If you are new to Switzerland this year, you must have noticed great excitement over the past few weeks at the snow which has appeared on the Jura. The skiers are all praying that this it and that there WILL be snow over Christmas!! Skiing is not for everyone however there are plenty of other activities that you can do and nothing beats being up in the mountains, in the snow on a beautiful sunny day.
Here are En Bref’s tips for beginners skiing in the Jura and some other activities
Equipment – boots, skis and poles. Much easier and cheaper to hire for the season. The earlier you can go the better the selection. Options in the area are :
SB Sports, Gland – ski rental is located in the basement. The staff are very knowledgeable and most are English speaking too.
Migros, Porte de Nyon
Clothing – jacket, trousers under armour, socks, gloves, balaclava /neck warmer and helmet. There are lots of shops in the area selling ski wear but it can be worthwhile taking a trip to France Decathlon or Sport 2000. There are often opportunities to purchase second hand jackets/trousers on the Ecolint Facebook Buy and Sell Page. End of season is often a great chance to bag a bargain too for next year – not useful for just now but something to think about for March/April next year. Top tip – invest in a good pair of gloves and liners!
Here is a list of some of the most popular resorts :
Col de La Faucille, La Vattay
This is where Primary School go ski-ing, very close to school with nice runs perfect for beginners. Parking is easy and there is direct access to the slopes. The website is available in English and has lots of information including prices for ski passes. Information on the different ski schools can be found under alpine skiing.
Other Activities – Cross Country Skiing is very popular in La Vattay
Restaurants – there is a restaurant and hotel when you arrive in the parking and also a small crêperie
La Trelasse, St Cergue
The St Cergue area is great for winter activities. There are fewer slopes and the skiing is best suited to very young children and total beginners. The resort is very accessible only 20 minutes by car from Nyon and always great fun – you can also take the red mountain train from Nyon.
Other activities : Raquettes de Neige ( snow shoeing ) is very popular in this area with lots of marked tracks and guided tours including ones at night. The Fun Lift ( fun bouees) is always exciting for the children. They are towed to the top of a hill on huge rubber tyres and then come downhill at great speed. This isn’t always open so worthwhile checking before you leave if you are making a special trip. Even if the fun lift is closed there are lots of great places to sledge as well.
Two other very popular resorts in the Jura are :
This is where Year 7 and 8 go skiing on school ski days. Still not too far away – under an hour from school. Excellent beginner facilities – wide runs with English speaking instructors for lessons too.
La Dole Ski school is a favourite on the school FB page with lots of people recommending for lessons. However, there aren’t a lot of beginners slopes – perhaps better suited for intermediate skiers.
The above resorts are all in the Jura but it is worth noting that there are many, many great resorts within a short drive that offer great skiing. Les Gets in France can be reached easily as can Villars in Switzerland. Saturday can be a fantastic day to ski as this is changeover day in most resorts – slopes are quieter and some resorts offer a discounted lift pass.
If you think you will ski a plenty over the next few months in Switzerland then it is well worth investing in a Magic Pass. Magic Pass is an annual lift pass valid. It allows unlimited access to a variety of resorts across Switzerland including Les Diablerets, Crans Montana, Leysin and many more. Currently there is a special offer available on the website – www.magicpass.ch
So with snow on the way enjoy, be careful and make the most of having these facilities on your doorstep!!