Engadin Ski Marathon Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group
Destinations:
Switzerland
Programmes:
Winter
Trip Code:
CME
Activity Rating - Mixed
Multi-Level

You may be a total beginner or an experienced cross-country skier. Many destinations offer different level weeks or multi-grade skiing on the same week. Choose from ‘Classic’ and ‘Skate’ style holidays, or even a ski marathon race for the ultimate winter challenge. See below for more grading details.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 18

Trip Overview

Each year the southeast corner of Switzerland is home to one of the largest ski races in Europe. With over 13,000 participants competing in both classic and skate style skiing it is an event not to be missed! Participants can choose to complete either the half or full marathon picking up a well deserved medal at the finish line. The holiday offers an excellent challenge for those wishing to take their cross-country skiing to the next level.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights 3-star traditional hotel
  • 5 days guided cross-country skiing
  • Group normally 5 to 24, with 2 leaders
  • Choose your style - skate or classic
  • Cross-country skis, boots and poles included

Trip Highlights

  • Enter the famous 42km ski marathon
  • Stay in a comfortable hotel in great location
  • Ski in either classic or skate style
  • Cross-country skis, poles and boot hire included

Is This Trip for You?

The Engadin ski marathon is one of the largest cross-country skiing events in the world. It is an exciting race, perfect for first time racers: an undulating course with a few challenges along the way and a great atmosphere with participants in fancy dress costumes and locals cheering along the way. Taking part in a cross-country skiing race is an exhilarating experience: the pre-race atmosphere, the excitement of the challenge ahead and the feeling of achievement when crossing the finish line are some of the reasons why our participants come back year after year! You do not need to be an elite athlete to take part: a good level of fitness and experience of classic or skate cross-country skiing are the only requirements.

The itinerary is designed to give you enough pre-training days and instruction to prepare for the racing event. With a course covering 42km, it is not for the faint hearted. The Engadin itself is a long, picturesque valley found in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. Based from the small village of Zernez, a delightful hamlet made up of traditional alpine settlements and well maintained cross-country tracks, our itinerary includes a mixture of days skiing direct from the door or using efficient, local trains and buses to reach the starting point.

Race day is on the 10th March 2019 - entry prices are included for those who book before the 30th November 2018*. After this date a supplement will be applicable. If you would rather not race, or would prefer entry to the half marathon please let our sales team know at the time of booking.
*Race entry place subject to availability.

Grading
Exodus offers cross-country skiing holidays to suit a wide range of technical and physical levels. Our cross-country skiing grades reflect both the level of physical fitness required and the level of skiing experience required. They are comparable to the activity levels we use on our snowshoeing, cycling, activity and trekking holidays, however we believe a slightly different system is required, due to the tuition we provide on our holidays. This sets our cross-country skiing holidays apart, as we tend not to need to teach people how to ride a bike or walk.
The aim remains to create groups of similar ability and fitness. Our descriptions are below, however feel free to call and speak to an expert if you are unsure which grade or type of holiday will suit you best.

Classic Grade 3 Intermediates
Equivalent Activity Level- Moderate, Level 3
A grade 3 week is ideal for those looking to push on, tackle some slightly steeper terrain and cover more ground each day. Typical groups will have a few weeks skiing behind them, be very comfortable with the basics and happy on longer day tours. There will still be tuition on these weeks, at the required level.

Skating Level 2 Intermediates
Equivalent Activity Level 3, Moderate
Covering more challenging terrain, this level is for those who have already mastered the basics of the skating style and wish to improve their skating technique. Terrain covered will be slightly more challenging and you should expect to cover 15-20km per day. You will be taught techniques to help you increase your speed, perfect for those wishing to take on the challenge of a ski race.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Adult min age:
18
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
14

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Zernez.

    Start at the Hotel in Zernez.

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Warm up day

    We prefer not to specify in advance where we will ski each day. This is to enhance the flexibility and adapt to weather and snow conditions and to some extent the ability of each group. When choosing routes, the leader's priority will be to take in a variety of scenery and to ensure that participants become better and more confident skiers as the week progresses.

    Initially we will ski close to home exploring the picturesque loipes that surround Zernez.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Skiing part of the marathon course

    By today we should have got our ski legs back and will hopefully ski part of the marathon course, venturing into St Moritz and Pontresina

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Taking to the higher routes.

    Today will be more challenging, possibilty linking some of the more difficult routes in the area. Up here the scenery is outstanding, with snow-capped mountains providing an inspiring backdrop.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Final day of training

    Final day of training, exploring more of the race course.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Pre-race preperation

    Today will be spent collecting our race entry numbers, visiting the stalls selling ski equipment and memorabilia and enjoying the exciting pre-race atmosphere around the town.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Race day

    Race day is finally here and we will join over 13,000 other excited competitors at the starting line of one of the Alps most famous ski marathons. The 42km route is challenging but the sense of achievement as you cross the finishing line makes up for all the hard work.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Zernez

    Our trip ends in Zernez.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel Crusch Alba Swiss Lodge - 3 Star

Ideally located near to the train station but also more importantly near to the end of the race course, the hotel offers a comfortable base for the week. All rooms have en suite facilities with a TV and telephone with Wi-Fi access available in most communal areas. Food served is of a very high standard with an exceptional continental buffet offered each morning, and delicious 3-course meals served every night. Single accommodation - single rooms and double rooms for single use available on request for a supplement

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £155.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

7 breakfasts and 6 evening meals included.

Each morning a delicious continental buffet is served in the hotel dining room. With traditional bircher museli, local breads, hams, cheeses, fruits, eggs and bacon on offer there is plenty to suit most dietary requirements. Teas, coffee, hot chocolate and fruit juices are included. Every evening a delicious three-course menu is served in either the hotel dining room or the adjoining pizzeria. Serving local delicacies you will be able to select from 2 or 3 choices on the set menu. Tea, coffee and alcoholic drinks are available to buy from the bar or ordered at the table.

Transportation

Airport transfers will be by private, air-conditioned coach. Throughout the week we will use local trains and buses to access the excellent ski network throughout the Engadin Valley.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

The Engadin Valley is situated at between 1000m and 1815m and at this height snow can lie from December to mid-March, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter are around -5degC, though they can fall as low as -15degC with approx. 8 to 10 hours of daylight. At all times of the winter you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun - according to statistics the valley enjoys no fewer than 322 sunny days every year! Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day.

Weather Information

The Engadin Valley is situated at between 1000m and 1815m and at this height snow can lie from December to mid-March, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter are around -5ºC, though they can fall as low as -15ºC with approximately 8 to 10 hours of daylight. At all times of the winter you can hope for periods of clear bright weather and in February and March it can become surprisingly warm in the sun - according to statistics the valley enjoys no fewer than 322 sunny days every year! Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Zernez

Your trip normally starts at our hotel in Zernez in the afternoon of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Hotel check‐in times are normally from around 16:00.

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Zernez
Location end:
Zernez

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Ski clothing:
Waterproof jacket
Thin windproof jacket
Waterproof trousers (ideally in a breathable fabric)
Warm fleece, thin fleece
Thin stretchy trousers (or loose walking trousers)
Warm hat (which covers the ears), sun hat and gloves (ideally a thin pair and a thicker waterproof pair).

Normally long sleeved t-shirts, lightweight trousers and light fleeces are all that's required while skiing. However there can be some very cold spells in the mountains and you need to be prepared. The best thing to pack is a lot of layers, which can be used in any combination and all together in the case of an emergency, the most important items being gloves and hats. We suggest that you are better off starting the day with normal summer walking trousers or tracksuit trousers and putting on your waterproof trousers if it gets cold. Although cross-country skiing can be fairly energetic and you may get hot, you need to have your arms and hands covered at all times, just in case you fall.

Other essentials:
Big bum bag or small backpack
Water bottle (not too large; we recommend maximum of 1 litre of capacity in total)
Trainers / comfortable shoes for the evenings
Sunglasses and high factor sun cream
Personal medication (e.g. prescribed medication, blister treatment, not First Aid kit)
Alarm clock

Cross-country skis, boots and poles are included and reserved with our local supplier. Please fill in your height, weight and shoe size on the booking form, so we can have the right skis and boots available for you. There is no extra charge for ski carriage with British Airways.

Practical Information

Passport

Switzerland

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Switzerland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Switzerland

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Switzerland's Timezone:
Europe/Zurich CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Switzerland's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC. Switzerland also has a 3 round pin plug, which includes a grounding pin (type J). 

230 Volts AC, standard European adapter required.

Money

Switzerland's Currency

The national currency of Switzerland is the Swiss Franc (CHF), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (June 2017) of approximately 1.2 to the GBP,  0.96 to the USD, 0.74 to the CAD, 1.1 to the EUR, 0.73 to the AUD and 0.69 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

There are cash machines available at Innsbruck airport and in Zernez. Credit cards are accepted to pay for any extras at the hotel.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

For Lunches not included you should expect to spend 20-25 CHF. Of course as you are free to choose where to eat, you can choose to spend as much as you like.

All accommodation is included in the price of the trip but the hotel taxes have to be paid locally when checking into the hotel. Please allow between €10‐€12 euros for the week to cover this.

Optional Excursion

Downhill skiing at the St Moritz: allow around 53CHF per day for a ski pass and 40CHF per day for ski rental.

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline we recommend a contribution between €15 and €20 per client. 

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.