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Andermatt Switzerland

Vince

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I was asked last summer about going skiing in Andermatt. I knew nothing about it except it was on the Epic pass. Never skied in Europe before. Wasn't even involved in the planning although my wife was which means all Epic pass savings would be lost.
Flew non stop Boston to Zurich on Swiss Air. Flight left at 11PM. Got to Zurich 6AM our time. 11AM Swiss time as they are 5 hours ahead of us. Slept most of the way. Took a train 2.5 hours to Andermatt. Probably 4 train switches kind of confusing and a pain switching platforms with all the gear. Train ride is very scenic past Lake Luzerne thru the hills. Very green no snow. Train is spacious and more comfortable than any bus.
The train station in Andermatt is very close to the gondola. Skiers that live in the Zurich suburbs can take the train. walk down the ramp 50 yards and take the escalator right up to the gondola.

The ski facilities are very modern. 3 trams, 2 gondolas and 5 six person covered chairs. Lots of the big yellow snowmaking cannons. Techno Alpine was the name on all the guns. There are trees in the village but none up where the skiing is. Its called Andermatt-Sedrun-Disentis. But its confusing the big mountain is called the Gemsstock and has a 4900 ft vertical this is the old mountain. The mountain with all the covered chairs is Andermatt -Sedrun and is the new mountain. I never did figure out where Andermatt ended and Sedrun began. I did not make it to Disentis which is not owned by Vail but is on the Epic pass.

Had three sunny 45 degree days. Two rainy/snowy days. I skied one and skipped one.

Western mountains w Eastern snow they had a huge base up top 5 to 7 feet from what I could see. But the surface was very wet and heavy the whole time.

All above tree line. No trees at all. A huge negative on bad visibility days. No moguls they groom all designated trails. They put red sticks on both sides of the trail. Beyond the sticks is considered off piste. They do ski off piste all over the place so there are tracks to follow and because there are no trees you can scout it out from the lift pretty well.

Very few Americans but you could get by just speaking English. The town is quaint, small and very quiet.

Lots of nice restaurants and lodges on the mountain. No plastic cups or paper plates. Food was great and they sure do drink a lot. They seem to get there early ski till 11 or noon and have a big meal for lunch then hit the road around 3pm

Day tickets sell for 89 Swiss Franks thats about $100 American. Did not see one single Vail or Epic pass sign anywhere and I was looking. I believe this is a big day trip area for Zurich and suburbs

Flight was $1200 each. Hotel was cheaper than in the US and very nice. Food and drink about the same

The pros - No tipping took me a few days to figure that out, Easy to sneak weed over, The Scenery and on mountain party scene is much better than ours. The Gemsstock is very steep and top notch expert terrain

The cons - No trees, moguls or glades. Television sucks. On the new Andermatt side the trails are very short. Guessing the greatest vertical on any lift is 1300 feet. They also have this weird formula where they have a 6 person lift and only 2 designated groomed trails. Too much lift capacity vs. trail capacity.

Andermatt is best for experts and strong intermediates. Very little novice terrain.
 

thetrailboss

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What’s wrong with the tv? (Apart from it not being in English, that is)
In my three trips to Switzerland in the last 22 years, watching TV never crossed my mind at all other than to get weather and ski information for Zermatt. I was too interested in being outside in that amazingly beautiful country. But to each his own.

He also thinks that a pro is “no tipping.”

😂
 
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abc

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He also thinks that a pro is “no tipping.”
I happen to agree with that.

If you stay a week and eat out a lot, it’s a considerable saving (20% of food cost). No tip expected in lodging either. While not everyone tips the 20% for cleaning staff, it’s another expense not needed.
 

Zermatt

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A lot of us have been skiing in Europe for years. It’s not some backwater secret.

Wait staff in Switzerland still appreciate a tip, even if just a round up. The bigger news is that beer is far cheaper than the US, same with on mountain dining.

Also, that’s a great recommendation about bringing weed into a foreign country where it is against the law.
 

BodeMiller1

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Barre, VT
Congratulations to the Swiss for joining NATO. Also I like your hot choclate and blonds. You should ski at Cannon.
 

crippity

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Feb 10, 2019
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I first went to CH in 1997 or 8 to Davos. No clue. Solo. 250 bucks round trip non stop swiss air. Stayed in a mickey mouse kids room in center of town. After two days of white out scary ass conditions and trees off limits (i was riding solo anyway and going in the lower ones) i was getting a bit depressed. Lo and behold i walked to other side of town and saw a head shop. I went in and asked for weed. The hot dreadlocks girl working said "duftsacki" and showed me this little cloth sack and then said policia. I said, ill take it. it was an 1/8th. The german cantons used to have an acceptance of it and you could buy in stores. i did in more then once. Good times
 

Hawk

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Cham, Dolimiti, Zermatt, At Anton and Zitzbuhel, we found that no tipping is not the true norm. Big meals at resturaunts we did 10% or 5% if the service was sketchy. I tipped the floor maids 2 Eu per day and gave the head waiter in the hotel 20 Eu at the end of the week each time. We alway do half board. These people work as hard as anybody and deserve a few Euro for thier efforts. The do appreciate it and when you do, they come right over and give great service for the rest of your visit.

That trip from Zurich is only 70 miles. You should have done a car service, bus or shared van. There are tons of options for like $200 EU and they will drop you at the door with all your stuff. Just do it. What the hell you are on vacaion. Zermatt is different, you have to take a train because there are no cars. Andermatt is know for expert and back country skiing. I have never been but I will make it there and Interlaken also.

If you want more varied skiing and woods, try any of the other places I skied above.
 

abc

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Cham, Dolimiti, Zermatt, At Anton and Zitzbuhel, we found that no tipping is not the true norm. Big meals at resturaunts we did 10% or 5% if the service was sketchy. I tipped the floor maids 2 Eu per day and gave the head waiter in the hotel 20 Eu at the end of the week each time. We alway do half board. These people work as hard as anybody and deserve a few Euro for thier efforts. The do appreciate it and when you do, they come right over and give great service for the rest of your visit.
By “ no tipping is not the true norm”, you’re saying tipping is not illegal and therefore will not be refused. ;)

It is NOT the norm for the locals. Wait staff gets a regular salary instead of RELYING on tips as their primary income. @Zermatt has it correctly, “round up” is common practice (or in the old days of paying by cash “no change”).

Some foreigners do tip to get special treatment. The staff understands that too and will react accordingly. But tipping for “sketchy“ service? That’s definitely NOT the “norm”!
 

Hawk

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OK so I am wordy. Sorry

Simply. You should tip at least a little. People work hard and they appriciated it. It does get you better service especially if you frequent the place over the course of the week. In Arabba Itally, we had a bar tender at the Burz lodge Markus, that we saw every day for Apre. We tipped him on the first day and for the rest of the week our drinks were on the table in about 2 minutes after we sat. Same with Giovanni at the hotel. A true masterclass bartender.
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By sketchy I mean that if they are slow or forget something or it is not spot on, I deduct 5%. It they down right suck. No tip.
 

abc

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It does get you better service especially if you frequent the place over the course of the week.
That’s what I said in my post “foreigners tip to get special treatment”.

That’s not the same to say tipping IS the norm (or the way you prefer to put it: “no tipping is not the norm” ).
 

Hawk

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Well tipping is the norm for me. I do it because it is the right thing and they apprciated it and respond.
You are splitting hairs. I tip everybody all the time unless they are rude or horrible. And no mater where I have gone, people have apprieciated it.
 

abc

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Fine if tipping is the norm FOR YOU.

It’s jut not the norm for the local culture. In fact, ”they respond” with special treatment is the result of tipping not being the norm. If tipping is the norm, they would just accept it, say thank you and go on to server other customer just the same. That’s what a “norm” is, in this contry.
 

Smellytele

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Well tipping is the norm for me. I do it because it is the right thing and they apprciated it and respond.
You are splitting hairs. I tip everybody all the time unless they are rude or horrible. And no mater where I have gone, people have apprieciated it.
So at Lawson's tips do not go to the servers they go to charity. I know a few other places that give living wages to their servers that do the same. still give a small donations at those places(5% or so).
 

BenedictGomez

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I was asked last summer about going skiing in Andermatt. I knew nothing about it except it was on the Epic pass. Never skied in Europe before.
Flew non stop
Boston to Zurich on Swiss Air.

Megapasses don't cause more crowds.

iTz All dUh LoW-KiLLz
 
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