Montclair Meets Matterhorn: Personal Trainer Gets Workout Creating Her Own ‘Swigloo’

Sabine Percelay building her Swiss igloo

When the monster storm hit last week, some people shoveled, some kids built snow people or had snowball fights. And, admittedly, some of us watched a lot of Netflix. But Sabine Percelay, a personal trainer looking for a way to exercise, built her own spacious igloo — dubbed a “Swigloo” — in just two days.

“The name Swigloo is my fun creation,” says Percelay who grew up in Switzerland. “It’s kind of Montclair-meets-the-Matterhorn. In reality, when I used to climb Mount Blanc, we slept in light weight tents. The Swigloo is my little piece of Switzerland, but no Swissie would know what a Swigloo is.”

Since COVID, Percelay has taught classes outdoors, sometimes in Brookdale Park. Her emphasis, not surprisingly, is putting the fun in fitness.

Percelay built the structure by making and stacking hundreds of snow bricks formed with a rectangular plastic cleaning bucket. The Swiss-inspired igloo can accommodate as many as 10 people inside — offering the perfect outdoor gathering spot during a pandemic winter, complete with bar.

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