First of all we need to say thanks to our special correspondent and photographer Nessa, who took the pictures and supplied all the info. She is a legend as always.
Ian is also a legend, as the last two pictures are his. (He’s in the pub right now so sure he won’t mind – thanks mate, put one on my tab…).
But today saw Verbier open for summer skiing for the first tim in 25 years. At least, so I’m told – the Performance team has been here for a while but not quite that long…
It was a cracking day all round – there was a huge uptake leading to a pretty hefty queue forming pretty quickly at the Mont Fort lift, but when you’re standing in a sunny queue with views like these, frankly who cares?
It genuinely was old-school bikini skiing weather, with scorching sunshine probably leading to some even-more-scorching sunburn later. (In fact Verbier was briefly transformed into one of those eighties post cards that still seem to circulate in ski resorts everywhere. As a sophisticated bunch, we have shunned that sort of cheap titillation. Have a look on Facebook though).
Televerbier did a cracking job and even had a barbecue going. As Nessa observed, “The BBQ wasn’t free of course, but still good to enjoy a beer and bbq’d steak post ski”. True that.
The snow was “grippy to start, slushy & sticky at the bottom” which is pretty standard issue for glacier skiing although the mini drag lift broke below the start of the main Mont Fort lift, which leaves you with a rather hefty walk when you’re at a smidgeon under 3000m. I’m sure the thought a of a beer and a steak waiting at the top might have hurried a few along.
So here are the snaps and let’s hope this kind of spontaneous opening is something we’ll see an awful lot more of…
Yes you can. In a mighty Subaru if you happen to drive one. So Sophie and I had a little explore before tea yesterday, and we can’t help wonder that – if they ever finish the new lift from Verbier and Le Chable to Bruson, if we’ll be doing an awful lot more of exploring over here. It would certainly be very cool if they opened it in the summer.
Anyway, it looked like this it looked like this…
I know, it’s still August – well, until tomorrow. But I’ve just looked at the webcams and it’s been snowing up top. Which seems good with Autumn about to take over for a bit. Perhaps we’re in for a big winter though – could it be a sign…? (I know. Probably not. But it’s still cool).
A few rumours have started to circulate that Verbier’s top venue for getting beer in your ski boots was closing.
But don’t panic – it’s just a bit of a refurb whilst the boys chase a leak that’s coming from the old floor of the bar. So despite the alarming number of skips outside the place and the loss of some heavily booze-soaked furniture, it’ll be back and ready for the new season.
Which is only about 10 weeks away if we open in early November like usual…
Yes, after The Failed Trip to La Chaux last week we went back to see what we could see and check up on this weird new igloo restaurant that they’re building at Col de Gentianes. And we discovered it’s taking shape. And the shape is round. And that one of the Gentianes lifts has glass floors and they rock.
Yes. La Chaux. I mean it’s always sunny isn’t it? Nice open pistes in the winter, always time for a cheeky coffee on the terrace at Dahu, Bec des Roses towering over you and blazing sun. You can even nip up to Col des Gentianes on the Jumbo to look at the spectacular view.
Well, I thought it was a good idea, so we hopped on the lift and headed over. Where it was as cloudy as you like.
So instead of going to look at the non-existant view up top we shot back down, got on a bus, discovered you get free WiFi on Verbier busses now (I know, I was amazed too) and went up to Savoleyres. Where the cloud hunted us down like dogs.
Still, it was fun. And it looked like this: