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.  If your first day as a Beginner is the day before a race day, on your second day (i.e. race day) you will be given priority to ride in practice after the race.  

Conditions for Beginners

Certain conditions apply for Beginners:

  • Riders must be over 18
  • Non-members may not ride on race days (generally Saturdays, Sundays and one weekday throughout the season) save with special permission from the Secretary.
  • All riders ride at their own risk and must sign a liability disclaimer before riding
  • Ladies may use the Run strictly by invitation, at the discretion of the Committee and under the supervision of the Secretary (or his nominee) at selected times of the season. These dates can be seen here.

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 52 per ride thereafter, except those under the age of 30 who pay CHF 36 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. 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 enter your name on the SL Riding List legibly and in the same format as that used on the riding system. You should 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 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

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. Beginners are required to review and agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy policy.

View the Calendar