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One day skiing lesson in Zermatt

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Aug 11th, 2015, 01:25 PM
  #1
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One day skiing lesson in Zermatt

Hi there,

I will be travelling with my family from Lauterbrunnen to Zermatt for a one night stay. Both me and my sister would like to try out skiing but we have no prior experience at all to skiing. We're just looking to try out skiing since we made it all the way to Zermatt & would be such a big waste to forgo this opportunity! The problem is I've been looking up on websites to see if you can actually just have a couple hours of lessons and then go for a beginner trail to ski, just for the fun of it and trying out. But it seems like these skiing lessons are offered for at least a couple of days, which we do not have the privilege to stay longer than just one night. Would like to get some advice whether if it's at all doable to go for a couple hours of skiing & do the real thing. Also, if that option is completely impossible, then what else can we fit into our itinerary for a day?

Thank you !
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Aug 11th, 2015, 02:02 PM
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Hi Ashleee,

I googled "ski schools in Zermatt" and as i suspected, if you book a private guide, they will do what you want.

http://www.skischulezermatt.ch/en/in...ms-of-business

[i suspect that you looked at group lessons, which are different and are usually for a week or more].

and here's another option offering private lessons [not cheap though!]:

http://stoked.ch/en/ski-and-snowboar...ons-half-days/

Not sure how much you will be able to achieve in a couple of hours though - but with a good teacher you should be able to get the feel of skiing if nothing else.

Good luck!
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Aug 11th, 2015, 02:45 PM
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At all the ski resorts I go to in the US, beginners can actually book one group lesson for one day, you don't have to book for 3 or whatever. So that surprises me as they are losing revenue that way. But sure, a private teacher would do the trick but they are very expensive. There are quite a few difference ski schools at Zermatt, however.

here's a British ski school at Zermatt that claims you can book group lessons for as many days as you want, I presume that means even one:
http://www.summitskischool.com/

This place also seems to have them and it doesn't say you have to take them 3 days (they say they offer them M-Wed, it's not clear). You can check if interested https://www.europeansnowsport.com/sk...ssons-zermatt/

Most group lessons go at a minimum 3-4 hours, not a couple. Some of the places I go now will not do half-day group lessons, in fact, so you have to do it all day. It's a lot of fun in a group, the groups aren't large, you'll learn a lot.

However, Zermatt is not really a good ski resort for beginners, although I've read they do have beginner lessons. They have zero pct of their runs marked as green (beginner). It's only 21% intermediate, the rest is advanced (62%) or very advanced (17%), on the ski website I use. Other places say their blue runs are "beginner", at least some of them, and about 25 pct of the mountain is beginner, but trails can easily turn from beginner to intermediate in the middle of them. And no beginner trails connect the mountains. So I'd be careful going off on your own, I think a one day group lesson might be best if you can find one.
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Aug 11th, 2015, 06:24 PM
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Have you already booked your lodging? In ski season many places will not book for just one night.

As for skiing - unless you are very talented athletically I think a 3/4 hour lesson might exhaust you - and not at all sure you would be ready for any trail - other than the very small hill the beginner lessons are on.
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Aug 11th, 2015, 10:33 PM
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Hi ashleeee614,

If you are talking about summer skiing, then I really would give it a pass. Summer skiing is on a glacier . . . solid ice. It's not like actual skiing on snow; it's very difficult to turn and very difficult to stop. That is not a good way to learn to ski.

Even if you are talking about winter skiing, as nytraveler says, it will be exhausting if you're not used to it. Just learning to stand or walk in the snow in heavy boots with huge planks stuck to your feet is exhausting . . . not to mention going down a hill with your skies in a wedge so you can control your speed.

I learned to ski as an adult with my adult family, and it took a week before we could ski down a slope (s.l.o.w.l.y.) and stop. That's why you see so many beginners' ski weeks.

And before you ski, you need to go to a sport shop to select and rent your skies, select and try on your boots . . . all that will take at least an hour.

Really, it's neither practical nor enjoyable for a beginner to try to get one day skiing.

I think you'll have a lot more fun if you just rent snowshoes or maybe just go rolling around in the snow.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Aug 11th, 2015, 10:59 PM
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Okay -- you don't say when you are traveling. If summer/early fall, listen to swandav. The conditions won't be good.

And I have a question is you will even have time for a lesson. You are staying only one night so you only have a certain # of hours day one and then you leave the next day for your next stop.

AFAIK it takes nearly 3 hours to travel from Lauterbrunnen to Zermatt. So you probably won't arrive til late morning. then checking in, having lunch, etc you won't get to the ski school till early afternoon at the earliest. Then even just a two hour lesson will take a good deal longer - you need to rent your equipment and be fitted, then you have to return it so plan on at least 3 hours to get a 2 hour lesson. Leaving almost no time for any actual skiing.

You'd really need to stay two nights to fit in some skiing . . .
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Aug 12th, 2015, 01:14 AM
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I was going to suggest a private ski instructor as Swandav wrote. You can contact local ski school or, maybe easier for you, ask your hotel to arrange it. My friends were staying at a 5* hotel ( Mont Cervin Palace ) and their concierge arranged an instructor for their 3 children for 2 - 3 days. It would have been possible even only for a day. Costed about CHF 400 / 500 for a day, don't remember exact amount. Not sure they had rates for a half day.

Then I read others' posts. I wonder too if it's worth when you have only 1 night there. If you really want it, go for it. But there are many people who visit Zermatt not for skiing as well.

> then what else can we fit into our itinerary for a day?
Usual tourist stuff, Gornergrat train (3000m) or Kleinmatterhorn ropeway ( 3800m ). Hiking is always possible was well, summer or winter...
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Aug 12th, 2015, 01:25 AM
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>>>At all the ski resorts I go to in the US, beginners can actually book one group lesson for one day, you don't have to book for 3 or whatever. So that surprises me as they are losing revenue that way.<<<

Europe is not USA. And we are not losing revenue that way. When Europeans go skiing they stay for two weeks. The skiing schools adapt to this behaviour and offer full-week courses. The idea is that you will be instructed for an hour or two and after school's out, you practice on your own for the rest of the day.

If ashleeee614 has one day only I would strongly recommend a private instructor. You learn faster and more effective than in a group of twelve or fifteen learners. However, on your first day you will stay on the beginner's slope just at the foot of the mountain.
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Aug 12th, 2015, 06:45 AM
  #9
 
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>>If ashleeee614 has one day only I would strongly recommend a private instructor. <<

But as I read it - they do not have one day (as in wake up at the hotel, get to the slopes/meet up w/ instructor, and ski for the rest of the day w/ a break for lunch, return to hotel and dinner). They have a few hours in the afternoon and then leave the next day.
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Aug 12th, 2015, 06:57 AM
  #10
 
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IMO, a better way for the OP and the sister to spend a few hours in Zermatt is take the train up to Gornergrat and (wearing snowboots), walk around up there. There are a million places where sis can take a lesson and try out the bunny slopes; there's only one Gornergrat. The train ride to the top (and back) is fabulous and she'll get plenty of exercise just walking around on the snow near the peak train station and hotel.
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Aug 12th, 2015, 10:41 AM
  #11
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Christina - I did managed to look up a few of those websites you mentioned before I posted this topic as well, but like you said it's not clear on whether or not I will need to be able to commit more than a day's lesson. I think I will need to email them to really know the details! Now I'm starting to wonder if it's really worth the time and money just for the sake of experiencing skiing .. hmm.

annhig - thank you for your advice! I think if we are really enthusiastic of trying it out, we'll look out for one day group lessons just to get the feel of it.

nytraveller - we've actually booked a place to stay (Hotel Bristol). It's not a skiing school cause we're actually travelling with both our parents who are 50+ and I thought if we'd really go skiing, they can at least venture out on their own to visit Matterhorn etc. The hotel location was the reason we booked it as it will be convenient in the case we end up not going for skiing.

Swandav2000 & janisj - We will be there next month ! I assume it's still considered as summer skiing ? Looks like there's not much chance to giving this ski thing a go considering I'm on such a short time constraint, would be better off visiting the Matterhorn and enjoying the superb view !

kappa1 - i think what I'll do is to just email the skiing schools and see if they do offer a half a day (or less than that) lesson. If it turns out to be really too time consuming to fit in skiing in a day, guess we'll have to skip and have a reason to come back again another time !

WeisserTee - that actually sounds like a really good plan! I think we'll do just that if this skiing thing doesnt work out.

Thanks again for all your insightful information !
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Aug 12th, 2015, 11:44 AM
  #12
 
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I didn't know you were going in the summer!

I'm surprised to learn that all Europeans go on two week ski vacations or want to take lessons for a week, even if they do. Very interesting.
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Aug 12th, 2015, 11:44 AM
  #13
 
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certainly you can have fun in the mountains without skiing - in fact some might say that with only one day there, you don't want to waste it with 2 planks of wood stuck to your feet.

Only you know if you will feel deprived if you don't give it a go, but if it were me, I'd be considering Weisser Tee's idea very seriously.

[PS - lots of places have dry ski slopes. if you are serious about giving it a go, why not see if there is one near you - you could at least find out how to put on the boots, walk round in skis, use a button lift and snow plough - all things that beginners find really difficult].
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Aug 12th, 2015, 12:15 PM
  #14
 
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As a life-long skier, I can offer this bit of advice: Very,very few people take to skiing with ease. It might seem like fun but, honestly, those first hours can be extremely frustrating. In addition snow conditions will be borderline at best. A sheet of ice in the morning and likely to turn to slush or mashed potatoes as we call it here in the Rockies in the afternoon. Both conditions are difficult to ski in even for an intermediate skier. My advice would be the same as Weisser Tee...enjoy the mountain. You don't need to ski to do that.
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Aug 13th, 2015, 06:17 AM
  #15
 
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Wow, next month. Hmmm, that changes things.

I can certainly understand your sister's desire to try her hand at skiing while on a trip to Switzerland. It would be a cool mental souvenir. I learned to water ski in the Atlantic waters off La Baule, France, years ago and if I could have posted a query here about doing that, I'd probably also have encountered a chorus of no in response.

OTOH, Zermatt is not a beginner-friendly resort, which is part of its appeal to the black diamond crowd. If a day of skiing is more important than going to Zermatt and your itinerary is flexible, then Hintertux is a better choice. http://www.hintertuxergletscher.at/e...x-glacier.html
That said, I still think it's more advisable to wait and make skiing the focus of a long week-end or week at some later date.

I'm also going to suggest that if you've got only one night in Zermatt, consider staying at the Gornergrat hotel: http://gornergrat-kulm.ch/?lang=en The hotel is not large and it's amazing to have the place to yourselves when all the day trippers are gone and before they arrive the next morning. We celebrated our wedding anniversary there last year. The rates aren't cheap but they're not outrageous either, and they do include a multi-course dinner and breakfast. Seeing the Alps from that elevation at sunrise or under the stars is a stunning and unforgettable experience.

After a night at the hotel, you can store your luggage at the Zermatt train station (there is attended luggage storage in addition to lockers) and explore Zermatt for a few hours.

However, if that doesn't interest you, the Hotel Bristol seems very nice and I'm sure you'll all enjoy your stay there.

I'm lucky in that one of the TV stations in Switzerland (where I live) shows real-time webcam images from locations around the country each morning. Gornergrat is one of the webcams included. This morning, I could see snow on the various peaks and, hooray, our heatwave is about to break, so fresh snowfall is expected at that elevation over the week-end (but rain down in Zermatt). Which means that in September you run a fairly good chance of having some white stuff at hand. Even if you can't ski in it, you might still be able to throw a few snowballs. Down in the village of Zermatt itself, October is the earliest that I've encountered fresh snowfall.

Have a great trip!
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Aug 16th, 2015, 03:52 AM
  #16
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Hi all

Thanks for your extremely kind and honest advice! After much consideration, we've finally decided to skip skiing for this time & enjoy the mountains instead

Hope to come back again for skiing the next time round

Thanks once again for all your advice!
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Aug 16th, 2015, 04:45 AM
  #17
 
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> we've finally decided to skip skiing for this time & enjoy the mountains instead

A decion, well and reasonably thought, perfect !

(for once, everybody is happy - unlike in many

other threads on this forum )

Do try a hike down from Gornergrat (till reffelberg is enoug )that I mentioned on my first reply. I hope the weather will cooperate when you will be there. Under best weather that I did a few times ( sunny, no cloud ), it's something you will never regret. Take at least a good pair of solid walking shoes ( ideally hikng shoes ).
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