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Gstaad in early December

Saint Augustine...
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Gstaad in early December

My husband and I are thinking of taking a trip to Gstaad in early December -- first or second week. I've read that the ski season doesn't start until just before Christmas in Gstaad. My husband and I have never skied before and just want to take a lesson or two. Will we be able to do that in early December? Or would we be better served to visit some other time?

Anchorage, Alaska
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1. Re: Gstaad in early December

Hi and welcome to TA, it is unlikely that you can ski at Gstaad before mid to late December and then only if it is cold enough to make snow in case there isn't any or enough provided by Mother Nature. I would suggest you look at the higher resorts such as Verbier, St. Moritz and Zermatt if you want to ski in early December or go in January or February.

Hope this helps.

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2. Re: Gstaad in early December

Hi Floridagirl52,

Yes, as kileysmom says, it's unlikely that there will be enough snow that early in the season.

I've been to Gstaad at Christmas, and they had enough snow to open the pistes, but just barely. I really don't think you'll have luck before then.

If you can come in January or late February, the snow should be much better!

I've never skied in Gstaad, but it's one of my favorite spots. I think you'll have a great time!


Munich, Germany
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3. Re: Gstaad in early December

As said above there are better times of the season for visiting ski resorts generally. Also as a beginner you will need more than a "lesson or 2"

Always aim for at least 3 days skischool. And before you plan be aware that beginners skischool often starts on Mondays. If you wanted a private Instructor for a reasonable amount of time (e.g. 3hrs) it would cost somewhere around 260CHF

If still interested in December then as a beginner then look for a "beginners" resort and also think about transfers. Neither Zermatt or Verbier are really beginners resorts.

A higher altiutde resort more suitable for beginners would be Saas Fee.

Much depends on where you are flying into and mode of transfers. It is pointless travelling halfway across the country unneccessarily especially as a beginner.

If wanting to come in January/Feb and being near Gstaad then consider also Schönried/Saanenmöser

As a beginner it is good to have a resort with plenty of blues so that you can safely practice what you have learnt from the instructor. Also gives you a better feeling of fun that you can go further around the resort. Also when in the actual skischool means the instructor can also take you safely further afield

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4. Re: Gstaad in early December

Hi Floridagirl

As all above mentioned there is really better time to visit my region for skiing. There are very good slopes for beginners and you will be happy to try.

But if you're bound to this time of the year there is still some possibilty to have fun on the skis in Gstaad beginning of December. Supposed normal weather.

The Glacier 3000 opens beginning of November. It's about 20 Minutes from Gstaad and the slopes there are quite easy and also beginners can have fun on it. Beside you have stunning views of the alps, glacier and a day in the big mountains. But be sure to take a ski instructor with you, so you first days on snow are fun. And he for sure knows a good place to have a lunch.

Have fun planning.


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5. Re: Gstaad in early December

A really good place for beginners - and a nice mountain resort too! - is Villars sur Ollon in the Canton fe Vaud. They have good snow making and with pistes starting at 1400m and up to about 2200m an excellent chance of opening in mid December.

Verbier - mentioned above - does actually have some pistes for beginners, one of which opens tomorrow... the lac des Vaux. And I personally learnt to ski in Zermatt (many many moons ago, when piste grooming and lifts were certainly not up to today's standards...) so don't rule those two out. Both are high resorts.

The comment about ski school starting on a Monday is a very valid one for out of season skiing. In high season you can, in the larger places, start on any day simply because there are so many people. They slot you in. But out of season (before about 15 Dec) Monday is really the only start day for group lessons. if you can afford a private teacher then by all means start whenever you like - and BTW it is not a bad investment for two beginners to take a private teacher for 2 or 3 mornings...)

6. Re: Gstaad in early December

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