Switzerland Skiing Advice Needed


Oct 31st, 2004, 08:39 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3
Switzerland Skiing Advice Needed

Need advice on the following trip

1)Skiing between Xmas and New Years
2)Desire to be in a smaller town
3)Good mix of intermediate terrain for my 11 year old

scooter18 is offline  
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Nov 1st, 2004, 05:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi scooter18,

Hope I can help. I've skied Zermatt once, Wengen once, and Grindelwald twice. I'm one of those terrible, terminal intermediates, and my favorite ski destination is Grindelwald because the intermediate area around the "First" cable car station is superb. Unfortunately, that area is low enough not to have reliable snow so early -- most reliable snow is in January - mid-April. In fact, the international ski race the Lauberhorn (Wengen) was moved in January 2004 because of lack of snow.

To make sure you get reliable snow, you have to go to the glaciers -- Les Diablerets or Zermatt, for instance. When I skied Zermatt in the springtime, I didn't like it because the wind made me cold and the blowing snow made me blind. It really wasn't a good time.

So it'll be a tough choice to get reliable snow and good conditions for an intermediate skier.

You may want to head for the Engadin Valley, which has a high altitude and may have a better chance to get snow. Go to www.engadin.ch and look around Scuol or maybe one of the smaller towns around St. Moritz.

Hope this helps!

swandav2000 is offline  
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Nov 1st, 2004, 05:35 AM
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I liked Grindelwald for intermediate skiing as well. Cute little town as well. swandav is right -- check the conditions before going!
Surfergirl is offline  
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Nov 2nd, 2004, 01:52 PM
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Lots of great options, Scooter, although at this point some of it may be dictated by availability. (Swiss resorts fill up at Christmas, and sometimes have long minimum stays). I tend to think you can find plenty of intermediate terrain on-piste at most of the resorts. Zermatt is a really lovely town with lots of intermediate terrain, and very reliable snow (and that most iconic of mountains, the Matterhorn). It is a bit chilly, but probably worth it, in my view. If you're willing to do France (albeit right by the Swiss border), Megeve is quite charming with very manageable slopes (but at a low altitude, and therefore subject to snow issues). Chamonix is a slightly larger town (all relative, of course), with a variety of nice ski options, but not quite as intermediate-oriented. Of the Berner Oberland resorts, I'm a huge fan of Wengen - about as charming as one can get, in my view, with nice long cruiser runs. Verbier is a good choice as well, if a bit more American/Brit than the others (but not quite as posh/uptight as Gstaad). I know people who swear by the Portes de Soleil (Avoriaz and a bunch of other resorts right on the Swiss/French border), but we've only skiied Avoriaz in the shoulder season and the snow was not so great. Villars/Les Diablerets is another good option. Given your description, though, I'd probably go for Zermatt.
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