A new pass is on offer this season, covering the major resorts in the Bernese Oberland and Vaud. The Superpass allows you to ski Gstaad Mountain Rides, Adelboden-Lenk and the Alpes Vaudois (which includes Leysin, Villars and Les Diablerets). That’s 188 lifts and 630km of piste, and includes runs as high as 3000m at Glacier3000 (and, incidentally, Glacier3000 has opened up a new walkway between a couple of peaks for a spectacular panorama view from this season). The prices are as follows:
Full-price for Adults
& Seniors (m: 1949, f: 1950)
Many Swiss resorts have been busy trying to up their appeal for winter tourists. Car-free Mürren is one of the most distinguished of the winter sports destinations, and the Inferno run down to Lauterbrunnen is the oldest ski race in the world. It generally gives a feel of timelessness, broken only by its brief and famous hosting of the filming of the James Bond movie, OHMSS (where it played as a stand-in for St Moritz).
However Mürren seems to have been busy this summer improving the facilities for skiers and snowboarders. There is a new snowpark at the Gimmeln ski lift, upgraded lifts for both Gimmeln and Allmendhubel and a new toboggan run from Schiltgrat Station via Gimmeln back to Mürren.
I am a great fan of early morning snow, to hit the pistes before the runs are fully open and the corduroy slopes are pristine. You can do this at Corviglia and a few other places, and now you can do it in Mürren. Mürren Snow Sports School, for Chf35.00, allows early birds to explore the resort every Wednesday from 7.30am. It’s on my list!
Saville’s, the London-based property services group, published its annual survey of the Alpine property market. It is an interesting read, and in tribute to the Economist’s Big Mac index publishes a Kakao index – how much is a hot chocolate.
On this index Gstaad, St Moritz and Saas-Fee rate amongst the ten most expensive resorts in the Alps, but perhaps more surprisingly is that Switzerland isn’t consistently the most expensive. Indeed, on a number of criteria, Switzerland is not so expensive, although it languishes a distant fourth in terms of number of ski visits amongst the Alpine nations. However, it also boasts the best resorts in terms of season duration and snow conditions.
The report focuses on premium ski resorts and the prices are truly eye-watering. However, what interests me as a potential investor in the Swiss property market, is the spread of prices. A small village, with good transport links to a major ski area, provides properties at a tenth of the price of property in a resort like Verbier. The discerning Swiss property buyer can still find bargains. For those who have money to burn, however, a chalet in Verbier recently came on the market for a mere 45 million euros!
The full report from Saville’s is here.
Well, it’s that time of year when people start putting together best of the year playlists, and playlists to take on ski holidays and stuff… and I am no exception. I don’t listen to music whilst I ski, I hasten to add – that just seems so “not in the moment”, but I have put music to some of my ski videos and here is a sample. The music comes from my collection, so I MUST like it, but the length of the clip largely determines which songs I have associated with the video. Oh, and there is a link to the lyrics and a link to the ski resort for each song:
Duel by Propoganda
Wasn’t Born to Follow – Byrds
Most Precious Love – Blaze
Right here, Right now – Fatboy Slim
Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space by Spiritualized
Whole of the Moon – Waterboys
Rush Hour – Jane Wiedlin
Dread Lion – Upsetters
Pow Pow – LCD Soundsystem
Shine on You Crazy Diamond – Pink Floyd
Professional Widow – Tori Amos
Boys of Summer – DJ Sammy