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Does anyone here live in Zermatt?

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Postby McCannster » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:59 pm

Maybe you could get a job as a tour guide for Americans/British? Not sure really. The language shouldn't be too much of a problem since a lot of people there speak English. Without Swiss citizenship it's pretty hard to get any sort of government job, which they probably don't have too much of anyway in Zermatt.
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:07 am

Being able to get a visa in Switzerland would be your main concern. Depending on the job, the language barrier might not be too much of a problem. After a while, you should pick it up anyway. Besides, knowing German doesn't help you much to understand Swiss German anyway :D . I have (had) a decent knowledge of German and can barely understand a word they're saying.

I'm mostly familiar with the Zurich area and Switzerland is indeed expensive but you can also make good money. It's probably comparable to coastal Socal (cost of living wise).
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Postby barrys » Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:56 am

Hey Art,

What's your background? How far in the workplace foodchain are you willing to lower yourself.......or maybe you've already spent years working in banking...or are a skilled watchmaker......in which case you'd be coming to the right country. I've been living near Geneve (although on the french side) and looking for work for a few months. I have friends who are job hunting in Geneve and beyond and have been for quite some time. Some of whom speak three languages and are well qualified, it ain't easy that's for sure. I'd need more detail to offer good advice but one thing you might want to do is expand your horizons beyond just living in Zermatt - there are far more options open if you can settle on living just a few hours drive or train away from your dream location - it still means you can roam the valley on weekends, holidays, days off and you can still have the Alps on your doorstep. I've done pretty much the same thing, but with Chamonix in mind, although Zermatt is even only about 2 and a half hours away from here. Have faith though, the dream is achievable. I have to believe that too or else i may as well pack up my bags. What kind of jobs would you not mind doing? There are plenty of shops and tourism opportunities in Zermatt but the work permit will always be a problem.

http://www.justlanded.com/english/Switz ... rk-permits

That site has a summary of work permit regulations. It might sound disheartening but it isn't impossible, especially if you can live with having 2500meter peaks in your backgarden instead of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa.
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:01 am

Word is you can pick up a woman in Zurich and then marry her (not that I have ever done anything like it) :D
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:24 am

Just out of curiosity, where do you live now?
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Postby Luciano136 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:34 am

ArtVandelay wrote:
Luciano136 wrote:Just out of curiosity, where do you live now?


A very flat place :cry:


Well, the easiest would be to move to a place like Denver. It has all the amenities of a bigger city, is close to the mountains and would be a very simple move since it's still in the US.

The Swiss don't mess around when it comes to work permits and it's a tough thing to get; that is really the main problem. If you are pretty set on it, I would take a 3 month leave of absence and go check it out.
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Postby Tom Fralich » Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:53 am

Maybe you should consider Leavenworth, WA? :lol:

Seriously, though, you're not going to find a US equivalent of Zermatt, although there are many similar mountain towns in Europe.

But maybe Mammoth Lakes, CA is a reasonable compromise. It's very high on my list of places to live. And if you really like German food and yodeling, maybe Leavenworth isn't a bad option.
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Postby Buz Groshong » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:09 am

If you've got some serious cash, you might think of Huaraz, Peru instead and retiring rather than working.
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Postby Tom Fralich » Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:50 am

ArtVandelay wrote:What is the infrastructure like in Huaraz?


Imagine Switzerland, but take away the transportation, doctors, communication systems, etc. Also, the climbing season is pretty short and most of the activity is focused on a few peaks. Sure, there's a lot of trekking, but what are you going to do during the rainy season?

I love Chamonix and Zermatt and fully intend to buy some sort of property in the Alps in the next few years. Chamonix is hands-down my favorite climbing destination, so maybe we have similar ideas on what's appealing. That said, I would never consider moving to Huaraz. It's a place to visit, and there are still more alpine routes I'd like to do there, but I'd rather have easier access to the mountains and the comforts of Western civilization. In Chamonix or Zermatt, you can go out and do a mega-classic 1-day alpine climb and be back in town for dinner. And there are things to do in all seasons.

My plan is to work part-time in the US...maybe one month on, one month off (or something like that) and spend the off-time in Europe. I'd be willing to move there permanently if it were reasonable to find work, but it's not very likely. I'm a doctor, so it's probably similar to your situation as a lawyer. Sure, I could look for a research or consulting job in Geneva, but I'm really not interested in that kind of work.
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Postby nattfodd » Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:51 am

If you're considering moving to Huaraz, you should fire an email to Ted Alexander, the owner of http://www.skyline-adventures.com. He moved permanently there with his whole family a while back, so he'll be able to tell you what it's like. He's also a very nice guy.
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Postby Ejnar Fjerdingstad » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:04 am

ArtVandelay wrote:
barrys wrote:Hey Art,

What's your background? How far in the workplace foodchain are you willing to lower yourself.......or maybe you've already spent years working in banking...or are a skilled watchmaker......in which case you'd be coming to the right country. I've been living near Geneve (although on the french side) and looking for work for a few months. I have friends who are job hunting in Geneve and beyond and have been for quite some time. Some of whom speak three languages and are well qualified, it ain't easy that's for sure. I'd need more detail to offer good advice but one thing you might want to do is expand your horizons beyond just living in Zermatt - there are far more options open if you can settle on living just a few hours drive or train away from your dream location - it still means you can roam the valley on weekends, holidays, days off and you can still have the Alps on your doorstep. I've done pretty much the same thing, but with Chamonix in mind, although Zermatt is even only about 2 and a half hours away from here. Have faith though, the dream is achievable. I have to believe that too or else i may as well pack up my bags. What kind of jobs would you not mind doing? There are plenty of shops and tourism opportunities in Zermatt but the work permit will always be a problem.

http://www.justlanded.com/english/Switz ... rk-permits

That site has a summary of work permit regulations. It might sound disheartening but it isn't impossible, especially if you can live with having 2500meter peaks in your backgarden instead of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa.


Thanks for the info!

I am an attorney here in the states, but I really have no desire to go back to law school in another country, nor do I even want to practice law. I don't mind lowering myself on the salary food chain, but I don't want a dead end job sitting in a retail store making 8chf/hour. I am looking for a different balance of work and play, with a focus on the play part. I don't want to have a garage full of Ferrari's, but I do want to have a comfortable lifestyle where I don't have to worry about things like my bill at the grocery store(I mention this because food in particular seemed outrageously expensive in Zermatt).

Zermatt is appealing to me because it is such a small town, yet doesn't fall victim to the problems of most small towns(dead/boring population, lack of modern comforts, etc.). Its unlike anywhere else I've ever been. If I were going to move somewhere else, it would have to be a place that offers a similar feel...otherwise I would just move to a place like Boulder and stay here in the States. If you know of any other places like Zermatt, whether in Europe or the USA, I'm definitely open to hearing about them.


If you are looking for fabulous Mountain scenery you could also chose Chamonix, Briançon (fairly large, not so fashionable, but right at the foot of the fantastic Dauphiné Alps (Les Ecrins) with among other La Meije), Grindelwald at the foot of the Berner Oberland with Wetterhorn, Eiger, Mönch, Jungfrau etc., and in Italy Cortina, in the heart of the Dolomites. Actually, in my opinion the view from Zermatt itself is limited, there is the Matterhorn of course, but that is about it. It is hard to beat Cortina, fairly large and fashionable, where you have mountains 360 degrees round, though of course no 4000'ers. In contrast there is an abundance of enormous vertical rock faces everywhere. In France there is also Grenoble, a fairly large city with 150,000 inhabitants and a university, just at the western foot of the Alps, yet only an hour or so from Les Ecrins in car. It is surrounded by lower mountains and has a ferrata right in town. Being retired I don't know anything about employment in any these places, although I would think that the larger places will offer more chances. In Zermatt I think it would be best to be in the hotel business.
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Postby Ejnar Fjerdingstad » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:14 am

ArtVandelay wrote:
Buz Groshong wrote:If you've got some serious cash, you might think of Huaraz, Peru instead and retiring rather than working.


I speak spanish fairly well, so this is intriguing. What is the infrastructure like in Huaraz? Switzerland is still a first world country with excellent transportation, doctors, communication systems, etc.


The same certainly goes for the other major Alpine countries (France, Germany, Austria and Italy)!
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Postby gegarrenton » Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:56 pm

Tom Fralich wrote:
ArtVandelay wrote:What is the infrastructure like in Huaraz?


Imagine Switzerland, but take away the transportation, doctors, communication systems, etc. Also, the climbing season is pretty short and most of the activity is focused on a few peaks. Sure, there's a lot of trekking, but what are you going to do during the rainy season?

I love Chamonix and Zermatt and fully intend to buy some sort of property in the Alps in the next few years. Chamonix is hands-down my favorite climbing destination, so maybe we have similar ideas on what's appealing. That said, I would never consider moving to Huaraz. It's a place to visit, and there are still more alpine routes I'd like to do there, but I'd rather have easier access to the mountains and the comforts of Western civilization. In Chamonix or Zermatt, you can go out and do a mega-classic 1-day alpine climb and be back in town for dinner. And there are things to do in all seasons.

My plan is to work part-time in the US...maybe one month on, one month off (or something like that) and spend the off-time in Europe. I'd be willing to move there permanently if it were reasonable to find work, but it's not very likely. I'm a doctor, so it's probably similar to your situation as a lawyer. Sure, I could look for a research or consulting job in Geneva, but I'm really not interested in that kind of work.

This is something I have considered as well. One big obstacle for me is how to go about property searching. Do you have any ideas or contacts that could start guiding someone through that process?
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Postby Buz Groshong » Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:19 pm

sjarelkwint wrote:Why not move to Aosta instead?


Another interesting possibility. Aosta would be less expensive than Zermatt, but doesn't offer quite as great a mountain climbing portfolio, although the hiking in the area is certainly as excellent.
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