Verbier is a world class resort famous for its luxury catered chalets, exclusive bars and restaurants and of course the world class ski area and lift system that serves it. Responsibility for maintaining the high standards expected of Verbier’s lifts falls to the Téléverbier SA organisation. It takes foresight and planning to shape a lift system through the seasons to meet ever increasing expectations and keep pace with the changing times. Fortunately for us, Téléverbier SA have been executing a 15-year master plan for the Verbier ski area, it plots out development of the lifts, slopes and snow-making facilities throughout the resort and ski area.
Key points of the Téléverbier SA strategy
- Strategic importance: depending on their strategic importance, lifts will either be renovated or the concession agreement will be prolonged.
- Sustainable development must be central to all plans.
- There must be solid key lines to transport skiers to the top of the slopes, via a maximum of two lifts.
- The connections (slopes and lifts) between the ski resorts must be efficient. The remaining priority is the connection between Verbier and Savoleyres-La Tzoumaz.
- An optimal distribution of skiers in the area is crucial for their safety and enjoyment.
- Any lifts which don’t meet the predefined occupancy rates must either be removed or replaced, or their capacity must be increased.
- Climate change must be one of the key considerations in development plans.
- The lifts need to be modern, in order to maintain the brand identity on which Verbiers’ reputation is built.
- Priority must be given to the most profitable lifts.
Upcoming improvements to the Verbier ski area and lift system
2021 | REPLACEMENT OF THE MÉDRAN1 CABLE CAR
The Medran1 6-seat gondola has been bringing us from the Medran side of Verbier at 1532m up to the popular station of Les Ruinettes since 1984. During the 36 years since, Verbier has grown as has the piste network and the time had arrived for a big upgrade. Through summer 2021, the new 10-seater cable car has been constructed by Garaventa, a company responsible for incredible feats of cable based engineering around the world. It will have twice the capacity of the former cable car, we’re certainly looking forward to riding it this 21/22 winter season.
2021 | RENEWAL OF THE SNOW-MAKING NETWORK
At the centre of much of Verbier’s snow-making capabilities is the beautiful Lac des Vaux at 2543m and the water pumping station there. Téléverbier SA describe this facility as the “backbone of the ski area”, it was first installed in 1994 as part of Verbier’s first snowmaking system. Through the 2021 summer, a large scale renovation project has been underway, executed by TechnoAlpin, specialists in snowmaking. The improved pipelines and pumping station will supply a more effective snowmaking system around the ski area ensuring better snow coverage at the start of the season and more ideal management throughout. This new system will be in force for the start of the 21/22 season, just another thing to look forward to.
2022 | DEVELOPMENTS IN BRUSON
The improvements to the Verbier ski area will continue beyond this season. In 2022 in the Bruson sector we’ll be seeing an old lift replaced and a brand new chairlift. The fixed clamp La Pasay chairlift dates back to 1990, as exciting (and treacherous) as fixed clamp lifts can be, they are quick into your legs and slow up the mountain. The replacement modern 6 seater chairlift will shave the lift time from 11 minutes to less than 5 minutes! We love a speedy lift, more time on the piste or relaxing in the newly renovated La Pasay Restaurant. In addition to these improvements an all new chairlift is to be constructed in Bruson. It will connect the bottom of the Pissevache slope to the Col du Chargerat which expands the Bruson ski area giving skiers more room to explore and reducing busy pistes at the busiest times. Excellent news for 22/23 season in the Bruson sector of Verbier.
2023 | ESSERTS-PLANARDS-SAVOLEYRES CONNECTION
Connecting Les Ruinettes and Savoleyres has been on the agenda for Téléverbier SA for nearly a decade now. The project was first launched in 2012, the concept would see new pistes including a dedicated ‘beginners zone’ along with new lifts to replace the old Savoleyres cable car. The plan has met legal opposition and has been in contention for some time, Téléverbier SA remain hopeful that in 2023 we may see these issues resolved and further improvements will be moving forward for Verbier.
Verbier just keeps getting better
We’re very excited to get out on the pistes and experience the improvements and we’re reassured to know that Verbier’s long term strategy promises to keep the ski area at the forefront of world skiing. It’s no surprise it’s often been voted best resort in Switzerland. So if it’s been a few years since you last enjoyed a ski holiday in Verbier, maybe it’s time you took another look? It might be just a little better than you remember it.