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Old 24.02.2016, 07:29
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Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

Hi all,

I have a visitor coming next weekend who is hell-bent on trying snowboarding, even if it's just for half a day. Now he is no spring chicken and never been on the slopes before so I want to make his life as 'comfortable' as possible knowing the painful reality of learning this wonderful sport!

I've tried to teach a couple friends snowboarding over the years and one thing they all hate and cannot get the hang of is the dreaded drag lift, it's a nightmare for all snowboard learners so I want to avoid that and make the most of the short time he has.

So here's my question: Do any of you know where I can find a nice EASY blue run for beginners that has a gentle chair lift?? I know some resorts have these magic carpets but they are usually too short.

I live in Zurich so ideally withing 1.5 hours drive would be good.

Many thanks in advance!!!!
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Old 24.02.2016, 08:35
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

Did we not just have a thread on "easy blue" ski resorts near Zurich??

It so important to learn how to read!

Last edited by dodgyken; 24.02.2016 at 08:50.
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Old 24.02.2016, 08:59
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Did we not just have a thread on "easy blue" ski resorts near Zurich??

It so important to learn how to read!
Most recent thread had no lift specification for blue runs, only distance from red/black and curviness of access road

I believe Flumserberg has one of those band-type lifts, not sure.
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Old 24.02.2016, 08:59
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

Look at Arvenbuel - nice wide slope with a two person chair lift - lots of people learn to snowboard there.

http://www.amden-weesen.ch/de/winter...arvenbuel.html
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:06
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Most recent thread had no lift specification for blue runs, only distance from red/black and curviness of access road

I believe Flumserberg has one of those band-type lifts, not sure.
And how incompetent must the OP be if they are singular unable to look at the suggestions from the countless threads covering the same bloody topic - and then going to google and typing XXXXX piste map???

It is threads like this that add bugger all value to EF, clutter the place up and make it harder and harder for newbies to find useful information.

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Old 24.02.2016, 09:19
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Look at Arvenbuel - nice wide slope with a two person chair lift - lots of people learn to snowboard there.

http://www.amden-weesen.ch/de/winter...arvenbuel.html

Thanks for the suggestion Caz,

I just had a look but it looks like the two man chair lift is serving a sledging run and it's a drag lift serving the two blues? Is this other light blue run next to the sledge purple sledge route for skiing? Never seen this colour before and it isn't explained in the index.

Ski map is here:

http://www.bergfex.com/amden/panorama/

Thanks.
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:21
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Did we not just have a thread on "easy blue" ski resorts near Zurich??

It so important to learn how to read!
Hi Ken, I did see post before, but looking at the suggestions they all had the drag lifts.
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:24
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Most recent thread had no lift specification for blue runs, only distance from red/black and curviness of access road

I believe Flumserberg has one of those band-type lifts, not sure.
Hi Tasebo,

Yep, it does had a band lift but the run is only about 20 metres long. I Would take him on something like that first but after it would be good to have a bit of a longer easy run after if he gets the hang of it.
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:25
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

no the two man chair services the ski and board slope and there is a sledding run down one side. There is also a nice restaurant/stübli at the top of the chair for PflumliSchlumlis
>We often take visitirs up to Arvenbuel as it is a reasonable price and even new to skiing kids can get on and off the chair and get down the slope. I think it would be ideal for a new snowboarder.

http://www.bergfex.com/amden/webcams/c2585/

this is the webcam of the slope - if you look at it after 9am you will start to see skiers and snowboarders.
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:29
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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And how incompetent must the OP be if they are singular unable to look at the suggestions from the countless threads covering the same bloody topic - and then going to google and typing XXXXX piste map???

It is threads like this that add bugger all value to EF, clutter the place up and make it harder and harder for newbies to find useful information.

Hey Ken, I did exactly that and no luck. Maybe you should consider having a day away from the forum - sounds like it's stressing you out?
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:33
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Hi Ken, I did see post before, but looking at the suggestions they all had the drag lifts.
So instead of adding to a thread you thought you create a new one???

Mind you there is precedence for doing so because no one has the ability to find old thread - even ones just a year old

To demonstrate that I am not just being grumpy at general forum ineptitude - Bergfex is a good site in that you can apply filters to countries/maps to give something like this - Eastern Switzerland

The "dots" are resort size based - so bigger dot = bigger resort. In general smaller resorts tend to be more drag lift based, but may have a "main" chairlift. You are also more likely to find resorts that active members of EF may not have visited - or have done so but are of a different standard.

Additionally Skiresort.info (for example Malbun) is packed full of "softer" information - breakdown of pistes by colour, lift counts, recommended pistes etc etc

Your best bet is to do the research yourself - look at the pistemap for the resorts - how do the lifts link together? etc etc.
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:34
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

Thanks again Caz, that sounds like just the ticket. I'm going to give it a try.

So nice to have a helpful and uncomplicated forum member passing out knowledge to those that are less in the know.
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:39
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Thanks again Caz, that sounds like just the ticket. I'm going to give it a try.

So nice to have a helpful and uncomplicated forum member passing out knowledge to those that are less in the know.
If you do Arvenbuhl - you'll need to get there early (if you drive) the parking fills up very quickly - and if you are unlucky you'll have to park in Amden (and then get a bus up). If you are VERY unlucky you'll have to park in Weesen and get a bus up.

Arvenbuhl is also very low and on a south facing slope - the snow drops away very quickly later in the season.
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Old 24.02.2016, 09:53
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Arvenbuhl is also very low and on a south facing slope - the snow drops away very quickly later in the season.
....or given the conditions this winter probably every second day. From Bergfex:
Snow depth Location (1,000m)5 cm new: 5 cm
i.e. yesterday it was green at the bottom.

Couple of other alternatives would be the bottom chair lift on the Tannenboden side of Flumserberg (flat piste but as with everywhere in Flums overcrowded at weekends) or the See-Egg piste in Pizol (Bad Ragaz side).

Although given that your friends will almost certainly fall over getting off the chair lift and annoy the hell out of everyone else when the lift has to be stopped so they can get out of the way maybe this isn't the best strategy. Don't dismiss the magic carpets. They may be short but that's all an absolute beginner actually needs.
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Old 24.02.2016, 10:44
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

Out of interest- what is a 'band lift'?

There are chairs, and chairs- getting off some chairs is fairly easy- depending on the terrain and if it is a new system with clutch- but others are a nightmare. Sorry can't help with advice for that area.

I've had big strong fit young men cry like babies at the bottom of Pomas (button-lift), never mind T-bars!

Make sure your friend wears wrist cards and knee pads- and a towel folded protecting his coccyx. I learnt aged 49- but then I was a very experienced skier and understood weight distribution, footwork and shoulders. Bonne chance.

Must say, I can't see the point of snowboarding for half a day- all the pain and then no chance to go and enjoy. But his choice.

Dodgyken- this is what EF is for- asking and giving advice and help. Here in Romandie I could give very precise advice that would fit exactly the needs of the OP- until you have actually used a lift yourself- and on the same equipment (using a lift with skis or a snowboad is a totally different concept, truly).
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Old 24.02.2016, 10:53
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Out of interest- what is a 'band lift'?

There are chairs, and chairs- getting off some chairs is fairly easy- depending on the terrain and if it is a new system with clutch- but others are a nightmare. Sorry can't help with advice for that area.
I guess a band lift is a magic carpet.

Even a de-coupling lift running at full speed isn't easy for an absolutely first timer on a snowboard to get off. It's not just the getting off the chair, rather clearing the dismount area with one foot attached to the board. Most will fall and make themselves unpopular.
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Old 24.02.2016, 11:01
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

Exactly. I thought a band-lift might be those awful 'bands' with knots or handles you have to grab- (in French we call them 'arrache mitaines') - horrible.

Not an easy question actually. Most chairs serve very long reds and blacks- with pomas or T-bars at the top for shorter blues, reds, etc... The other problem is some chairs do NOT allow skiers or boarders to come down as pedestrians (as was the case last week in Thyon) - so the person would have to be able to come all the way down on the board. Many blues down to base also involve long narrow paths- again, a nightmare for a beginner on a snowboard. I know dozens of resorts really well in Romandie mainly- and can't think of one that would fit in for the OP's requirements.
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Old 24.02.2016, 11:06
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

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Dodgyken- this is what EF is for- asking and giving advice and help. Here in Romandie I could give very precise advice that would fit exactly the needs of the OP- until you have actually used a lift yourself- and on the same equipment (using a lift with skis or a snowboad is a totally different concept, truly).
I learned to ski over 25 years ago - and learned to snowboard 12 years ago

I haven't skied for more than a day in 23 years and will be taking refresher lessons in Austria in a couple of weeks.

The thing is - there are chairlifts and chairlifts. The chairlift itself makes little difference - it is the exit that is key. Ideally you want a slow exit, with a fewer people on the lift - onto a flat and open area. South facing lift exits can get very icy and slushy.

Nothing beats having to "ride" the board off the lift down a slope into a gaggle of skiers trying to decide whether they go for a coffee at the end their run.

I still hate drag lifts - I've never truly mastered them on my own - and are even worse on worn slopes where tracks have been made and you can end up riding both edges. It is infinitely easier with a ski partner to balance and adjust the position.

Band belts are literally that - a conveyor belt that sits at snow level which you walk onto. Plenty of kiddy slopes have them - and TBH a beginner wants to practice on slopes with one of those before hitting a proper blue run - primarily to master sliding down on a single edge without hitting the deck.

My rant was targeted at the fact that every year the same question is rolled out in one form or another - "Best blue runs with 90mins of Zurich" "Easy blue sking 1.5 hrs from Zurich" "Blue runs with a chairlift near Zurich" etc etc.

If they were merged into one thread - and the first post of the thread was "owned" by the MODS - and could be edited to provide up to date information we might not have the proliferation of threads.

The problem is that most of that information is already available on the life of SkiResort and Bergfex if you read through the resorts and piste maps.

EXAMPLE:

Ski Resorts near Zurich (approx. 90mins)
Amden: local resort at a low level, cheap, with a nice beginners blue run served by a chairlift. Poor interconnectivity.

Hoch-y-brig: nice variety of slopes with excellent exit run for good skiers; gets busy with many Zurich people and ski schools at weekends. No blue runs served with chairlifts (???). Beginner slope with band lift

Stoos: popular with Schwyz (city) residents; gets busy from 1030 onwards. Band lift on very beginners slops. Only blue piste served by drag lift but is wide and in the village. Fantastic (steep) black runs at the top.
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Old 24.02.2016, 11:15
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

[QUOTE=dodgyken;2543180]The thing is - there are chairlifts and chairlifts. The chairlift itself makes little difference - it is the exit that is key. Ideally you want a slow exit, with a fewer people on the lift - onto a flat and open area. South facing lift exits can get very icy and slushy.

Exactly- hence the need for specific advice for snowboarders, and most of the previous posts on easy blue runs were aimed at skiers. Nothing beats experience of the actual use of the chair and the configuration at the top for exit, with a snowboard attached to front boot only- the potential for twisiting that knee is just too great.. And again, many chairlift will not allow anyone to come down with the chair- so a long run for a beginner down to base- with steeper bits and long paths... not ideal!

Pomas I found easy after first fall- hold with front hand, look ahead and not at your feet, soft knees, and rear arm (depending if goofy (right leg forward) or regular) perpendicular behind you so the board stays in line (try to grab the pole with back hand, and your board will turn across the run and you are doomed). But as said, used to take groups of young people from UK- many of them skate boarders who took to snowboarding immediately- but wailed like babies at the bottom of the Pomas (a strange sight all those 30 something fit men crying their little eyes out)...

The nearest I can come up with is at Siviez (Verbier 4 Vallées) - out of 50+ resorts I've been thinking about- but a bit far for OP.
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Old 24.02.2016, 11:30
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Re: Looking for a nice blue run without a drag lift!

Odile - TBH finding a resort that ticks off all the boxes is going to nigh on impossible. I learned to snowboard on Nagens at Flims. The first hour was spent falling on my backside on the drag lift - the next hour falling on my arse on the main blue slopes back down to the Gondola.

It is superb to learn on - especially for a snowboarder. Mind you - I wouldn't have posted about the Flims blue pistes on the other thread nor could the OP have then looked at a piste map of Flims - or would I?
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