Verbier brings in the new year with a bang

2nd January 2015, by Abi Butcher

Thousands of people converge on Verbier's Place Centrale for the New Year countdown

Thousands of people converge on Verbier's Place Centrale for the New Year countdown

It’s been many years since I was in a ski resort on New Year’s Eve. In fact, the first time I celebrated the turn of the year was in Verbier, some 20 years ago.

The Place Centrale, in the middle of Verbier, is bonkers. Thousands of people converge here — starting around 11pm — for a DJ, impromptu fireworks, countdown to midnight and general madness and mayhem. I was lucky enough to be with Swiss friends on a balcony above Le Caveau restaurant so I could watch the festivities (including one chap climbing up a lamppost, taking off his trousers, climbing back down and being hauled off by the police) without being too caught up. Come midnight, everyone goes mad and sprays everyone else with champagne, it’s quite incredible.

Despite the numbers, and the police presence, there was no other trouble and the atmosphere one of complete friendliness, fun and festivity. The Place Centrale was a mess of broken bottles when I walked across it on my way home later, but in the morning it was spotless and you had no idea anyone had been here. Swiss efficiency strikes again!

It was a late start, but skiing yesterday was fantastic. Thanks to last weekened’s storm, the snow is in good condition here, but far more is needed. We headed straight over to Tortin for a couple of new year’s laps of Verbier’s most famous bumps run. It’s stony at the top and icy at the very bottom but as long as you pick your way the conditions for the most of it are very good.

Verbier did well from last week’s big storm (check out our latest snow report), but despite that it needs far more. The off-piste is all tracked out but you can see tree stumps, rocks and stones sticking out of the snow — powder literally fell on grass so for the time of year it’s woefully thin. That said, it’s meant to snow this weekend so fingers crossed or a good top-up.

Lots has changed here over the past year — this is one ski resort that constantly reinvents itself. So more reports later!

Back to all blogs

Recent blogs

Share |