Starting the year in Switzerland

8th January 2010, by Editor Watts

Impromptu jazz band playing above Veysonnaz Tuesday lunchtime  [(c) Dave Watts]

Impromptu jazz band playing above Veysonnaz Tuesday lunchtime [(c) Dave Watts]

Editor Dave Watts enjoyed skiing three Swiss resorts in three days and eventually got back home after flight cancellations because of the snow in the UK. He reports:

On Monday my early flight from Stansted was delayed because of snow at Geneva airport, where it was still snowing when we eventually touched down and I met up with Simon Malster of Investors in Property, who had invited me out to ski and see some of the developments he has for sale. Thanks to his 4WD, we still managed to be on the slopes of Villars by 2pm, where the fresh snow was still falling and the pistes were delightfully powdery but with lethal patches of ice lurking just below the surface. Still, it was great to be out with fresh snow falling.

Next stop Veysonnaz in the 4 Vallées ski area which it shares with much better-known neighbour Verbier. The clouds started to break up as we had breakfast revealing a stunning view right over the Rhone valley to Anzère and Crans Montana. And we had a lovely sunny day exploring the local pistes of Veysonnaz and Les Collons, a long trek from Verbier and with some of the best piste skiing in the 4 Vallées, including easy beginner and intermediate terrain and two seriously steep red runs down to the valley; the Piste de l’Ours downhill race course run would be graded black in many resorts and has a delightfully steady steep pitch for a vertical of around 600m. The snow throughout the area was cold fresh powder, with much less ice underneath than in Villars.

Day three (Wednesday) saw us under delightfully sunny skies in Crans Montana, where we started at the far Animona end of the ski area and were amazed to discover splendidly groomed pistes with no sign of ice below. We cruised at high-speed all morning with no need to hit the glacier as the snow was so good elsewhere (including on an ungroomed powdery itinerary that had obviously only just opened). Another highlight was lunch at the splendid new Chetzeron table-service restaurant, an uber-cool place done out in wood and stone and with a lounge area with comfy sofas and serving good food at prices no higher than in more modest traditional huts.

Then back on the train to Geneva airport to learn that not only had my easyJet flight been cancelled but that they could not get me on another to Stansted till Saturday! Thankfullly, Simon’s office had managed to bag me an early am Thursday Air France flight to London City on which I wrote this blog – thanks Simon and Jessica (especially so as I’m due at Heathrow on Friday for a flight to Canada).

Investors in Property (see, have places for sale in both Villars and Veysonnaz (and in neighbouring Les Collons) and all the ones I saw have stunning valley and mountain views, with the Veysonnaz and Les Collons ones especially representing great value for money in a lovely area for families and piste skiers and with access to Verbier’s macho slopes too.

Fresh snow in Villars on Monday made the place a winter wonderland © Dave Watts

More news from Canada soon.

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