Beginners on the Cresta


A Beginner is someone who has never ridden the Cresta Run before. As a Beginner you will special treatment on your first day of riding: an introductory talk from the Secretary and instruction, before your first 3 rides, from the Club 'Gurus' - senior SMTC Members with vast experience of teaching new riders how to ride. You are only a Beginner on your first day ever of riding the Cresta Run. After that you are deemed to be a Supplementary List Rider.  You can sign up as an SL Rider for subsequent days after your Beginners' School in order to achieve your 5 rides.  You may be eligible to enter for races (at the discretion of the Secretary) provided there is sufficient availability. Members will have priority over SL riders.  

Conditions for Beginners

Certain conditions apply for Beginners:

  • Riders must be over 18
  • All riders ride at their own risk and must sign a liability disclaimer when they register on the website and before riding.

Non-members on the Supplementary List become temporary Members for one season as ‘SL Riders’ or ‘SLs’.  After their first day of instruction, a Beginner is deemed to be an SL rider and as such may enter to ride in subsequent Practice days, as well as designated races (at the discretion of the Secretary).     

How much does it cost to ride as a Beginner?

Beginners pay CHF 700 and SLs pay CHF 500 for their first 5 rides and CHF 55 per ride thereafter, except those under the age of 30 who pay CHF 39 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. 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 day with a scheduled Beginners' School. If you wish to book a slot, please check availability on the fixtures calendar. Should your preferred session be full, please email and we will check availability and do our best to accommodate you.


Beginners must pay the full CHF 700 fee upon booking, via the website. 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 Lower 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 confirmed 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?

You are only a Beginner on your first ever day on the Cresta Run. Subsequently, you are deemed to be an SL rider, and as such you need to arrive at the Clubhouse in time to add your name to the SL Practice list in the Dressing Room.  You should then collect your riding kit, get ready, and wait for your 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 riding days to guarantee five rides. The SMTC is a private Club, and Members have priority. 

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

As a Beginner you can book for your first day of riding by choosing a practice session from our online calendar and following the instructions there. Should your preferred session be full, please email and we will check availability and do our best to accommodate you. Beginners are required to review and agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy.

View the Calendar