Stolen skis

A skier posted on Facebook today about skis being stolen in Val Thorens. Others chipped in with their own experiences. The French resorts seem over-represented, but it can happen anywhere. I had a camera stolen from my chalet in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, one year.

New skis cost as much as a £1000 or more, so it is unsurpring they are coveted by thieves.

More surprisingly, hire skis are a popular target, so check your insurance covers you for theft if you are hiring.

A popular ploy is for thieves to come up to mountain restaurants without skis and ski back down with a stolen pair.

Apres ski venues are also a popular target. And I heard a report of an entire ski room at a hotel getting robbed.

A good ploy for avoiding theft is to mix and match skis with others in your party. If the staff at your lodgings can’t reassure you about the safety of the ski room, you might want to keep your skis in your room or in a locker. Often, hire shops have lockers you can hire even if you haven’t hired skis from them.

The right skis

More common than theft, however, is mistaken identity. It is easily done. I did it in Vail once. Skied in hire skis in the morning and someone else’s skis in the afternoon. The first I knew about it was the hire shop called me the next day!

The wrong skis

I know. They’re not even the same colour.

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St Moritz Revisited

St Moritz Dorf at Night

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to ski in St Moritz several times, but it is a few years since my last visit. If you are planning a ski trip in mid-December this limits you to a handful of resorts, and – faced with that prospect – I plumped for the oldest of winter vacation destinations.

Skiing from the top of the Signal Cable Car

St Moritz sits in the heart of the Upper Engadin, a valley whose river becomes known as the Inn in Austria before flowing into the Danube. The town itself comprises a section known as Dorf and one known as Bad. It’s in a pretty setting and has a small mostly pedestrianised centre in Dorf which is characterised by a couple of very upmarket hotels and a number of luxury goods stores.

St Moritz Bahnhof

The main railway station, with its narrow gauge railway lines of the Rhaetische Bahn, connects the town to Chur, Landquart and Tirana (in Italy). The train to Tirana also stops at Celerina, which has valley runs off the main Corviglia ski area, Pontresina, with access to extensive cross-country skiing, and Diovalezza and Lagalb, which offer limited but worthwhile downhill skiing.

Looking across from Corviglia towards Corvatsch

A reliable bus service connects St Moritz Dorf with the main Signal Cable Car and the Funicular Railway for the Corviglia ski area, as well as the aforementioned ski areas, additional cross country skiing and the Corvatsch downhill slopes at Surlej.


Another notable stop on the bus network is the new sports complex, Ovaverva. This comprises a number of pools, a spa, a restaurant and a cross country ski facility.

Outdoor pool at Ovaverva

One of the great things about St Moritz is there is so much to do apart from downhill skiing. The town became the first winter tourism destination in the world back in 1864, before downhill skiing became popular, and winter tourists have been able to enjoy a wide range of distractions ever since.

The famous Cresta Run

Aside from the world famous hotels such as Badrutt’s Palace, the Kempinski and the Kulm, St Moritz has a wide range of mid-priced and affordable accommodation. My favourite is the wonderful youth hostel in Bad, on the end of the #9 bus route from the station. It has a bar and a cafeteria and a wide range of rooming options – from dormitory and family rooms through to en suite.

Youth Hostel

The resort report is here: St Moritz

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