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…
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.
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.
Ok it’s on the Verbier Medran roof but as per the rumors the Bruson telecabine has been ordered. Although the rumors also say it’s not going to be built by the winter.
Still, cool eh?
Televerbier have announced building work on the new lift starts October 2012… Click here for the video
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…
Yes, it’s the perfect temperature for this time of year – bang on zero outside. But those weather fronts that usually make life in the UK horrible, don’t seem to be interested in the long trek across France.
Still, it’s cold, so TeleVerbier, who haven’t had the snow cannons on so far have fired them up this week and it looks like they’re really cranking it out, covering bits of the mountain with spaceship-sized sheets of snow.
Anyway, so that you don’t lose hope here are some nice pictures of those very webcams.
Meanwhile, as they say, don’t panic. It’s still early.