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Old 17.02.2013, 16:33
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Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

I have a year old baby and we wanted to travel to Zermatt for the weekend. Is the place buggy friendly? And is it a good option at this time of the year...in terms of the crowd, the rates and the activities that we could do.
I understand from some earlier posts that we will not be allowed to go to the top of Matterhorn. So is it worthwhile?
Any other suggestions are welcome. We r basically looking for a skiing holiday (we will take turns looking after the baby). And I must add that we are beginners.

Thanks.
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Old 17.02.2013, 16:39
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

Regardless of baby, Zermatt is not a resort for beginners!
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Old 17.02.2013, 18:40
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

I recommend Engleberg - there is plenty of flat ground in the valley, so good for going for walks with a little one ( a backpack is a good idea for the walk up the groomed walking trail in the valley. A stroller is okay for in the village..)

It is also a perfect place for beginners to ski - you do not have any expensive lift fees as a beginner, due to the beginner slopes being just above village level, not up high.

If you need lessons, I recommend Prime Ski school - Bruce from the UK,so English as a first language, is a great instructor. ( he is there Sat and Sundays, as is Judith, also from the UK, also very nice.)

I have been there 5 days out of the last 8. There is a good coverage of snow, perfect beginner conditions on the appropriate slopes at the moment - also perfect conditions on the 11+km of the xcountry ski trail in the valley. ( fee for that is only 8chf per day.)

The sports centre has iceskating, curling, a climbing wall and other activities if you want something different to do at any stage.

I understand that there is also a heated indoor pool somewhere, although I have not seen it.

Plus a visit to the cheese factory in the old Cloister.
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Old 17.02.2013, 19:24
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

I would vote for Engelberg as well. It's such a nice spot with everything close and very family-friendly, basic shops available and the train station is right in the centre of the town...pick accommodation that is near to the station, and there are several bus routes that move you around as needed...(and they are free!)...
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Old 17.02.2013, 19:38
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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I understand from some earlier posts that we will not be allowed to go to the top of Matterhorn. So is it worthwhile?
I don't think "being allowed" has much to do with it...

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Old 17.02.2013, 19:46
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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I don't think "being allowed" has much to do with it...

I think the OP probably meant the Klein Matterhorn, and no, young children aren't allowed up, at nearly 4000m it is too high!
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Old 17.02.2013, 19:57
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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I think the OP probably meant the Klein Matterhorn, and no, young children aren't allowed up, at nearly 4000m it is too high!
I guessed that. It made me laugh though.
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Old 18.02.2013, 08:16
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

Thanks to all for ur comments and suggestions.
Since we r new here, we were told Zermatt is THE place to be. But I guess we need to opt for other places.
Do let me know of any reasonable accomodation in Engelberg.
And of course any other options and suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 19.02.2013, 00:44
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

At just over 1600m, Zermatt itself shouldn't present any altitude problems for babies as long as they are properly protected from the cold.

The mountain attractions, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn, Sunnegga etc. are almost certain to cause some level of altitude sickness
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Old 19.02.2013, 04:26
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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Thanks to all for ur comments and suggestions.
Since we r new here, we were told Zermatt is THE place to be. But I guess we need to opt for other places.
Do let me know of any reasonable accomodation in Engelberg.
And of course any other options and suggestions will be appreciated.

Thanks.
I was at Engelberg again yesterday and due to your post, was particuarly noticing families with young babies and toddlers. There were several, all obviously having a great time.

The cheapest accomodation would be at the very nice Youth hostel, where you would be able to book a family room. Apart from that, do a google on hotels to find one that is in your price bracket. Several have comments that show they are family friendly.
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Old 19.02.2013, 06:30
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

Zermatt IS a must visit place. But it is not a good resort for learning to ski.

I would suggest visiting in summer, when in my view it is more beautiful, also a bit more family friendly... Warmer and not death trap icey streets! There is a crèche (kinderparadies) and baby sitting services through hotels if you and your husband want to go up to altitude without the baby for a few hours!
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Old 19.02.2013, 08:18
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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At just over 1600m, Zermatt itself shouldn't present any altitude problems for babies as long as they are properly protected from the cold.

The mountain attractions, Gornergrat, Klein Matterhorn, Sunnegga etc. are almost certain to cause some level of altitude sickness
Not true - unless you are planning to spend the night up there.

Altitude sickness, even in its mildest form usually takes at least ten hours to set in. (quite often people show symptoms after spending a night at altitude).

Going up high for a a couple of hours for a cup of coffee in the restaurant and a look around to admire the view won't be a problem for the baby.

The OP just needs to make sure that the baby's wrapped up warm, and is protected from the sun (especially the baby's eyes).
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Old 19.02.2013, 08:54
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According to French mountain rescue the rule of thumb is - baby's age in months x10 is a safe altitude. So at 12 months - 1200m.

However it may depend on where you live and what altitude they are used to.

Having said that my sister in law took her brood to Vars at 1800 at 9 months. I probably wouldn't as I get headaches from 1500m for a few days

Pregnant women are advised to stay below 1700m and usually babies get the same treatment as pregnant mamans.

Would you sleep there or just go for the day?

Oh and I think I remember a friend telling me that the mountain railway guys got them off the train at ~2400m in zermatt on account of the baby

Wherever you go very strong sun screen and wind cream are a must. As are UV sunglasses And if the baby is in a backpack remember that with windchill they lose body heat much, much faster than you do.

Enjoy
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Old 19.02.2013, 09:37
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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According to French mountain rescue the rule of thumb is - baby's age in months x10 is a safe altitude. So at 12 months - 1200m.

However it may depend on where you live and what altitude they are used to.

Having said that my sister in law took her brood to Vars at 1800 at 9 months. I probably wouldn't as I get headaches from 1500m for a few days

Pregnant women are advised to stay below 1700m and usually babies get the same treatment as pregnant mamans.

Would you sleep there or just go for the day?

Oh and I think I remember a friend telling me that the mountain railway guys got them off the train at ~2400m in zermatt on account of the baby

How old was the baby? A young baby (less than three months) shouldn't go up high at all but not due to altitude sickness but because there would be too much stress on their lungs trying to breath the rarified air.
A one year old baby (as the OP has) shouldn't be any different from an altitude.

To answer the OPs question (although they've probably been to Zermatt by now), you'll probably do less skiing than you thought you'd do with the young one so you may as well hang around somewhere nice like Zermatt whilst you're not skiing and waiting for your turn.
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Old 19.02.2013, 12:27
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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I was at Engelberg again yesterday and due to your post, was particuarly noticing families with young babies and toddlers. There were several, all obviously having a great time.

The cheapest accomodation would be at the very nice Youth hostel, where you would be able to book a family room. Apart from that, do a google on hotels to find one that is in your price bracket. Several have comments that show they are family friendly.
Thanks for particuarly looking out for family like ours....its appreciated. Do I need to book the youth hostel in advance or we can find accomodation once we r there....not sure about our dates yet, and with the baby having a cold every now and then, we will most probably decide on a short notice.
Thanks.
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Old 19.02.2013, 12:30
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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Zermatt IS a must visit place. But it is not a good resort for learning to ski.

I would suggest visiting in summer, when in my view it is more beautiful, also a bit more family friendly... Warmer and not death trap icey streets! There is a crèche (kinderparadies) and baby sitting services through hotels if you and your husband want to go up to altitude without the baby for a few hours!
Hey quite a few ppl have mentioned that Zermatt is better in summer....but y would it be so?
Thanks for the advice on creches!
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Old 19.02.2013, 12:39
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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How old was the baby? A young baby (less than three months) shouldn't go up high at all but not due to altitude sickness but because there would be too much stress on their lungs trying to breath the rarified air.
A one year old baby (as the OP has) shouldn't be any different from an altitude.

To answer the OPs question (although they've probably been to Zermatt by now), you'll probably do less skiing than you thought you'd do with the young one so you may as well hang around somewhere nice like Zermatt whilst you're not skiing and waiting for your turn.
No we have not been to Zermatt yet...and yes, thats finally what we r planning that we will hang around and enjoy Zermatt rather than try skiing.
We do plan to stay overnight...what a good family place?
For our skiing experience, we will choose between Engelberg (as some members have suggested) or Braunwald or....anyplace else u all can recommend?
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Old 19.02.2013, 13:29
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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No we have not been to Zermatt yet...and yes, thats finally what we r planning that we will hang around and enjoy Zermatt rather than try skiing.
I've never stayed there with my kids - just the wife. Sorry.

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For our skiing experience, we will choose between Engelberg (as some members have suggested) or Braunwald or....anyplace else u all can recommend?
From experience - somewhere where's there's lots going on or at least warm places to sit and eat at the convergence of the pistes so it's easy, and quick to find each other when you want to swap over.

That does rule out a lot of places but somewhere like Flumserberg would fit that description but I'm not necessarily recommending that.
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Old 19.02.2013, 13:49
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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Hey quite a few ppl have mentioned that Zermatt is better in summer....but y would it be so?
Thanks for the advice on creches!
I guess that whereas many resorts are principally there for the winter and retrench to become a small shadow of themselves in the Summer, Zermatt doesn't do that, and virtually all of the hotels, restaurants, bars, attractions and fun places are open in the Summer as they are in the Winter. Add to that plenty of walking opportunities (plenty more of those in Summer) and the absence of those icy winds and fear of falling on ice, and you can have a much more relaxed time. Especially if you're not there principally for the skiing.
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Old 19.02.2013, 18:40
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Re: Zermatt with a baby is advisable?

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Hey quite a few ppl have mentioned that Zermatt is better in summer....but y would it be so?
Thanks for the advice on creches!
I'm skiing mad... but Zermatt is nicer in summer for definite.

Zermatt in winter, really the only thing to do is ski. The weather has a habit of being horrendous. At the top of Klein Matterhorn temperatures below -20 are a daily occurrence and often there are very high winds.

Zermatt is summer, is warm, you can ski (although it is limited), hike, bike, walk around town without breaking your neck, it is quieter without being a ghost town.. it is generally much more chilled out and relaxed.

Go and learn to ski somewhere else and have a nice summer weekend in Zermatt.
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