things life still has in store for you. The understanding that it doesn’t take much to discover special things but merely enough courage to leave the beaten path and take a risk on something new. This Maloja feeling was discovered in one life changing experience that keeps us invigorated today. This is the way it all began.
We had stumbled upon an image on the Internet, a simple image depicting a snowboarder flying through the air on a powder-laden day with sugarcoated mountaintops. Aside from this imagery there was a very small text that simply read: Maloja. We figured this must be the place where it had been taken. Stumped, we had never heard of this place before, but its mystic allure etched its way into our memories.
The story goes on. The winter of 2001 was exceptional, and we were enjoying ourselves in the Engadin Valley of the Swiss Alps. On the last day of our week stay we received more than half a meter of fresh snow; however, we were in the middle of bustling St. Moritz hardly the place for fresh tracks. In the back of our minds we remembered the image of the snowboarder in the unknown place called Maloja, a place we were unsure of at that time if you could actually access to ski or snowboard. Many a good decision in life are not immediately disclosed as such. What luck we would be in for that day as we followed our curiosity deeper into the mountains.
It turned out Maloja was located only 17km away from St. Moritz. And yes, the sleepy place offered perfect powder conditions, a steep grade, interspersed pine trees, a sugary white blanket of snow that covered everything and not a single track in sight. But was there a lift?
How happy were we when we discovered the rope tow. The immediate onset of excitement was followed however by a sense of disillusionment. The lift on this day was not moving! What else to do but start hiking the slope and as we did so a door began to creak open on a tiny shack which once open presented a lift operator. “Good to see you.” A man called out in his deep local dialect.
“Looks like it’s time to rev up the engine.“
What we experienced that day on the slope is history. The picture embossed in our memories is one of virgin snow, deep and soft amongst the pine trees, the feeling of pure joy for life and in our ears the cries of glee that echoed through the hills. A perfect day with an old rope tow somewhere in the Swiss Alps.
Maloja soon became a coined phrase in our circle of friends, the equivalent of anything heartfelt, true and beautiful. If the food tasted good it was Maloja. A peak, a trail or just a certain moment in time that felt good, it was Maloja.
The moment shared at that simple rope tow became our paradigm for going your own way. It doesn’t take much to create a perfect day, just some courage, imagination and good friends. When we started in 2004 to create the mission for our own brand, we looked to the revelation we experienced on that fateful day in 2001. It seemed only right to name the brand Maloja. For us life is simply "Maloja"