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Published: January 3rd 2007
For my first New Years Eve in the northern hemisphere, I headed to Verbier, Switzerland for a long weekend. The reports of the conditions were not good - it had not snowed since 18 December (!!!). Luckily, having spent many years skiing in Oz, I am used to icy conditions and not much snow.
When I arrived, the snow conditions were actually better than expected (thank goodness for man-made snow and low expectations), and I managed to fit in two pretty good days of snowboarding. Actually, as it turned out, I was lucky we were at Verbier, as it was one of the few skiable resorts in the area (people were even heading there from other resorts like Chamonix). One great thing about the poor snow conditions was the blue skies, which meant the amazing views were clear. We were staying in a chalet where they supplied full cooked breakfasts, afternoon tea and three course dinners - pretty tough. There chalet had about 25 other guests, so it was pretty lively at mealtimes. There was even a group of 16 - ranging in age from kids to grandparents.
Verbier is a massive resort, with a great après ski lifestyle.
The ski area, the Four Valleys, is Switzerland’s largest lift-linked domain, with a massive maximum vertical drop of 2,509m (off piste) and over 400 pisted kilometres. Obviously, I will have to go back to ski more of it!!!
While there was meant to be a group of about 10 of us, changes of plans for parts of the group meant that a few did not arrive before new years eve. There ended up being only 4, my flatmate and two other Aussie blokes who are mates of his. On new years eve day we headed to the top of Mont Fort (3,330 m). Apparently, that is where you go for the off piste chutes (but not for me, and not in the snow conditions this new year!!!). However, it was worth it for the view, even if the steep, icy mogul filled run back down the mountain was the scariest of the day.
New Years Eve was a big night. There were rumours that two more of our group had arrived at about 9.30pm, but as we could not find them, it was up to the four of us to make the best of it.
with wine at the outdoor champagne and wine bar at the base of the slopes, moved on to pub Mont Fort for a beer and then back to the chalet for a special seven course new years dinner with more wine and some champers. At about 11, we headed back out to the main square for the celebrations. We took 3 bottles of champers and some wine, so were well prepared. The square was packed and the atmosphere was awesome. There were random fireworks going off everywhere, but the midnight celebrations were where it was at. The crowds went mad, with champagne being sprayed everywhere (something Paul couldn't get his head around, once he realised they were spraying the good stuff!!!). There were DJ's and, as the new year began, the square turned into a massive dance floor. Later, we talked our way into one of the clubs (poor planning meant we had no tickets) and danced the night away.
Woke feeling a bit dusty the next day, so luckily, the snow conditions were even worse, with rain/slushy snow, so I didn’t have to feel bad for not boarding.
I returned to London, leaving the boys behind to
meet the rest of our group. Unfortunately, it started snowing just as I left - and I have since been told about 50cm of new powder and blue skies …. I am sure they are just saying that to make me jealous though!!!
Anyway, happy new year hope it is a great one for you all!!!
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