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Old 24.11.2015, 20:48
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Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

Hey all,

I signed up for a work trip to Zermatt which is in 2 weeks. I've never skiied before, only some snowboarding on dry slope. I've done quite a few sports and tend to learn quite quickly, but I've heard Zermatt can be a bit tough for beginners.

I have a buddy who is not advanced level and will help me :P but does anybody have any tips? I don't plan on having lessons and I will have 2 days at Zermatt.

Even if not perfect for beginners I figure I get a good price through work and get to enjoy the stunning views too..

Thanks for any tips
N
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:03
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

In two weeks I'd say don't even think about trying to ski. There won't be anything even vaguely suitable for a self-teaching beginner by that point. There may be enough open to take a lesson with a proper instructor that knows exactly where to go and what to do, but if you just rent some skis and go up with the group you'll most likely have a miserable time of it.

Best bet would be to do the ride up to the Klein Matterhorn, which is amazingly spectacular at any time of year with several stop-offs on the way for drinks and food, and perhaps walk around on the snow for a little but at the top, but do take it easy, at 3800m the reduced oxygen really will make itself felt.

If you're really set on trying to ski there will likely only be one part that you could learn on, a little rope tow just above (on the map, but actually slightly lower than) the mid station up to KM. Best bet would be to book an instructor for the first morning and take it from there. Honestly it will be worth paying for.

Enjoy your trip, then come and learn how to do it properly with us in Engelberg, or wherever else, but please please please don't persist in thinking that you can learn all by yourself

"Trust me on this - I'm a ski instructor." (TM)
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:13
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

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Hey all,

I signed up for a work trip to Zermatt which is in 2 weeks. I've never skiied before, only some snowboarding on dry slope. I've done quite a few sports and tend to learn quite quickly, but I've heard Zermatt can be a bit tough for beginners.

I have a buddy who is not advanced level and will help me :P but does anybody have any tips? I don't plan on having lessons and I will have 2 days at Zermatt.

Even if not perfect for beginners I figure I get a good price through work and get to enjoy the stunning views too..

Thanks for any tips
N
Can you water ski? I knew an athletic water skier in his early 20s who picked up snow skiing in a few days.

Zermat is a challenge for beginners...
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:14
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

I'm not sure I follow, Ace - why wouldn't he want to ski as a beginner at Zermatt in two weeks? If he goes up to the glacier, there are plenty of blues - I was there earlier this month and it was fine.
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:18
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

I took my lessons in zermatt. It was expensive but I got a very nice & patient instructor. Older gentleman who insisted on speaking to my husband afterwards to give "him" an update on my progress. I wasn't offended, it was very cute.
Anyway, by the end of day 2, I was off the bunny slopes where all the 4 and 5 year olds are also learning and whizzing down hills alongside my instructor. It wasn't easy but I was determined.
Also, I think the key to my success was such a seasoned and patient instructor. If nothing else, Zermatt is really beautiful, be sure to take it all in!
Best of luck to you.

Last edited by Wife of a swiss; 24.11.2015 at 22:18. Reason: Mispelling
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:19
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

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I'm not sure I follow, Ace - why wouldn't he want to ski as a beginner at Zermatt in two weeks? If he goes up to the glacier, there are plenty of blues - I was there earlier this month and it was fine.
Err, yes, plenty of blues.

When were you a complete beginner? You may not realise/remember what it's like, but just getting from the top lift across to the blues would probably take a beginner an hour of hard slog, and the blues there are absolutely not suitable for a complete beginner.

I've done quite a few of my BASI courses in Zermatt, and a part of them is choosing appropriate terrain, so I mentioned in the previous post the only really suitable area, as agreed by trainers, trainees and other local instructors alike.
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:21
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

Thanks for the replies everyone.

If it's really not possible to ski as a beginner then I'm better off cancelling and learning somewhere else first...it's a great opportunity though (but I don't want to go just to enjoy the views).

I can waterski and I've been wakeboarding and kitesurfing for a few years. Being timid isn't a problem but I don't want it to be dangerous :P

Difficult decision. I'll check if I can cancel tomorrow and think about it.
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:22
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

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Thanks for any tips
N
You can get short skis, like Big Foot. Then it would be like skating.
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:27
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

Sunnegga and the Wolli Park should be opening this Saturday... snow permitting!
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:29
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

http://www.zermatt.ch/en/Skiing/Apre...-for-beginners

This link shows a few ski lifts I'll be able to use. I'm not bothered if I spend the entire day using these as the views are awesome and I've got a good price for the trip.

Feasible to spend a couple of days on these baby slopes?
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:41
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

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http://www.zermatt.ch/en/Skiing/Apre...-for-beginners

This link shows a few ski lifts I'll be able to use. I'm not bothered if I spend the entire day using these as the views are awesome and I've got a good price for the trip.

Feasible to spend a couple of days on these baby slopes?
Tasch and Randa won't be open! No snow down there (& they aren't in Zermatt). The Wolli Park should be open... But I'd get yourself an instructor!
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:47
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

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you can get short skis, like big foot. Then it would be like skating.
no.
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:48
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

Go up there, enjoy the glacier museum, and do a snowshoe walk. Take a flask of whiskey or hot chocolate. Enjoy the views!
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:49
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

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Difficult decision. I'll check if I can cancel tomorrow and think about it.
Just get an instructor for an hour or maybe two and you'll have a great time, even if don't want to ski the next day too. You don't need to be skiing to enjoy Zermatt, especially in the evenings

Really, even if I couldn't ski at all (like now, recovering from surgery) I'd still join a group trip just for the Craic (as the Irish say).

EDIT: Adrian has the right of it.^^^
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:56
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

At least take some classes the first day. Speaking from experience, I learned to ski in 3 days, 2 in gstaad with the help of an expert skier, and 1 in monts jura. During the first 2 days I fell so many times and my body was sore all over. Then I took a break (1 month), watched a lot of ski lessons on youtube, and decided to try again alone. This time there is no more pressure from other people, I can pay more attention to what I am doing, and after half a day I can already parallel turn.
If you know how to water ski and those other board sports, I suppose it helps alot. But if you fall a lot on the first day, the second day will be hell.
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Old 24.11.2015, 22:58
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

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Feasible to spend a couple of days on these baby slopes?
Yes. If those are open already, which I hadn't checked, you're much more able to DIY. Even so, just a short-as-possible private lesson (most likely 1.5 hours min.) will be worth doing to make the most of it. Because, you see, without that you will struggle to even use the baby lifts.
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Old 25.11.2015, 12:45
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

I E-Mailed the ski club (who I will go with) for some advice and he said that it's very suitable for beginners. Also, it looks like the trip is in 'Matterhorn glacier paradise' which from a quick look refers to the very top slopes (with the good beginner pistes).


So, I'm going on the trip and will look for availability of private lessons also, I'm hoping there will be varied levels of ability on the trip so hope to get help while I'm there. Thanks for your advice all. Hope to ski with y'all once I find my feet
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Old 14.12.2015, 17:21
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

Well thanks for your advice everyone, thought I'd post about how it went.


I had a 3 hour snowboarding lesson on Saturday morning (in Sunnegga) and stayed there all day practicing on the blue piste, then went to Gornergrat on Sunday enjoying the blue pistes there...absolutely loved it!
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Old 14.12.2015, 17:43
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Re: Complete beginner skiing in Zermatt

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Err, yes, plenty of blues.

When were you a complete beginner? You may not realise/remember what it's like, but just getting from the top lift across to the blues would probably take a beginner an hour of hard slog, and the blues there are absolutely not suitable for a complete beginner.

I've done quite a few of my BASI courses in Zermatt, and a part of them is choosing appropriate terrain, so I mentioned in the previous post the only really suitable area, as agreed by trainers, trainees and other local instructors alike.
I went skiing with a group of beginners about 30 years ago, we went to Tignes le Breiviere, On the second day they were skiing on reds, by the end of the first week everybody except 1 has done the black La Sache. Our instructor was a local ski bum from Scotland.

Assuming people are fit, they should be able to snow plow turn & stop by the end of the first day, I really don't think Zermatt is out of the question.
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