This Saturday- just two hours from Geneva- is THE most exciting ski event in Switzerland: the Freeride World Tour Final on the legendary Bec des Rosses (also known as Swatch Xtreme Verbier).
I absolutely love this competition. When I look up at the Bec des Rosses with its giant rock faces and 60 degree slopes I can’t imagine anyone skiing or snowboarding down this mountain face. So I live vicariously through this event; experiencing the adrenalin rush of skiing down the mother of all mountain peaks without breaking my back or losing my life. Even the competitors get short of breath when interviewed about descending the Bec des Rosses.
The video below gives you a sense of the steepness, fear, excitement and dangers involved for the women and men ascending and descending this mountain.
The next video gives you a sense of the ambience as a spectator. Furthermore since it’s an unofficial video it shows one crash that would have killed me.
Does the Xtreme Verbier competition sound like an event for you? If so, here are a few tips :
- Pedestrians can reach the competition with a cheaper non-ski pass.
- The fastest ascent to Gentianes (where you view the event) is via Siviez -a 2 hour and 15 minute drive- where there is free parking, one chair-lift and a gondola to get to the viewing site. The ski pass to Gentianes (which includes Mt. Fort and Verbier) is CHF 71 (see here for lift pass information)
- Via Verbier, you can drive (1 hour 50 minutes) or take the train to le Chable where you can catch four télécabines & gondolas up to Gentianes. The ski-pass which does not include the Mt. Fort nor Haute-Nendaz is CHF66 (click here for lift pass information).
- If you plan to ski during the event (which is possible), two of the three pistes near the competition are “itinerary” slopes that are controlled by the resort but are for excellent skiers only. The third piste is a red run down toward Verbier.
- Bring your Binoculars.
- Bring sun lotion and sun glasses. You will be at 2,950 meters which can be intense if the sun is shining.
- Bring water and a picnic if you don’t want to buy anything at the restaurant.
- A blanket to keep your butt warm is nice but not a necessity.
- The ski area map can be found here.
- Check the weather. Last year after a few runs, bad crashes and rescheduling, the competition was cancelled.
We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland. If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/