Skiing Tips for Beginners in the Swiss Alps: guest post
Posted on October 29, 2013
Winter escapes to the Swiss Alps are wonderfully thrilling, as well as refreshing. There’s something so pure about heading to the peaks of this alpine wonderland to sharpen up your skiing skills. But what if you’re a first timer who is afraid of taking a tumble down the mountain? Well Switzerland, with resorts such as Natschen close to Andermatt will cater for you just as well as for any seasoned pro! It’s all about taking sensible advice, staying safe and getting lots of practice. Here are a few tips if you fall into this camp; it’s well worth taking the plunge as you need to start somewhere…
Go to the right resorts
The first thing you should do is to research ski resorts that are suitable for beginners. One such destination you could look at is Andermatt which is a 90 minute drive from Zurich Airport. Search for Andermatt hotels that are near to the slopes so you don’t have to travel far each day of your trip. If you went to this resort you could get in touch with Andermatt Ski School to learn the basics.
If you head to any other large resort, you’ll likely still find brilliant ski schools to attend. They’ll show you the moves you’ll need to get down a run safely, take you to the cable cars and ski lifts, as well as instructing you on safety and the consideration of others.
Bring warm clothing
When you come to packing your bag, you should put plenty of winter woolies in it. The weather could be around minus 10 degrees Celsius when you arrive so you’ll need to wrap up warm. It’s amazing how much colder it can feel at the top of a mountain, so something to cover your face is pretty essential. Ski goggles and a snood can be quite effective, but avoid using scarfs around ski lifts as they could get caught in the mechanism.
Use the correct equipment
It can be tempting to bring skis along with you on the plane, especially if your airline will let you bring these for no extra charge. It’s best not to borrow a pair from your friend even if you do have the same boot size; the skis won’t be calibrated for your height and weight, and may not be the right shape for a beginner. Hire a pair when you arrive in the resort so you know that they’ll be perfect for you. It can be dangerous to use ill-fitting skis as they can come off too easily when you’re out on the snow.
Follow directions and signs
Once you have had a ski lesson, you’ll probably want to head to the slopes yourself without any guidance. Take a map with you so you know which runs are suitable for your ability level – never attempt to go down a black diamond as these will be treacherous for beginners like you. There will be signs at the top of each hill, so use these as an extra guide. Lastly, don’t venture off to unmarked areas as the snow won’t be groomed so you’ll have no idea what terrain lurks underneath.
Julie is a librarian by day, die-hard travel fanatic and writer by night. When she’s not traveling, she’s either testing out a new recipe or being a foodie in Pittsburgh. If you're interested in seeing where she travels to or what she makes next, follow along via the links below!