After many years of private kayaking, climbing and traveling, the young boss Thomas Waibel earned his first spurs before he came of age, learned a lot about group dynamics at the first outdoor company in the Allgäu. After his passion for outdoor sports had only been practiced privately, Thomas now started his first professional training. At that time still at the CEC (Commission Europenne de Canyon), Thomas completed the first recognized canyoning training worldwide after many in-house training courses. Today Thomas is chairman / president of the canyoning training association which meanwhile bears the name CIC (Commission Internationale de Canyon eV).
2001 The start
Two years of learning, practicing and experiencing lead to a firm conviction and passion to continue this profession as a vocation. Thomas uses the rest of the time to gain deeper experience in various outdoor sports, such as canyoning, rafting, kayaking, cave tours and survial, skiing and telemarking. Through his work in various outdoor and team training companies, he was able to build up extensive know-how in the field of coaching and training
Further training over the next few years, such as the state-certified ski instructor, telemark instructor and private location checks throughout Europe, led Thomas to his idea of purelements®.
2002/2003 living and learning abroad
Thomas spent the winter in Colorado in the USA to deepen his English skills and to gain teaching experience abroad. There he taught, for example, as a volunteer at a weekly Telemark Ski Clinic.
2007 The idea
Eight years of outdoor business, many company philosophies and the urge to do something of your own led to the basic idea of purelements®, which at that time was a fundamental conviction: “He wanted to do it better!” But what is better? From today’s perspective, better for us is different, more authentic, more honest. Back then, he set values that have remained with us to this day
Our name came about because he wanted to take our guests with him into a pure, non-faked outdoor world. Our participants and guests should really feel the elements. As the first company in the Allgäu, he defined the safety standards for canyoning that are still valid today. Our canyoning tours were a fundamental building block back then and they are still our most popular business area today. The idea was to take our participants with us to really experience them, away from consumption to actual experience. This conviction also accompanies us to this day.
Another part of the idea was to offer all outdoor tours, especially canyoning tours, at different locations in order to give the guest the opportunity to always go with the same guide, as a friendly and collegial relationship is very important to us in our guide activity. We repeatedly push our guests to their personal physical and psychological performance limits, so it is important and for us a necessity that we know our guests well.
We simply said: “Why should ten guests always come to the guide when the guide can also come to the guests?” Thus, there is the possibility to look after the participants together in the most beautiful gorges for many years.
Right in the middle instead of just being there, quality and conviction were important guiding principles of this idea.
With our private guides, this is still possible today.
2009 The first trip
As a non-location-based company, we have always been pushed into the far, wide world. After a few location checks, the “Legendary Canyonin Camp Ticino” was born in 2009, we were able to inspire our participants and since then we have been constantly expanding the travel program with our travel division. Only two years after going on the market under its own direction, the first cornerstone could be realized.
2010 The Heidi
purelements® developed rapidly. The trips and tours are named, which is why it became more and more difficult for Thomas in the office to prepare offers in good time in the quality that he demands from purelements® and to cope with everyday life in the office. It was by a happy coincidence that our Heidi, after working on the basic idea of purelements® in 2007, completed her studies and after some time moved back to the Allgäu as a manager in a hotel in Munich and moved from Thomas to the office Management could be won. Heidi is no longer working for us. She is currently dedicated to the next generation.
2013 The ski school
During the initial phase from 2001 to 2007, Thomas always lived the winter as a ski instructor with his passion to teach others something. In 2007 he finished his training as a state-certified ski instructor and in the same year took over the management of a large ski school in Oberstdorf. After six years of management activity in winter, Thomas finally decided to be there for purelements® guests all year round and expanded purelements® in the winter division to include the private ski school in the Allgäu.
Registered and registered – it’s official, purelements is a protected word mark – Europe-wide!
Our name was created by Thomas and close friends as a new word and in the course of the quality requirements we have officially secured the rights to this word mark.
2014 The relaunch
Authenticity, honesty and purism are the new values, but they are not that new at all. They are just clearer, more sharply defined and the company-wide mission statement is reduced and defined.
The trips are increasing, new business areas were waiting for us, after two years of intensive background work we now focused on the business areas summer and winter with day events and our extended travel area travel.
2014 Purelements GmbH and Co KG is created
In spring 2014 we decided to implement another goal of Thomas. With the expansion of the business areas, especially as a tour operator, the goal was born years ago to grow and to change the name from the sole proprietorship to a GmbH & Co. KG. This underlines our passion and the quality standards we have for ourselves.
2015/2016 years of growing, discovering, learning
In these two years the company was able to grow, employ more people and discover new destinations. The first individually organized trips for the customer could be realized, for example mountain biking in Cappadocia / Turkey and the trip “Natural Portugal” was carried out for the first time.
2017 The expansion
Owner Thomas has always dreamed of a location in Ticino, Switzerland. Up to this point in time, purelements had already carried out many trips, short trips and canyoning camps there. Due to its numerous and world-famous canyons, Ticino is often referred to by the canyoning world as a canyoning Mecca.
In summer 2017 the time had come! The company expanded and was able to take over and integrate the Ticino canyoning company “Adreventura Sagl” and has been running it since then as a subsidiary “purelements CH Sagl”.
2017 Strong partner - EDELRID®
Another great step was taken in 2017 when we were able to enter into an official partnership with the equipment and rope manufacturer EDELRID® from Isny im Allgäu.
EDELRID® is known for innovative products for climbers, arborists and industrial climbers. A revolutionary invention for safety in climbing was made in Isny im Allgäu with the development of the kernmantle rope in 1953. A milestone in mountain sports!
2018 New office and storage space
The growth of the last few years and more and more equipment and rental material have made it a logistical challenge at the company headquarters in Berghofen. After looking for suitable premises for some time, the company was able to move to its new and current premises at the train station in Sonthofen in April 2018.
Central, accessible by public transport and with plenty of space. Ideal for us!
2018 online booking
After a long test phase, we were finally bookable online with the first experiences in 2018.
2019 year of travel - if we had known what was coming ...
An exciting year with great trips, outdoor shootings and experiences. We like to use the somewhat quieter winter for our own vacation. Then came the first news of a new virus …
2020 The pandemic - Corona, Covid-19 as a challenge - Challenge accepted!
When the first lockdown in Germany paralyzed in March 2020, Managing Director Thomas and his partner were just on location check for a new adventure trip to Bali – easy travel was the order of the day, no laptop was there. But then – flights canceled, exact return uncertain.
Organize everything with your mobile phone. See how you can come back and still keep calm.
April – back in Germany, everything worked out, we started: working out possibilities, creating hygiene concepts, creating opening perspectives.
Many phone calls and emails with IHK, district office, professional associations, universities later, Thomas, as the canyoning manager of the Allgäu Outdoor Company Association, was able to create recommendations for action in cooperation with the Swiss Outdoor Association, the Adventure Campus Treuchtlingen and many other volunteer helpers, which allowed everyone to spend the season for canyoning in Let the Allgäu begin on time.
Back to the roots
Since larger trips abroad were virtually impossible, we returned to our origins, optimized the portfolio at short notice and looked after more and more local guests in our home regions of Allgäu and Ticino.
We were able to experience a busy and great Allgäu summer season before the second lockdown hit us in November and put us out of action for the entire winter season.
2021 ISO certification and new website - everything can be booked online!
We used the 2nd lockdown to re-certify the Swiss subsidiary to the new ISO standard 21101 – adventure tourism and to certify the entire company.
Since up to now only the daily experiences could be booked online and a relaunch of the website was pending, we were also able to book the adventure and canyoning trips online.
At this point, I, Thomas Waibel, founder and owner of purelements®, would like to say a heartfelt “Thank you!” To everyone who has accompanied me and the company on this path so far.
202? The future
We look forward to going into the future and, as always, we will go forward courageously!