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Old 07.01.2016, 12:59
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Learning Cross Country near Zürich

Happy New Year everyone.

I moved in to Zürich (Dübbendorf) last saturday. I would like to take this opportunity to learn how to ski; I am only interested on cross country, I am possibly too old for alpine skiing and more interested on endurance than on adrenaline.

I never skied before and have no gear. Any hints on these following questions would be welcome:

1. School(s) - which do you advice?

2. Gear - is this something the school can provide, or must I rent it myself?

3. Are there any English speaking groups/associations worth joining?

Any other advice is welcome. Thank you,

Luís
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Old 07.01.2016, 13:04
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

Welcome Luis.
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Old 07.01.2016, 13:12
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

Hi there, and welcome,

I'm an alpine skier myself (even though I'm getting older and older), in addition I come from a country where learning cross country skiing goes along the line of "put kid on skis, see how long before he/she falls, repeat" (same applies to skating btw). Therefore I can't help you with regards to schools that teaches cross country skiing, but I've heard that close to Zürich, Einsideln would be the best place for taking up the sport. Not sure whether there is any snow right now though. Otherwise, if you fancy going further afield, Engine is magnificent for cross country.

Enjoy!
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Old 07.01.2016, 13:16
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

When I went cross-country skiing for the first time (first time I'd done any kind of skiing) I went to Engelberg with a friend. She taught me the basics and I used youtube videos to improve on that before I went again.

It may be useful to have a lesson (or more) but I'd suggest the first time just go with a friend so you can learn the basics (like where to rent the skis and how to put them on!) without boring and paying for an instructor to do that.

The first time I went I wore jeans and a leather jacket, and rented skis, poles and boots for about 30Fr for half a day from a place just a few minutes' walk left of Engelberg station. I now wear better clothing but it goes to show that for cross-country you can muddle through.
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Old 07.01.2016, 13:28
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

I wouldn't advise wearing jeans and a leather jacket though. If you intend on staying in Swizerland for a while, do invest in real winter clothes. If you have a car, Decathlon in France has its own brand. Here I have bought the house brand of SportXX (Migros) for our son the first year he skied, and the quality is more than acceptable. A minimum would be waterproof pants and a jacket, a hat and good gloves. My pants are lined since I prefer alpine skiing, my husband's aren't and he multi-layers according to the day's needs. As long as you don't buy a skinny cross country outfit, these are clothes that you can use for many winter sports such as sledging (so much fun!), skating, snowshoeing or just walking.

Ski equipment on the other hand I would definitely rent until you know you're hooked.
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Old 07.01.2016, 13:50
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

I second Einsiedeln - close to Zurich, big area, flat-ish

Not much to learn though, you can practise a bit on a machine in the gym to get the rythm. But it is extremely hard work to be aware, as you pretty much have to move the whole time to "move".

Another option to consider is snowshoe-ing, strap snow rackets to your feet and wonder in the snowy vasteness, that is also "quite" fun.
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Old 07.01.2016, 14:08
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

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I second Einsiedeln - close to Zurich, big area, flat-ish

Not much to learn though, you can practise a bit on a machine in the gym to get the rythm. But it is extremely hard work to be aware, as you pretty much have to move the whole time to "move".

Another option to consider is snowshoe-ing, strap snow rackets to your feet and wonder in the snowy vasteness, that is also "quite" fun.
My mother started snowshoeing at 60, really no need to be young to enjoy the winter!

She likes it better than cross country because there is less risk of slipping and falling. She has weak knees, so except from ice skating she prefers to stay on "stable" ground.
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Old 07.01.2016, 14:20
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

Another option is Studen, which is quite good for a beginner IMO

http://www.studen-sz.ch/
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Old 07.01.2016, 14:46
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

I'd be inclined to argue that if if you can cross country-ski, you are physically capable of learning and enjoying alpine skiing. So don't let your age limit you. Flumserberg has XC trails open now. They also have a nice beginners program and plenty of ski instruction options.

If you are uncertain of where your interests might lie, and as another poster mentioned, you might want to look into snowshoe hiking. You get the aerobic benefits of XC but still have the quick option of scenic and exciting alpine trails. The gear is easily portable on train or bus. Entry costs are lower all around as well. Most of the necessary clothing and gear could be borrowed or can transfer to XC or alpine skiing if you decide to buy. And if you don't enjoy the snoeshow experience, I suspect you'll feel the same about xc skiing.
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Old 07.01.2016, 15:04
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

In Langis near Sarnen they have very good teachers (at least in my opinion) and few easier tracks as well. Its bit of a local place so its maybe better specifically ask for a instructor who speaks English as not all of them do.

You can also rent the gear there.
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Old 07.01.2016, 18:18
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

Thanks everyone for the multiple replies.

I cycle in the summer; I do a 3/4 hour ride each weekend (100+ km) plus a few short rides on weekdays. I already did snowshoeing a couple of times, I enjoy it, but it is a very low intensity exercise - I am not that old . Nice tip on the clothing, the few times I went snowshoeing I used mostly cycling gear, including impermeable trousers and impermeable jacket.

I have been in Zürich for 5 days, I only have one friend and he does not ski, but perhaps I could ask some colleague. Or if there is any group/person here going to Einsiedeln or a similar place the next few days please let me know.

Regards,

Luís
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Old 08.01.2016, 00:08
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Re: Learning Cross Country near Zürich

HI Luis,

I've been to Einsiedeln before and it's great for Cross Country skiing. I tried the classic style where you ski in the ready made tracks.

I think if you click on this link:

http://www.einsiedeln-tourismus.ch/e...country-skiing

you can see live web cams on the individual tracks. There's been snow today but not sure how much is sticking. More snow is due as well.

You can also rent the gear for a season and then, if you like it, you can then buy it at the end of the season and then you know you like it and it fits. I was very happy with the service in this shop in Schindellegi which is not that far from Einsiedeln and they speak good English.

http://www.langlaufspezialist-langlaufcenter.ch

Good luck!
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