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Old 13.11.2020, 18:14
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Skiing in Zermatt

Hi All
We are going to Zermatt over December and would like to learn how to ski. We are complete newbies. Can anyone explain the process - as I understand it, we would need to join a ski school, rent equipment and get ski passes? Have I got it right? Are there any schools that includes the rental and ski passes in the cost of the lessons? What clothing should we get - and where can we get it without it costing us an arm and a leg!
Its all quite pricey and daunting for someone who has never even been on a ski slope
All advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 13.11.2020, 18:28
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

Good quality ski clothing from the Migros at reasonable prices. A waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers and good gloves. Get some good ski socks too, you will thank me later. December won’t be that cold, but think about thermals. (I never wear them, even in -35 temperatures but it’s a personal thing. You are going to want to dress in layers. But not too many, anything you strip off needs to be carried.

Do a search for ski equipment rental in Zermatt, there are plenty of outlets, prices won’t vary much so find somewhere near to your accommodation. Don’t get the best, get the cheapest. Don’t forget the helmet, you do need one even though they are not mandatory for adults.

There are a couple of ski schools again to a search. Your lift tickets will depend on where your ski school will take you. Do not get the full all singing, all dancing pass. You will NOT be skiing down to Italy this time. If necessary you can always upgrade. Get the advice from your instructors, you can buy them on the day.
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Old 13.11.2020, 18:31
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

No ski school includes ski passes, but you can buy them yourself or get them through your hotel. If you are just starting, the first day you might only need the Wolli pass which includes the beginners area and a couple of blue runs, but best to ask the advice of your ski school.

There are 10+ ski schools in Zermatt so have a look on line at prices etc.

Ski hire shops can loan you most of the equipment including outer clothing, but you'd need to buy/get under layers & sock etc yourself.

I'll send you a DM
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Old 13.11.2020, 19:48
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

We've been skiing for years in Zermatt and have always used the services of Stoked ski school and rentals.

Website:
https://stoked.ch/en/

Highly recommend!
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Old 13.11.2020, 19:50
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

All good advice so far, just a couple of additional points:

Clothing: I'd recommend Decathlon for the best choice of budget clothing. Good quality own-brand stuff.
Make sure you get at least two pairs of ski socks, and once you're there do not be tempted to wear multiple pairs of socks for additional warmth, they will simply restrict circulation, as well as making the boot much more difficult to control.
Underwear. Go for artificial fibres, not cotton. Cotton just absorbs sweat and leaves it next to the skin. You will get hot and sweaty, and you will get cold. The absolute best is Merino wool (very fine, almost like silk). I noticed that Ländi had some polyester/Merino blend underwear last week, at quite reasonable prices. It's also very resistant to picking up body odours, so a single set should last you all week.
Multiple thin layers is always better than fewer thicker ones.

Instruction: There are a number of British-run ski schools in Zermatt, mostly employing British instructors. It's been a while since I was there so I won't recommend any in particular, but BASI-trained instructors are often, well sometimes, maybe, better than Swiss, especially when it comes to teaching older beginners.
I'd suggest talking to them about your fitness level to establish the best pattern of lessons. Full days every day are often just too much for non-sporting adults, so try to get something with some half days or even a day off midweek to recover from the inevitable aches and pains.

Equipment: many people prefer to rent local to them at lower prices than in-resort shops, but be aware that you may find the boots (or maybe even the skis) they give you may not always be the best for learning; if you rent in resort you can go and change them. Your instructor will be able to help establish if they're the right fit and stiffness.

Getting there: Zermatt is traffic free, so you have to take a train from Täsch up to the village, so many people prefer to take the train the whole way. Electric taxis will take you to your accommodation - check if your hotel has their own, as many do and you'll save yourself a few francs. There's a free phone to most hotels at the station, so you can call when you arrive.

Best of luck, and remember to enjoy the experience!
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Old 13.11.2020, 20:14
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

Thank you for all the detail! Much appreciated.
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Old 13.11.2020, 20:29
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

You don't necessarily need dedicated ski clothing, just something that will keep you warm and dry, e.g. if you already have fleeces/downs and a waterproof jacket and trousers. Socks of course will need to be long enough. I actually use thick 'heat holders' for comfort.



Take your time picking out boots and try to find somewhere with a good selection. Don't go too long (in length) with the skis.
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Old 13.11.2020, 20:57
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

What do people think skiing will be like this year? Will most of the resorts be open and running almost like pre-covid days (aside from face masks etc)?
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Old 13.11.2020, 21:03
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

Ski Season 2020/2021 - predictions
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Old 13.11.2020, 21:05
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

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What do people think skiing will be like this year? Will most of the resorts be open and running almost like pre-covid days (aside from face masks etc)?

Not sure. Could be great, could be a nightmare (Long lines, pushing in lines, non-mask wearing etc)
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Old 13.11.2020, 21:14
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

Zermatt is a fabulous area. I was there in September last year walking and some 38 years ago skiing. It’s changed a lot in that time and grown much bigger.

It’s not cheap and it’s not ideal for beginners skiing. I lived in the UK when I skied there and found a series of lessons on the Southampton dry ski slopes invaluable.

If you have the time and they are open, I would suggest a day or two at say Flumserberg or an easy area near Luzern to cut your skiing teeth before Zermatt...
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Old 13.11.2020, 21:22
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

The easiest way to carry your skis is on your shoulder. You want the tips pointing forward and the bindings just behind your shoulder. Rest your arm (from the same shoulder) on the front part of the skis so that a little pressure down raises the back of the skis above the heads of those around you. In this position it is quite effortless and saves you from Newbie mistakes.
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Old 13.11.2020, 21:30
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

Get a ski helmet with full visor. Do not get open face ski helmet plus the goggles. Speaking from experience, there is no fogging no fiddling with goggles and straps, it is warm and wind will not bite your face.
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Old 13.11.2020, 23:44
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

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The easiest way to carry your skis is on your shoulder. You want the tips pointing forward and the bindings just behind your shoulder. Rest your arm (from the same shoulder) on the front part of the skis so that a little pressure down raises the back of the skis above the heads of those around you. In this position it is quite effortless and saves you from Newbie mistakes.
I’m sorry I have a different opinion here but when I learned to ski I was told never to do this. Of course - the number of times I have been whacked or almost been whacked by someone carrying skis like that, especially newbies! I try to keep 2m away from people carrying skis like that but in queues they tend to sneak up on me!
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Old 14.11.2020, 00:29
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

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The easiest way to carry your skis is on your shoulder. You want the tips pointing forward and the bindings just behind your shoulder. Rest your arm (from the same shoulder) on the front part of the skis so that a little pressure down raises the back of the skis above the heads of those around you. In this position it is quite effortless and saves you from Newbie mistakes.
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I’m sorry I have a different opinion here but when I learned to ski I was told never to do this. Of course - the number of times I have been whacked or almost been whacked by someone carrying skis like that, especially newbies! I try to keep 2m away from people carrying skis like that but in queues they tend to sneak up on me!
It's the best way by far to carry skis, as Bowlie says. I often teach newbies to do it like that, sometimes just telling them that it makes them look like they know what they're doing.

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Get a ski helmet with full visor. Do not get open face ski helmet plus the goggles. Speaking from experience, there is no fogging no fiddling with goggles and straps, it is warm and wind will not bite your face.
I've never felt the need for such a thing. TBH I don't usually ski with a helmet anyway, except when teaching, and goggles are reserved for extreme conditions; sunglasses (with switchable lenses for different conditions) are my preferred eyewear 90% of the time. I don't see any problem with goggles like you describe though, except with young kids who don't know what they're doing.
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Old 14.11.2020, 01:00
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

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Get a ski helmet with full visor. Do not get open face ski helmet plus the goggles. Speaking from experience, there is no fogging no fiddling with goggles and straps, it is warm and wind will not bite your face.
You'll never see a ski instructor or other ski professional with a visor - take from that what you want.

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I’m sorry I have a different opinion here but when I learned to ski I was told never to do this. Of course - the number of times I have been whacked or almost been whacked by someone carrying skis like that, especially newbies! I try to keep 2m away from people carrying skis like that but in queues they tend to sneak up on me!
I teach everyone to carry their skis correctly on the shoulder.... when walking in open space..... it takes less energy as well as looking professional. When getting close to queues etc, then they come down by your side.
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Old 14.11.2020, 07:22
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

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It's the best way by far to carry skis, as Bowlie says. I often teach newbies to do it like that, sometimes just telling them that it makes them look like they know what they're doing..
The trick is to pull down with your arm raising the ski ends well above head hight.
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Old 14.11.2020, 11:29
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

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I've never felt the need for such a thing. TBH I don't usually ski with a helmet anyway, except when teaching, and goggles are reserved for extreme conditions; sunglasses (with switchable lenses for different conditions) are my preferred eyewear 90% of the time. I don't see any problem with goggles like you describe though, except with young kids who don't know what they're doing.
So that was you? I'll make sure to wave next time I see you.
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Old 14.11.2020, 11:56
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

If you see a little grey haired teapot, bombing down without helmet but thick headband and with sunglasses - that will be me though
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Old 14.11.2020, 12:43
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Re: Skiing in Zermatt

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I've never felt the need for such a thing. TBH I don't usually ski with a helmet anyway, except when teaching, and goggles are reserved for extreme conditions; sunglasses (with switchable lenses for different conditions) are my preferred eyewear 90% of the time. I don't see any problem with goggles like you describe though, except with young kids who don't know what they're doing.
I find this amazingly irresponsible.

It's a bit like a driving instructor saying they only wear a seat belt when teaching someone to drive...
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