It has started to finally feel like summer over the last couple of weeks although the persistent brisk and chilly wind can be quite uncomfortable at times, especially in the shade. After the awful spring rain, snow, mist and cold wind Verbier seemed deserted as the locals quit town or hunkered down. As we slipped into June the lifts began to open for the weekends, although the opening was delayed the first weekend of June by heavy snowfalls which fell all the way down to town.
The lifts are open through the Saturday and Sundays until they open full time on 6th July. Through the weekdays, until they open full time, the lifts operate for 15mins from 7h30, 10h30,13h30 and 16h45 for anyone wanting to get up to Ruinettes to hike, bike or fly.
Currently the Le Chable to Verbier and Verbier to Ruinettes telecabins are open from 9am-16:30pm. Only certain sections were open last weekend when I went up but the snow line has been retreating rapidly over the last week and even last weekend I was riding everything. In the bike park new hits, obstacles and earth works have been added and are in the process of construction to add to the superb, yet challenging Verbier/ Tzoumaz Bike Park. The entire bike park opens full time 6th July with lifts taking riders as high as Col de Gentianes, as wide as the rest of the 4 Vallees and as far as Tzoumaz without ever having to peddle uphill.
Rumours are abound that work is to start on a new run from Fontaney to Ruinettes which would add both to the existing blue and red runs that start from Ruinettes altitude. The plan would be to open the La Chaux Express to bikers (it currently runs in the summer but only for pedestrians). This in turn would open up a lot more terrain to bikers and para-ponters. Also it looks as if the lifts are open everyday until the end of October. Previous years have seen the lifts open for the weekends of October but not the weekdays. Don’t forget that you can also hire electric bikes to make the uphill ride more relaxed and Trottinettes scooters to go down the green run in a safer way than biking.
For walkers most of the main trails have been cleared of fallen trees and the snow line is very high at an average altitude of 2500 metres.
With the current weather set to continue for the near future it will remain very mixed with some periods of intense sunshine and heat and others of showers, grey clouds and cold winds. This mixed weather has not stopped the para-ponters from getting out and some days when the lifts have been open and the skies clear it has been full of canopies.
Over this weekend the Saturday was awful with almost non stop rain and then by Sunday it was beautifully and sunny again. I do wonder if summer is going to stabilise or if it is going to stay un-predictable all the way through.
The swimming pool (indoor and outdoor) and sports centre (with beach volleyball) are now open all day now that we are into summer. The ice rink is also open but splits it’s time between ice go-carting (highly recommended) and ice hockey (also highly recommended)
The golf course, which curves around the top of Verbier, is all fully open and de-frosted. There is also a driving and putting range up past Carrefour and a pitch and putt course down by Moulin to get your skills back up. The views are breathtaking and I would definitely put this on my list of courses you should play before you die.
If you would like to do some fitness whilst in Verbier then there are a host of courses from Zumba, pilates and yoga to bootcamp and other fitness related programmes.
Rock climbing and general mountaineering hasn’t really happened so far this summer as the weather has been too unpredictable and high levels of snow still remain at altitude. I have managed a couple of training days down at the VerticHalle (Saxon) and the little wall by the library in Verbier. With a long list of sport and trad and single and multi pitch in this area the sooner it gets dry and warm again the better.
So summer is finally beginning, even if the weather has not caught up yet. I’ll definitely be up the mountain for a spot of biking this weekend to celebrate the opening of the area. Hopefully you can join too.