What's new in Verbier winter 2019/20
Exciting developments for the ski season
The lifts opened in Verbier last a couple of weeks ago and conditions couldn't have been better for so early in the season. As more and more areas in resort open to skiers, we take a look at what's new in Verbier.
There have been plenty of new developments throughout Verbier. Here are a few of the changes, both on the pistes and in the villages, for the upcoming season.
New on the slopes
The ski area's snow-making facilities are improving with new state-of-the-art snow cannons. Located on the Sud piste, linking Savoleyres and Planards, as well as on the Planards-Esserts slope (now called Philippe Roux) they will ensure that the area stays open and boasts good-quality snow for longer. Great news for skiers and snowboarders in Verbier as this is the only way to go between Savoleyres and Planards when the Carrefour area is closed due to high avalanche risk.
The Lac 1 chairlift has been renovated after 20 years of transporting skiers up the Verbier slopes. The electrical system, as well as the chairs, have been replaced and new safety bars installed. There's also a brand new lift in Nendaz, the 8-person Plan du Fou gondola, which will start running on December 21st. Replacing the Prarion-Les Fontaines drag lift (which will remain in place for the time being to give access to the groomed piste) and the Les Fontaines-Plan du Fou cable car, it will increase the number of people that can go up the mountain from 800 to 2400 per hour, in much less time. It will also be connected to the Plan du Fou-Siviez gondola allowing skiers and pedestrians to go from Prarion to Siviez using just one lift.
This summer, a "Photo Point" was installed on the summit of Mont Fort. Located at the arrival of the cable car, you just need to scan your ski pass, say "cheese" and wait until the camera flashes. You can download your pic online using your ski pass number.
Our man on the slopes, private ski instructor Roddy Willis, has told us that the off-piste laws are changing in Switzerland again. This means that ski instructors with an official title, the Brevet Fédéral, will now be able to take clients to steeper slopes, of up to 44 degrees.
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Next summer, a 1400m zip line will take people flying over the Mont Fort glacier at 130km per hour. Construction works will start at the end of the winter season and it will open in August 2020. It will be the longest and highest (383m) zip line in the Alps.
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New family-friendly hot spot
The uber-popular Brasserie Le Bec has changed hands and is now Good Morning Le Bec, a flexifood cafe. Open from 08:00 to 19:00, they'll be serving a range of delicious, healthy food and drink, including breakfast, lunch, tapas, coffees, juices and more. There will also be a kid's corner managed by local childcare providers Petit Verbier. A wonderful play area will be set and their famous Kid's Club lunches will be served here with some new and exciting dishes, including pizza.
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New ski hire options
The rental area in Mountain Air, the Verbier ski hire shop on Place Blanche, has significantly expanded, which means that their services and facilities will be even better this winter. The rental consignment section has moved up to the 1st floor making it much easier to drop off and pick up your ski equipment. You will now find sports accessories, such as helmets, goggles and gloves, as you enter the shop in a dedicated area that gives you more space to look and try on their range of accessories. There will also be an accessories expert on hand to give you any help if needed.
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New green alternatives
Bramble Ski, the luxury rental agency offering apartments and chalets throughout Verbier, have launched a new brand this winter, Lagom. A Swedish word, 'lagom' means "not too little, not too much but just the right amount" and is a way of life in Sweden, where it can be seen through their art, design, architecture, food and fashion. Lagom properties are all about deciding the details of your holiday to make more considerate choices – daily housekeeping or just mid-week? with or without toiletries? should I opt for donating to an NGO to offset carbon emissions? These decisions not only reduce the price of your holiday, they also reduce its impact on the environment. A few of their Verbier properties included in the Lagom brand are Valentine Penthouse, Valentine 211, Basalte 103, Eclat Soleil and Sovereu Penthouse. Bramble also give 1% of their revenue to local NGO Summit Foundation, who are working to remove litter from the mountains and rivers that surround ski resorts.
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New properties for sale
There are two very exciting new chalets being built in Verbier right now which will make for excellent investments. Chalet La Rotze is a four-bedroom property between Les Esserts and Le Carrefour with luxury facilities like a steam room, jacuzzi and ethanol fireplace. Le Caribou is a stone and wood mountain retreat that recreates traditional Alpine buildings with five-star modern facilities. They are sold by Agence Domus, a family-run estate agency that's been helping Verbier homeowners since 1963.
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New summer challenges
We're all waiting for winter to start but summer in the mountains is also pretty special, and now id the best time to book a Verbier summer holiday and benefit from great discounts. There are some fun cycling challenges in and around Verbier in the summer, tackling the first-rate mountain roads and cols in the area. The best way to take part in them is to book one of Kudos Cycling new bespoke packages, which include not only registration but also accommodation, transfers, warm-up rides and pre-race support with experienced and knowledgeable cyclists as well as a welcome pack with cycling clothing and complimentary energy drinks and nutrition. This year, they're offering their packages for Le Tour des Stations in July, which starts in Le Chable, as well as the UCI Road World Cycling Championships Aigle-Martigny in September 2020 (available for the whole week or 4 days and for individual cyclists as well as clubs) and the Verbier Gravel Challenge also in September.
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Keen to know more? Then take a look at all that's new in Verbier for yourself... book your winter ski holiday now!