Beginners on the Cresta

A Beginner is someone who has never ridden the Cresta Run before and receives special treatment on his first day of riding: an introductory talk from the Secretary and instruction, before his first 3 rides, from the Club 'Gurus' - senior SMTC Members with vast experience of teaching new riders how to ride. A rider is only a Beginner on his first day ever of riding the Cresta Run. After that he is deemed to be an Supplementary List Rider.

Conditions for Beginners

Certain conditions apply for Beginners:

  • Riders must be over 18
  • Women are not permitted to ride the Cresta Run
  • Non-members may not ride on race days (generally Saturdays, Sundays and one weekday throughout the season)
  • All riders ride at their own risk and must sign a liability disclaimer before riding

Non-members put their names down on the Supplementary List and become temporary Members for one season as ‘SL Riders’ or ‘SLs’.

How much does it cost to ride as a Beginner?

Beginners pay CHF 600 and SLs pay CHF 500 for their first 5 rides and CHF 51 per ride thereafter, except those under the age of 28 who pay CHF 35 per ride after their first five. This includes the equipment (helmet, boots with rakes, handguards, elbow and knee pads and a toboggan) and instruction for Beginners.  There are a limited number of places in the Beginner Schools every season, and to confirm a booking, Beginners will be expected to pay a CHF 200 deposit by credit card when booking a slot.  The balance is payable in the Clubhouse on their first day of riding. This deposit is non-refundable in the event of cancellation and cannot be transferred between seasons.  In the event that a Beginner needs to change a booked slot during a season, every effort will be made by the Club to accommodate the change of date to another Practice day with a scheduled Beginners' School.  


Beginners and SLs must pay for their initial rides when they arrive on their first morning at the Clubhouse. Payment can be made in cash or by major credit card. Additional rides must be paid for when riders have finished riding on their last day.

What happens on a Beginner’s first day of riding?

Beginners must be at the Clubhouse at least 45 minutes before the Run opens. Late arrivals will not be allowed to ride.

Riding in December

Beginners must arrive by 0745 at the latest. The Run opens at 0830.

Riding in January & February

Beginners must arrive by 0715 at the latest. The Run opens at 0800.

In the Dressing Room, check that your name is on the Beginners Riding List and get your riding equipment of helmet, boots, knee and elbow pads and handguards. Complete a registration card. Club Assistants will be in the Dressing Room to help you through this process. Once you have all your kit, take your registration card and cash/credit card to the Bar area upstairs, to pay and have your details entered on the riding system. You will then have an introductory talk by the Secretary and meet your 'Guru' (Instructor) before riding.

What about the second or subsequent day(s) of riding in a season?

Riders still need to be at the Clubhouse on time. A rider is only a Beginner on his first ever day on the Cresta Run. Subsequently, he is deemed to be an SL rider, and as such all SLs need to enter their name on the SL Riding List legibly and in the same format as that used on the riding system. Riders should collect their riding kit, get ready, and wait for their name to be called to ride when the Run opens.

How long does it take to get 5 rides as a Beginner or an SL?

The Club tries very hard to ensure that Beginners get two, perhaps three, rides on their first day, and then at least one ride a day during practice riding thereafter. It is recommended that SLs allow at least 3 Practice Days (non-race days during the week) to guarantee five rides. The SMTC is a private Club, and Members have priority. Obviously, if there are not many SLs or Members about, then SLs will get more rides each day, but it is best to err on the side of caution.

What do riders wear?

Fairly tough clothing such as jeans or cords, thick socks and a warm jacket or thick jersey. If possible, SL riders should bring their own ski-gloves and goggles. The Club provides the rest of the riding equipment.

How to book

Beginners can book a slot for their first day of riding by choosing a practice session from our online calendar and following the instructions there. Beginners are required to review and agree to our Terms and Conditions.

View the Calendar