SI Vault
December 27, 1954
Frank and Mimi Lyon of La Jolla, California have skied the Parsenn twice. Here's what they recommend you take and what is best to buy there
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December 27, 1954

Tips For Parsenn Skiers

Frank and Mimi Lyon of La Jolla, California have skied the Parsenn twice. Here's what they recommend you take and what is best to buy there

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MONEY: Take travelers checks—you can cash them anywhere at the rate of $1 to 4.3 Swiss francs. Or bring a letter of credit. If you have lira or French francs, you can change them at railroad stations.

DRUGSTORE ITEMS: The little drugstore across the street from the Chesa Grischuna in Klosters has seven or eight brands of American shaving cream and toothpaste. Local newsstands have paper-backed books in English, current American magazines. There are Kodak signs on all of the camera stores and you can get all standard U.S. film—Ektachrome, Kodachrome—plus European and English film. U.S. cigarets are available—cost about 60� per pack.

CUSTOMS: Swiss officials will stop you at the border and look at your passport—may even open it and look inside. You won't need jewelry in the Parsenn, but if you bring something fancy, register it with U.S. customs to save trouble when you re-enter the U.S. The same precaution goes for foreign-made cameras.

AUTOMOBILES: You can rent a car in the Parsenn for about 40 francs a day, but nobody does. If you're skiing you don't need one and if you want to make a side trip, let the cabbie worry about chains and frozen radiators.

LAUNDRY: In most places you can get laundry done nicely in a matter of hours. This helps cut down on the changes of clothes you have to bring with you.

RESERVATIONS: Make them well in advance and stick with them. Once the hotel confirms them, it can charge you for three days whether you show up or not.

ACCOMMODATIONS: There are about 70 sports hotels and pensions in Davos, about 30 in Klosters, and you can't go far wrong on any of them. They're all clean, and by U.S. standards, inexpensive. Once there, you can ski for a week, with room, board and transportation paid for as little as $44, but that's cutting it close. At such hotels as Klosters' Chesa Grischuna—"the best little hotel in the world"—you can spend what the traffic will bear.

The Parsenn, with its 27 listed trails, draws skiers like a giant magnet. From December to May, the funiculars and the cable cars are as jammed as a city subway, taking people up to the trails and slopes that spill down from the Weissfluhjoch, the Strelapass and the Gotschnagrat. But the touring skier can also spend an entire day on the Parsenn and hardly touch on a marked trail. He can, for example, hire a guide for the full day for $10, take the 9:00 a.m. cable car from Klosters up the Gotschnagrat (upper right). Then he can strike out for Jenaz, 14 miles away (upper left), staying off in the deep, untouched powder snow, and returning to the trail only for a shot of skiwasser and a bite of wurst at one of the small mountain huts. Whichever route he picks, he is likely to feel as though he were traveling in a skier's dream country with perfect snow, perfect slopes and an easy ride back up the mountain.

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