Another amazing week in Verbier – Empty slopes and great snow.
Another amazing week in Verbier – Empty slopes and great snow.
This winter ski season has produce the goods again – If you are interested in taking your skiing from the piste to the powder then do contact me the next time you are visiting Verbier.
Emma finds fresh tracks – It’s a Pow-E-der day. This winter has been amazing with many days of great cold snow. Today the clouds cleared above Savoleyres and we skied endless fresh tracks. Simply EPIC. If you want to take your skiing from the piste to the powder then let me know.
Ski Instructors come in many types, shapes and sizes! With varying levels of ability and customer care skills and often at approximately the same price. So, if you are coming to Verbier it can be slightly confusing on who to book to help you with your skiing. There are 20 plus ski schools and any number of independents. Here is a little (I hope helpful) information to aid you with your selection.
There are generally two categories of ski instructors working independently in Verbier. There are ones that are qualified to the highest level in Switzerland with appropriate insurance and registered with the Swiss authorities and who can legally teach skiing independently: And there are those that are working illegally.
So, here are some points to remember when booking ski lessons with an independent ski instructor.
If you want to be sure you are skiing with a legal and qualified instructor then check out their credentials on the MontagnePro website. So, if your instructor is not registered, then he or she is probably working illegally and probably without insurance etc.
If your ski instructor is wearing a ski school uniform and you have booked him through the ski school office or website, then you can be fairly-certain they are working legally, as the ski school will have registered and insured their instructor. However, be aware of what you are actually paying for:- Ski schools can employ all levels of instructor, from a top level Brevet Federal ski instructors to someone who has completed a five day in house training course with the ski school at the start of the season.
Ski schools in Verbier can employ four lower level instructors for one Brevet Federal. The point being you will probably pay the same price for the experienced fully qualified instructor as for the fresh-faced newbie. So, my tip is to asked the school what level of instructor you are booking or if the instructor can take you off piste as only a Brevet Federal can teach off piste skiing!
Once you’ve established the legal credentials and the type of ski instructor you have chosen maybe ask to see some reviews from their previous clients.
Now with their reviews and credentials checked. It’s time to book your carefully selected instructor and have some fun on the mountain.
Today in Verbier – Say no more….
This summer’s high temperatures and sustained warm weather have led to a plague of wasp. At times our garden in Bruson has looked like a wasp super highway. We have been battered all summer by the pesky blighters and the local Val des Bagnes fire service has visited our house twice to remove wasp nests from our roof. Our friendly cow farming neighbour has suggested the wasps are a sign this winter is going to be super snowy and bigger than last year!
While, I don’t personally use wasp’s as part of my magic equation to predict snowfall. However, I do enjoy the folklore and love the idea of another super snowy winter in Verbier! And there has been a lot of wasps!
If you are interested in talking climate change? or just wanting some banter on a chair lift then please do book some ski lessons with me in Verbier.
Climate change potentially is very bad for humanity. Extreme weather events. Last year we experienced one of the hottest summers on record. Massive autumnal tropical storms lined up one after another and then followed by one of the biggest winters on record.
This year average global temperatures are set to be the hottest on record. Europe has seen a blisteringly hot summer (hotter than last year) and today the National Hurricane Center is showing tropical storms Gordon and Florence lining up across the Atlantic.
Does this mean we are in for the biggest winter ever? Only time will tell but I think the signs are looking good for some great skiing this winter – Perhaps now is the time to book some skiing in Verbier?
Florence has been building over the weekend and is now looking like a category ‘M’ storm (M denotes major hurricane). Florence will hit the coast of America later this week.
If you are interested in some other snow-forecasting techniques then read my blog on Smart Snow-Forecasting. Or, if you just want the current real weather in Verbier check out the my weather forecast page.
In 1986 I had my first attempt at Higher Education, after a term and a half my tutors thought it best we part company… that was the moment I realised life was about choosing my own course in life, creating my own destiny. In the summer of 1987 I found a job teaching windsurfing in Turkey, my mind was opened to a life outside of the conventional, after an epic summer I arrived back in the UK. All those around me said it was time to get a ‘Real Job’ …’. so, I got a job in London selling ski holidays, I had joined the race race….
Eleven months later I was ready to throw myself in the Thames, it was time to live my life. I managed to wangle a fantastic career move, hydro-ceramic engineer for the 88/89 winter season in Val d’Isere. At the end of my first season dishwashing in Val d’Isere, not only had I had an awesome time. I had more spare cash than at any moment in the real-world job back in London… the future looked bright my career path was set.
In the 30 winter seasons since 1988 I’ve had many resort job, I’ve been a dishwasher, dishwasher ski guide, chalet boy, MBO (Maintenance and building officer), tour operator resort manager, ski rental technician, floor boy for a night club, ski tester for Ski and Board magazine, ski school technical director, ski school director, ski instructor, I even managed 3 winter seasons whilst completing a degree in Fine Craft Furniture Design and Making, I’ve trained as a Master Practitioner of NLP and Sports Hypnosis.
The common thread across the last 30 years is my love of the skiing and the mountains, I still love every day in the mountains and the best days are those when I am helping others to learn to ski and enjoy the mountains.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.