Verbier Snow Report January 2017

Bruson Piste in the distance

Yes, my snow and piste report from Verbier has been a little bit like the propaganda from your local dictator – There is no revolution going on here and yes the snow is amazing! Since my last report I have been a little apprehensive about reporting the truth. We have had skiing and the ski lifts are open!  But January 2017 has not produced much in the way of fresh snow. Currently in Verbier, and probably like a lot of the Alps, the piste are very firm and the off piste skiing is chalky grippy snow and a lot of moguls! Stories of recent fresh powder, is….. just a story!

Having recently spoken to many old and wisened locals, I am brave enough to admit that the weather is changing, along with the moon and all the other mystical signs! This afternoon Mount Blanc and the Grand Combin had their hats on – this is a sure sign the weather is changing – So with luck we should see a dump of fresh snow just in time for the February half term.

If you want to learn to get to grips with chalky off piste conditions then maybe book some ski lessons with me.

 

 

 

 

Snowspiracy - Looking back to Verbier from Bruson

Snowspiracy – Where is the Snow? – Snow Conspiracy Theory

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Snowspiracy – Where is the snow?

Here at Snowquarters we are discussing a potential snowspiracy. I am still taking my daily security briefings from my very own ‘intelligence agency’. This mornings’ briefing concerned a security breach. The Snow Prediction Services (SPS) computer has been a hacked by unknown external forces.

The security breach mostly concerns the SPS’s snow-forecasting predictions services. Currently the SPS is unable to accurately predict snowfalls, the computer system has defaulted into only predicting ‘Epic Snow’. Which, as you can see from the photo above isn’t actually that accurate!

The SPS has sent their secret agents out to uncover the hackers and the source of the snowspiracy. The Democratic Republic of Clambin (DRC) has denied all knowledge but has indicated that the Peoples Popular Front of Clambin (PPFC) are involved.  The DRC has alleged that PPFC have developed the skills to weaponize and control the snow, or the lack of snow, in-an-attempt to stop DRC having access to their headquarters at Chez Dany in Clambin.

This is a very complicated and fast evolving situation, which hopefully will end every soon. We can then go back to the normal service of Epic Snow in Verbier!

Another Swiss Cheese - Le Chable Verbier Train Station

Verbier Insider | Secret Submarine Base

Le Chable Verbier Train Station

Verbier Secret Submarine Base

Not satisfied with making Verbier look like a Swiss cheese, the local building firms are getting carried away digging another massive hole, but this time down in Le Châble.  And as ever the gossip is rife. There are some great rumours and bar chat, around Verbier, about what is actually going on down at the train station car park in Le Châble.

Some people have said that the Swiss Navy are building a new secret submarine base. Others have said it is going to be an artificial surf break. Some have suggested it is a new communal nuclear bomb shelter. The Democratic Republic of Clambin (DRC) has denied any involvement. A kindly man in the Fer-a-Cheval, who was looking and sounding two sheets to the wind, suggested that a group of veteran Verbier ski bums are planning ‘The Great Escape’ to the ‘Real World’ and have started digging three tunnels (Tom, Dick and Harry) with exits in Vollèges, he also said ‘have you seen the massive pile of earth by the road on the way to Vollèges’ as further evidence to back up his story.

The real story isn’t so colourful but is a great step forwards for Le Châble. The hole has taken more than 30 years of planning and is the start of a new underground train station costing 27 million CHF.  The new station platforms will be underground and will be the first train-gondola link in Switzerland, the station will also come into line with new federal directives relating to user safety and accessibility for people with reduced mobility.  The development will also make an extra 46’000 m2 of land available for ‘Urban Development’. However at this moment it is not clear what the ‘Urban Development’ will be? Obviously there is some great potential for new rumours and bar chat.

We suspect the regulars at the station PMU bar will need a new venue for their daily glass of fendent and flutter on the ponies.

The new Le Châble train station will be ready for December 2018.

 

La croûte au fromage Chez Dany

Chez Dany | Restaurant Musical Chairs & the Democratic Republic of Clambin

 La croûte au fromage Chez Dany

If you, like us, love great meals out in and around Verbier then you’ll probably also know there is a bit of ‘musical chairs’ going on with the restaurants in Verbier. And a bit like the drivers in Formula 1, everyone is looking for the hot seat, when one moves they all move. So what is the gossip?

What is the story at Chez Dany?

The executive chef and his team have done a bunk leaving a power vacuum. For a while it was a little uncertain as to what was happening in Clambin – However we can report that Chez Dany has been taken over by the rebel forces of the Democratic Republic of Clambin (DRC). These same rebel forces once were the original founders of P.A.A.R.T.E.E. at Farinet Après.  We’ve also heard on the grape vine, that the DRC are offering refuge to the Dicktators who are building their own secret mountain hideaway. Apparently the infamous Yellow Mike will be helping the DRC and the Dicktators write their P.A.A.R.T.E.E. manifesto.

It looks like Chez Dany is going to be the place this winter for rebellious rocking Après Ski in Verbier. We are unsure how the Popular Peoples Front of Clambin will respond, however we will keep you posted on developments in Clambin.

Where is Nomad Sushi?

Nomad in the Nevai Hotel has always been a bit nomadic, setting up in a number of different locations around town. As far as we can tell Nomad at its last locations, in the Nevai Hotel, has closed. However, the owners of Nomad just happened to be the original founders of Farinet Après and they are now in Chez Dany. Confused?!

If you have a penchant for high altitude sushi, then there is no need to worry!  You’ll still be able to satisfy your desire for uncooked fish in Verbier this winter – The rumour is: The former Nomad sushi chefs are doing three nights a week in T-Bar.

L’Ecurie

The former executive chef of Chez Dany Claude Alain Besse and his team have taken on the L’Ecurie in the hotel Ermitage. This is great news as one of Verbiers’ best restaurateurs is now on the mountain and in the town. Lunch and dinner is sorted! If we can survive a round or two of fine Gentianes we’ll post our review of L’Ecurie very soon.

Dahu

Claude Alain Besse is still at the Dahu.

Club Vie Verbier | Rosalp Hotel

The Rosalp in the good old days was home to a Michelin starred restaurant. Over the last few years the Rosalp has been another Verbier building site making the rue de Medran look like a Swiss cheese.  The Club Vie Verbier will open this December in the Rosalp and has potential to rock with some serious talent in the kitchen. Gerwin Brand, who’s CV looks like he should be a judge on Master Chef, is running the kitchen and we are excited. We’ll bring you a review as soon as possible.

Pergola

The Pergola has had a bit of face lift this summer and has got a lovely new wooden pergola. Who knows if the menu is getting a face lift? Please do send in your reviews.

Brasserie No.1

Sadly Brasserie No.1 in Le Chable has closed. We’ll miss the fine food that was served by Jamie and the boys. The rumour is,  Jamie is going to be sous chef to Gerwin Brand at Club Vie Verbier.

If you’ve got any other gossip or reviews of Verbier restaurants, then I,d love to hear from you. Or if you need help finding your way to Chez Dany then maybe book some ski lessons with me!

 

There is a mousse in housse

Chez Dany Verbier | What is the story?

There is a mousse in housse

The London Financial Times recently publish an article with rumours about Chez Dany – so what is the real gossip about Chez Dany?

One story doing the rounds in Verbier is that the former executive chef of Chez Dany has upped and left and is going to take over the restaurant L’Ecurie in Verbier – We can confirm Claude Alain Besse (from the Dahu) is taking over the L’Ecurie and will be open from November the 11th. Call +41 27 771 27 60 to reserve – I am sure this is going to be a great eating out destination this winter in Verbier.

Another story filling the Verbier gossip columns is:- Chez Dany has been sold to a secretive Russian billionaire who wants to build a luxury mountain hide-away – We’ve talked to all big building firms in town and nobody appears to know anything about this rumour– We think this story is just ski-bum-bar-chat.

Another story is:- Chez Dany will be a ghost of a the former restaurant left to go derelict on a closed piste – The closed piste might be great for a few secret powder turns after a fresh dump of the light fluffy stuff – But not so great for your hungry bellies after a hard day skiing.

Another story is: – The Chez Dany lease has been taken on by some of the best party doctors in town with a reputation for pumping Après Ski entertainment. What a location for standing-on-the-tables-dancing-in-ski-boots Après Ski! This could be great news for Verbier Après Ski but maybe not so great news for the Russian oligarchs hiding away in Clambin!

Bring on the snow so we can ski through the pretty hamlet of Clambin to find out the real story about what is happening at Chez Dany this winter. If you need help finding your way to Chez Dany then maybe book a ski lesson with me.

Chez Dany Update – For the true and accurate story head over to Chez Dany website.

Wild Raspberries

Smart Snow-Forecasting Techniques

Snowforecasting with Smart Onions

Smart Snow-Forecasting Techniques

Not a day, no, let’s make that an hour has gone by recently without someone predicting the latest snowfall, 1000 year storm, hurricane or heatwave. Yes – it is that time of the year again when everyone is a snow-forecasting expert. In the era of the ‘smart phone’ we all know it is pretty easy to be ‘Smart’ about the weather. But if you want to be a real expert you need to use some more traditional ‘smart’ techniques for your snow prediction.

Here are few ‘Smart’ tips for your own snow prediction from some Verbier Insiders.

Smart-Onions
‘The thicker the layers of an onion skin the more severe and early the onset of winter.’
Verbier Insider: Squid at No. 1 Ski Rental

Smart-Larch
‘When the very last of the larch needles fall to the ground the winter will start for real and not before’.
Verbier Insider: Jean Claude Vaudan

Smart-Berries
‘There is an abundance of the wild berries which is down to a great summer and it is nature’s way of giving birds an extra food source before a harsh winter’.
Verbier Insider: Peter Piper

Smart-Wood
‘When the various online sites are contradicting each other and all else fails, ‘I Just check out my next-door neighbour and see if he is chopping wood’.
Verbier Insider: Tom Blower

Whatever ‘Smart’ technique you choose we know one thing is for certain – The snow is coming and there will be some ‘Smart’ skiing in Verbier this winter.

 

Verbier Snowdome

Verbier Skiing | Snowdome

Verbier Snowdome

Verbier Snowdome

Hot off the press from some of Verbier’s finest rumour mills. Apparently, ‘The Big Mound’ of dirt, down by the road on the way to the ‘Real World’ just past Le Châble, is the start of another massive secret project. To track down the truth we’ve gone back to our sources to try and find out what is happening down on the road to Vollèges.

Our kindly friend from the Fer a Cheval, who was sporting a Hawaiian shirt and rambling like Salty the sea dog said “Phase 1 they are building a ski hill with snow canons and that phase 2 of the plan is a Snowdome so we’ll be skiing 365 days a year, like the one back home in Manchester. It is going to be incredible…’. And then to totally top off his ramblings he added ‘they are also going to build a wave pool for surfers with “rollers” three meters high with a unique Bagnard surf atmosphere. It is going to be epic!”.

There could be some truth in this one as the boffins from the Swiss federal environment office have predicted that small and medium-sized glaciers in Europe will have melted entirely by 2050. And another recent study concluded that ski resorts across Europe have up to 40 less days of snow cover compared to the 1970s.

One of the dudes at No.1 Ski Rental said they had no idea about ‘The Mound’ but another said that ‘Not be to out done, Vollèges has always wanted to be a ski resorts and wants to become a year round tourist destination’ he verified his statement with ‘have you seen my tax bill’.

The Democratic Republic of Clambin (DRC) released the following statement: ‘In the era of ‘Post Truth’ it is hard to distinguish the rhetoric from the facts. The only truth we know is VERBIER IS OPEN FOR SKIING’. 

 

Telemark turn in Verbier

Telemark Skiing | Verbier Day Off Skiing

Telemark turn in Verbier

‘Well, I gave my mind a thorough rest by plunging into a chemical analysis’. Conan Doyle in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine 1890

With this in mind over the last few season I have ploughed my days off skiing into more skiing but of a different kind, the one that is said ‘frees the mind’. In past seasons I might have spent, as I saw them, my precious days off doing not very much, getting up late hanging around watching the ski racing or generally not doing much in a bid to have a rest. Often resulting in not really feeling that rested and a little frustrated with wasting my time, lift ticket, sunshine and everything else that springs to mind right now.

So recently I have plunged myself into more skiing, the kind with a free heel, which I cannot say actually has freed my mind but it is interesting how learning to do something new can actually be more refreshing than lazing around at home all day in the belief that I will be refreshed from doing nothing.

The result of my endeavours freeing my mind, kindly record by Julian Griffiths (European Snowsport), can be seen above. It may not be a technically perfect turn but I am pleased with my progress and I have now passed a Telemark instructor qualification with Swiss Snowsports.

If you are interested in some free heeling ski lessons then hit me up with an email or a ski lesson booking enquiry!

 

Big Snow in Verbier November 2015

November 2015 Verbier Snowforecast

Big Snow in Verbier November 2015

Big Snow is coming to Verbier soon…

 

Emma TH skiing fresh powder

Verbier Ski Lesson | Its a crisp sunny winter morning

Emma TH skiing fresh powder

Its a crisp sunny winter morning

Fresh snow has fallen making the mountains all white and beautiful, a reminder of why I choose the route of eternal ski bum! The real world where ever that might be has slipped off the horizon and I am left there in my own little world of bliss – ‘Excuse me is your name Roddy’ – ‘Ah Yes’ – ‘You must be my client for the today?’ And so I jump into super instructor mode – Interesting how we can choose a response appropriate for the moment? It is also interesting to think about where we get those responses from? How did I move from a bit of day dream, wondering how great the mountains looked, to choosing what I hope is the right response for the client in front of me?

After a brief chat with my client, she tells me that she has never skied before and is really scared! Now if you jump back a sentence you’ll notice that I noticed that it is interesting where we get our emotional responses from?

Here is a person who is perfectly sound of mind, who has never skied before telling me she is scared of skiing! How has she got to this point? What is she basing her fear on? She has no previous knowledge or mental map of skiing or snow – However she has managed to find a mental map of fear and then over-laid her map of fear onto skiing?! So, it could be said we have mental maps for all our emotional responses? If this is the case do we have the power to choose our emotional responses?

You know the other day I went to a café and asked for two espressos – Which, when they arrived on the table were fantastically smooth with those lovely brown bubbles on the top. All in the world is good – I enjoyed the coffee with my companion, then I asked for the bill and paid. However the waiter had not given enough change! Well as you can imagine at this moment it is very easy to find my mental map of being cross and firm and to ask the waiter for the correct change? Can you? You see you probably have the ability to choose your emotional response in this situation?

So back to my lady is it possible for her to choose a different response and make the most of her day? If she can reach into the chart room of her mind and choose the mental map best suited to achieving the most from her skiing, which map should she choose?

Whatever your sport and level only you are in control of your emotions. It is your personal choice how you see the world and also your choice how you respond to events in the world. The key is knowing how to allow yourself to take control of your emotions.

If you need help finding your mental chart room then contact: roddy

Roddy Willis Performance Coach and Ski Instructor