Well, it’s been a while since we were up at Col des Gentianes to see what’s been going on with the new restaurant. Last time we went up there (click here for the photos) it was just starting to look like a big circle on the ground.

But as usual Mike has been up there and generally knows what’s going on better than anyone, and he took these pictures a little while back.

As you can see it’s really taking shape and possibly won’t look as odd as we thought. And the story is there are toilets in the building – so no more freezing walks across to the lift housing if you need to spend a penny. (Although our local intelligence suggests the loos are the same ones accessed by a tunnel).

A green Igloo?

 

There’s even better news than a few toilet facilities though, as the whole thing is powered by wood pellets, which is pretty eco-freindly.

However, that’s not all, because the whole building is supposed to be carbon neutral. Which when you think about it is amazing – and a vital step by TeleVerbier to make sure that the buildings we put up in the mountains respect and protect the rather fragile ecosystem we’re plonking ourselves into.

But on the whole, a new restaurant in verbier is always popular with certain members of the team, so very good news indeed on many levels.

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

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…

Yes, the home of the slightly unwashed seasonaire is being reduced to a big concrete shell and a hole in the ground. Which means that the carpet is probably slightly less sticky than it used to be. Olly is probably weeping at this very moment at the loss.

Things are happening up on the mountain and it seems to involve helicopters a lot. Brilliant.