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Skiing in Switzerland, tips ?

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by WILLIAM H, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Thinking of spending Spring break in late Feb early March somewhere in the Swiss Alps. Might cross over into Austria. What are the best places ? Thanks
     
  2. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    Make sure they have snow.
    Wengen. Fantastic (Sound of Music, Bond ski chase, Timemaster ski chase)
    Regina Hotel.
    Mention my name.
     
  3. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    IMHO Verbier has the best skiing.

    Wengen is picture postcard pretty + Muren (sp?) next door is where they filmed the Bond movie On her majesty's secret service.

    Otherwise Zermat is also fab.

    Main consideration is transfer - Verbier is more convenient to Geneva, Zermat for Zurich.

    Whichever way take your "large" wallet. Swiss ski resorts have amongst the most expensive food and drink in the world!
     
  4. robinh

    robinh Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2004
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    Robin
    I went to Wengen for many years. It is very pretty and you get to see thge Eiger (very impressive). The down side of Wengen is that you need to get the train every morning to get to the ski slopes. Once on the mountain it's great too.

    If you are a serious skier then Verbier would be a better bet.
     
  5. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    Jim Glickenhaus
     
  6. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Ive heard great things about St Anton, I believe its in Austria, How far from Geneva ?

    Whats a good resort that has both challenging runs & beginner runs ? Thanks
     
  7. FLATOUTRACING

    FLATOUTRACING F1 Rookie

    Aug 20, 2001
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    William,

    I sent you an email and a pm last evening. Please email me back when you get a moment. A friend is buying a 512 TR to use as a track car and needs to know what items are problem areas on a 512.

    PM me or send email.

    Regards,

    Jon P. Kofod
    www.flatoutracing.net
     
  8. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Oct 23, 2002
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    st Anton is very nice. In my movie "The Soldier"I blew up their cable car.
    Post Hotel.
     
  9. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

    Nov 1, 2003
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    Ok, seems I will be possibly flying into Zurich as there is a factory near the French border I want to look at. From looking at maps of europe it seems that Zurich is close to Mt Blanc. In Austria we have Innsbruck & Kitzbeuehl not too far away :) Couldnt find St Anton on the map though, Can some1 tell me what part of Austria its in ?

    Jim since you seem to be very familiar with a lot of these places which do you suggest is the best for good skiing (not posing) good food & good times ? I need a black diamond for me & beginner runs for the GF with good instructors.
    Thanks :)
     
  10. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    About 6 years ago, I toured various regions of Switzerland, skiing in a different location almost every day. Of all the places in the country that I visited, I preferred the town of Champery, located at a ski resort area called Les Portes du Soleil. It is a massive collection of 13 interconnected mountains between Lake Geneva in Switzerland and Mont Blanc in France (beutiful mountain in Chamonix, France). This ski area has 400 miles of marked runs (yes, 400 miles) and over 230 lifts. You can buy 1 pass that will allow you access to the entire region. It is absolutely remarkable. There are about 6 or 8 towns/villages surrounding the region, making it suitable for skiing from town to town, and staying in different locations at night (if that's your cup of tea). Or, you can just stay in Champery in one of the nicer hotels. Champery is a classic Swiss town.

    Other notable areas in Switzerland that I enjoyed are Verbier and Zermatt. These areas are a little more upscale (better selection of accomodation), but I found that for skiing and classic Swiss charm, Champery and Les Portes Du Soleil were my favorite.

    General Tips for Skiing in Switzerland:

    1) Depending on what area you visit, be prepared to deal with pushy lift lines. In North America, we have an unwritten rule that we don't stand on another person's skis in the lift line. In Switzerland, you stand on top of each other in the lift lines. It took me a couple of days to get used to this, but by the end of the week, I was tossing 70-year-old women out of my way.
    2) Regions are distinctly different. If you speak French, German or Italian, I would highly suggest choosing your destination according to your language experience. I know zero German, so I found it most difficult in the German region (North & East Switzerland).
    3) Be sure to rent a nice car and go romping through the mountain roads. Great experience. Don't forget to make sure the rental company has provided you with tire chains. Without them, some of the snowy mountain roads will be difficult to stay on.
     
  11. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
    2,669
    Boston
    Verbier is much much bigger than Jackson H. Jackson is admitedly awesome if you're the cliff jumping type, but if you want true serious off piste, Verbier has great guides who will make you walk a long way off piste so you can ski completely fresh tracks. Unlike in the US in europe they do encourage off-piste skiing with guides and with local expert knowledge.

    Both Verbier and St Anton have lifts like Jackson that serve unpisted hard core skiing. I think both also over more skier ability variety than somewhere like Jackson H.

    But the comment elsewhere about lines and queing is spot on.
     
  12. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
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    William
    St Anton is near Insbruck. Wengan IMHO is more romantic. St Anton is bigger. Downhill Racer was also filmed in Wengen. When I get tired of jumping off cliffs and am looking for powder I like Alta.
    Best
     
  13. MarkCollins

    MarkCollins F1 Rookie
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    Jul 2, 2002
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    William

    I've skied Grindlewald, Murren, Wengen more than 15 times and it's very picturesque however snow conditions can be variable as it's not that high, also prices for everything in Switzerland can make your eyes water!!!. My ultimate recommendation is a small village in Austria called Leogang nor Kitzbuhl/ Sallbach, again very pretty, some of the best restaurants in the world, no queues, snow is fantastic and huge skiing area, it's approx 45 mins drive from Salzburg Airport.

    Drop me a pm if you want some accomodation ideas and where to eat etc
     
  14. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
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    LOL

    I'm constantly amazed in Jackson quite how many awesome skiers there are there - you'll see the same in top european resorts. You will see a difference that the most absurd runs tend not to be marked so as to not encourage anyone other than experts to ski them. A couloir with a 15ft drop in would never appear on a piste map in europe :)
     
  15. Simon

    Simon Moderator
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    Aug 29, 2003
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    You've got a million possibilities...it all depends what you want.

    Central and southern CH are where you'll find the expensive resorts. Zermat, Wengen etc. generally quieter less apre ski. Over the border in france you've got the large resorts very popular with the brits...but this means you get lots of learners on the slopes....wait to get flammed ;)

    Over the Eastern side you've probably got one of the largest areas. From Zurich you drive past Lenzeheide, Laax, down to Davos and St Moritz and Samnaun. Then over the border to the Austrian resorts St Anton, St Christoph, Lech, Ischgl(St Anton is in Tirol but close to Voralberg close to the north east border of CH...I live there :) ). The apres ski here is awesome especially in spring, if its topless skiiers you want then head to Ischgl/Samanaun...but of course you are probably looking for something much more family orientated ;) You're then only a couple of hours from the Dolomites...huge ski areas highly underated.

    If you're flying into Geneva the Austrian resorts might be a bit far...4 to 5 hours in a car. If you're flying to Zurich the world is your oyster so to speak.
    Hope that helps
    Simon
     
  16. spivy

    spivy Karting

    Nov 3, 2003
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    Gene Spivak
    H,

    Leaving for Maribel, France to ski this Saturday. I will post from there with some details.

    Spivy
     
  17. dan360

    dan360 F1 Rookie

    Feb 18, 2003
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    Spivy,

    Enjoy Meribel (with an e - I'm pretty sure that's where you're headed).

    You'll enjoy it a lot - 4 major valleys - probably 8-10 times the size of Killington. I've skied there lots.

    Make sure that you:

    a) Ski La Masse (up from Les Meuniers - not sure it that is spelled right, but in the Val Thorens valley).
    b) Ski the intenery route off the back of La Masse back into Val T - its basically a patrolled off piste run of about 7 or 8 miles, totally ungroomed and awesome.
    c) Ski into the 4th valley from the top of Val T. Awesome slopes with few skiers
    d) If you like hard core nightlife, go to Dick's T Bar in Meribel.

    Also checkout http://www.merinet.com, a friend of mine runs this site and knows all there is to know about Meribel + knows everyone there. There's an unbiased snow report - ie not a resort one - note that every ski resort in the world puts out a "conditions are great" snow report :)

    One negative about Meribel is that you'll feel almost like you're in England, there are alot of brits and few french people.

    Let me know how you enjoy it @ the next New England F-chat or FCA event

    Dan
     

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