Another update from Mike. And it seems that someone borrowed the keys to one of the trucks up the mountain and rolled it on Savoleyres. All the way down Savoleyres apparently – a front flip that lasted about 300m…

So, whilst we haven’t yet had winter sink it’s icy claws in to Verbier (see how prosaic I can be early in the morning?), the good news is it’s allowed plenty of progress on the new lift, as well as helped the guys who are fitting all the usual ones.

And, as ever, Mike has been working on things and sent us a few photos. Which is always good, isn’t it?

So, first up are the new drag lifts he’s been fitting. Mike claims that it’s like building IKEA furniture as they actually come flat-packed and he has to build them in the ¬†workshop. Now, we love everything about that Swedish blue and yellow temple of stuff, it’s not a parallel that’s filling us with confidence… But he says he read the instructions before he started, and it’ll all be fine.

Next up is the main course – the new lift. Now, Olly has already struck with a cracking suggestion for the name. If you imagine that there’s already the “James Blunt Chair” (aka the Attelas Chair Lift) which got it’s nick name after it was opened by the singer, he has suggested “The post-Carrefour Digestion Express” as, let’s face it, we’ll be using it extensively after a nice lunch in the sunshine on the Carrefour terrace.

But the seats have arrived and rumbled through town the other day on the back of a whopping lorry, and they’re already fitting them and frankly it’s looking good to go – especially the development of the new housing at the start of the lift which was looking worryingly like a big hole in the ground¬†last time we checked and rather unlike a lift. How things have changed…

And finally we have the preparations at Les Essertes. Many of you will have forgotten all about our little magic carpet on the beginners slope in town, but for our instructors it’s always nice to see it getting prepared – we’ll spend a lot of time there this winter, so let’s hope Mike’s read the instructions on this too…

The IKEA drag lifts:

Verbier new liftVerbier new liftVerbier new lift

The new chair lift:

Verbier new liftVerbier new liftVerbier new liftVerbier new lift

Ahhh, Les Essertes:

Verbier new lift

Well, on the advice of Mike, Tobes an I nipped up to Ruinettes to see exactly what Mike, Televerbier and the massive double prop helicopter that’s been hovering over Verbier were up to.

Well, a lot. And very quickly. Because since 7.30 this morning they’ve put up absolutely loads of pylons, and all the running gear. The top station is looking like all it needs is a cable, some lifts and a bit of snow.

The pylons look ready to plonk that cable and some seats on and start rolling.

The bottom? Not so much…

Yeah, there’s some work to do down at the start, but it’s the big bit where they’ve been pouring concrete and building a pretty heavy duty installation. But that’s enough typing, because we have pictures of helicopters and that’s why you came here.

Plus a video. And if it sounds ‘a bit windy’ that’s because it is. Very. Try 100kph coming off those rotors…

Didn’t seem to bother the livestock though.

Mike called me yesterday – for those of you who don’t know, Mike works for Televerbier in the summer fixing the lifts. Anyway, he told me that he and the Televerbier team who’ve been making up the lift parts in Sembrancher were meeting the helicopter pilot at Ruinettes at 7.30 this morning to organise flying in the new pylons.

Well, I’ve told a few people and they all say “they haven’t even put the pylons up yet?”. But actually (Mike says) tha the real work is building the top and bottom installations, and the pylons simply get built elsewhere, flown in and bolted down. Easy…

So today we should hear a whopping helicopter hovering up by Au Mayen and see the new lift really take shape. Should be up and running some time in early December…

The new lift housing in Verbier

Parts for Verbier's new lift

Did you take a cheeky shortcut through the off-piste at Lac des Vaux last winter and lose a ski? Well, Mike’s just found a very lonely 174 Stokli GS ski up there…
Ski in Verbier

It snowed last night in Verbier. Perhaps we should hang around at Medran with our skis waiting for the lifts to open at 9…

Ski School Verbier

Mike’s update from the bottom of Mont Gele:

Ski School Verbier