The Story of the St. Moritz Ski School

The history of the St. Moritz Ski School is that of a man who became a pioneer from a degraded ski instructor. Like all great pioneers, he fought against bitter resistance. His success made opponents jealous. Rightly-from resistance to legends in red.

1928First Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz

Construction of the Corviglia funicular

1929Establishment of the St. Moritz Ski School by Giovanni Testa

Prior to this, there were no skiing schools in Switzerland; all lessons were private.

1932 until 1934Establishment of the Swiss Interassociation and Ski School Association for Skiing
1934Alpine Ski World Championships in St. Moritz
1936Natural Skiing

In the context of the years spent developing his new skiing technique, Giovanni Testa co-published the book Natural Skiing: The Method of the Simplest Skiing Style with Dr Ing. Matthias Eugen

1936 until 1948Guardia Grischa

Members of the legendary racing group of the St. Moritz Ski School, the Guardia Grischa, celebrate national and international success with Giovanni Testa’s new skiing technique:

Rudolf Rominger, four-time world champion
Edy Reinalter, Olympic champion slalom 1948
Max Robbi, coach of the women’s national team of Switzerland and Sweden

1947First training ski lift on Salastrains
1948Second Winter Olympic Games in St. Moritz
1950Heli-skiing becomes popular
1968Construction of the chalet with children’s lounge on Salastrains
1974Alpine Ski World Championships in St. Moritz

Construction of Signalbahn

1982Establishment of the Trust for Skiing Lessons for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Opening of the first Ski School for the Blind in Switzerland

1988 und 1989Introduction of snowboarding lessons
2003Alpine Ski World Championships in St. Moritz

Conversion/new construction of the Ski School Centre Salastrains

2010Merger of St. Moritz Ski School with “Snow and Fun Celerina”

Rebranding as “Snowsports St. Moritz”

2016Digitisation of the reservation processes and reorganisation of the Ski School
2017Alpine Ski World Championships in St. Moritz
2019Switzerland’s largest and oldest ski school is celebrating its 90th Anniversary!

We celebrated: To mark this anniversary, the renowned sweater worn by the Guardia Grischa has been relaunched in collaboration with Moncler. Our guests took advantage of the special offer 90-90-90 and we've produced a movie «BORIS THE SKISCHOOL ASSISTENT».

The foundation of the first Swiss Ski School

This insecurity led to confusion on the St. Moritz winter sports grounds, which threatened to damage tourism. Thus, the cure-  the tourist association and the Ski club St. Moritz became active and decided to unify the mess.

The ambitious task was taken by a man named Testa. Giovanni Testa. With the help from friends he founded the St. Moritz Ski School in 1929. The first in Switzerland.

The invention of natural skiing

„This development was based on comradery and democratic principles. We conducted an exchange of views in reciprocity and in this way developed the new skiing technique“, wrote Testa in the Ski School-Chronicles.

He praises „love, discipline and diligence“, which the instructors used in their work. Thus, the first ski school was built on Salastrains around a small hut but something much bigger: The natural ski technique that we use today.

The prophet was not heard in his own country

He thus helped the winter sports field St. Moritz to success and triggered a hype that continues today . At that time, nobody believed in it. Testa's technique was doubted in particular by the umbrella organization „Swiss inter-federation for skiing“, which was founded in 1932.

Ski instructors only got a license if they followed the inter-federation technique. THe following can be read in the regulations of the inter-federation of that time: „Those who do not want to submit to this dictation must renounce their license and will be dismissed immediately.“ The opponants of Giovanni Testa were overpowering; but he did not waiver, for he believed in his technique.

Thus the inter-federation abruptly withdrew the ski instructor lisence because of his „Non-compliance with the Swiss unit technology“.

The Guardia Grischa and the ultimate proof

Determined to prove the suitability of his technique, in 1936 he founded his own group of ski racers consisting of teachers from the St. Moritz Ski School.

The Guardia Grischa were born. In the 1948 winter games, the Red Legends fulfilled their mission internationally: In the second round, the youngest Guardia Grischaner Edy Reinalter became the first and so far only Swiss slalom racer to win Olympic Gold.

That was the ultimate proof: Giovanni Testa's skiing technique was not only good for the amateur athlete but also paved the way to Olympic Gold. And up until today. International.