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:
The new chair lift:
Ahhh, Les Essertes:
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…
Yes, Verbier’s biggest building site is shooting up top and things look Luke they might be less gritty and chaotic next season. Cross your fingers…
So, a bit of a traffic jam into town is not uncommon, but this one was more interesting… It appears a Renault hatchback decided to explode and the firemen got stuck in. All rather dramatic and resulting in an above average bus ride home.
(Don’t worry – the family who were in it all got out fine and saved the contents of the car before it turned into an inferno).
Yes, it’s that time of year again. The last weekend in September is when the cows come down off the high pastures for the winter and all over the Alps the locals celebrate with a massive party.
Now, how they celebrate differs, but here in the Vel de Bagnes the celbration is done through the medium of cheese. Raclette to be precise, as they inveneted it here.
And as adopted locals we try to help out by eating lots of cheese and making sure they run out of Fendant. So we had another sophisticated evening in Le Chable (very much like last year – see the pictures here)
And if you want to get more details have a look here.
Meanwhile, here’s the evidence…
And by the way, it snowed last night all the way down to resort.
As you might (or perhaps might not) be aware, the Medran lift area in Verbier is getting a bit of a make-over. Well, the area around is being completely rebuilt and the lift station (possibly one of the ugliest lift buildings in the Four Valleys) itself is getting a facelift. The project is called Les Trois Rocs and will be a rather swanky and welcome addition to Verbier.
But only when it’s finished.
Because at the moment it’s nothing more than a rather scary collection of noisy construction equipment and mud where the parking used to be. So don’t expect any parking up at the lifts this year and do expect to be using busses a lot more if you used to nip up in the car – but don’t forget that (when it’s finished) it’ll be great. Just not yet…