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Verbier Activity Review
11th October 2012

Mountain restaurants & activities in-between the odd lift still open

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Although summer is now behind us the weather has remained superb over the autumn period here in Verbier, so far.

It has rained from time to time but generally it has stayed dry and mild with plenty of clear, sunny and warm days to enjoy the mountains before the snow arrives. Up the mountain things are starting to slow down and close with the lifts from Le Chable to Ruinettes via Verbier the only area still open. Sadly even though conditions are great for biking and walking the lifts are now only open over the weekends until 21st October. They will be running from 9h-16h30 on the Saturdays and Sundays. Also through week days the lifts will open at 7h30, 10h30, 13h30 and 16h45. That being said the lifts can close at any time for maintenance and/ or bad weather so check the weather forecast and with the Medran office before you get too excited.

This last couple of weekends have been a little challenging as the weather has been great through the weeks but when the lifts have opened over the weekend the weather has been very changeable with last Sunday being really wet, although the Saturday was glorious and dry. The guys at the Verbier/Tzoumaz bike park have done a great job this summer and Verbier continues to slowly head in the direction of becoming a really good all round biking destination over the coming years. Although sadly there is still a real lack of easy trails with even the blue run more of and advanced red grade and the other trails on another level altogether.

On almost all the trails this summer we have detected the subtle hand of the shapers, constantly re-cutting the tracks and repairing corners and other sections. A lot of extra bits have been added too so be careful if you have not ridden at Verbier in a while. One really good improvement has been a line of jumps down the lower part of the blue. Before now most of the jumps in Verbier have been big and/ or technical but the new line (which can be ridden over if you do not want to jump them) is a line of around 15 small jumps where you can commit as much as you want and can work up to getting the technique right. You can see all the latest photos of the tracks and watch videos of bikers riding them on their YouTube channel.

Also for those of you that like to jump there is the pump track down at the quarry lake at the entrance to Le Chable.

Last week I went up to Lac de Vaux with my bike (pushing and riding from Ruinettes) I rode down into Lac de Vaux and then through Vallon d’Arbi. Once at Tzoumaz I had to ride all the way to Riddes in the valley below and catch trains and lifts back to Verbier. The run was amazing and it took 45 minutes of continuous and glorious riding to get to the valley floor. All in all it was a decent of just over 2000 metres in altitude.

Also last week I went climbing over by Catogne (a mountain that towers over Sembrancher) we climbed a 10 pitch multi-pitch which took us most of the afternoon and saw us finish and get back to the car just as night was falling. The area is very remote and at the top of the climb we had to cross through and descend hundreds of metres through forest covered cliffs. The wildness was accentuated by the lack of path and markers due to recent storms and chamois tracks and it was really tough to find our way.

Although most bars and restaurants that are still open are on limited hours and service there are still some places open. Up the mountain Marlenaz is still open day and night and they have an excellent local menu of wild boar, mountain goat and everything else that can be shot at this time of the year. Reservations and pretty photos can be found on thier listing page.

T-Bar, of course, remains at the forefront of summer life in Verbier with good food, drink and live sports.

In town the sports centre and the ice rink are open although I would not pretend to ever really know what time they were open. The best advice is to phone them up and ask yourself on 0277716601. There is also ice karting at the sports centre which is a great way to spend an afternoon.

For those of you wanting a more relaxed activity in resort then head to Yoga classes for available courses.

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