MONT 4 ZIPLINE –THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD!

Get ready to drop 383 metres and fly 1,400 metres over the Mont-Fort glacier at a maximum speed of 130kmph…

August 13
A thick covering of clouds, howling wind and rain greeted us at the Col des Gentianes as Mother Nature reminded us who was in charge. Just one hour earlier I had left my house in warm sunshine: now, feeling more than a little nervous as I exited the Jumbo station, I wondered if my introduction to the 4Vallées’ latest attraction was about to be called off. Verbier ambassador, and all-round adventure poster girl, Géraldine Fasnacht, checked a forecast and confidently reassured me that the weather should clear up in an hour. If there is one person in Switzerland I know I can rely on for an accurate interpretation of meteorological data, it is highly experienced base jumper, pilot, snowboarder and explorer, Géraldine.

Sheltering in the comfort of the Gentianes Igloo, with thunder, lightning and snow whirling around outside, I enjoyed a hot coffee whilst François Fournier, Director of Nendaz Veysonnaz Remontées Mécaniques and Laurent Vaucher, CEO of Téléverbier talked to us about this impressive project, three years in the making. The main challenge of building a zip line at such high altitude, they explained, was ensuring the stability of the launch pad, since Mont-Fort is located on permafrost. Suddenly, with true Swiss punctuality and in keeping with Géraldine’s prediction, the clouds lifted and a shaft of sunlight lit up our destination – the 3,300 metre-peak of Mont-Fort and the shiny new take-off point of the world’s highest zip line. It was time to sign our disclaimers, be weighed and be fitted into our harnesses.

The views from the top of Mont-Fort partly helped distract me from what was about to take place. I have developed a mild fear of heights over the last few years and, for me, this new activity was a personal challenge, an opportunity to tackle my vertigo, fight the fear. I looked at Géraldine and told myself firmly: ‘Hey, if she can jump off the top of mountain, soar through the air in her wingsuit then surely I can throw myself off a mountain in a safe, controlled environment.’

 

The team made me feel really safe. The way the harness is fitted meant my body felt secure as I dangled over the edge before they pressed ‘go’. An initial movement forward put me in place, followed by a pause for the final check. The initial departure came as a bit of a surprise (even though I knew it was coming) – you can hear me let out a tiny yelp in the video but once I was whizzing through the air, I felt pure exhilaration. The speed was just right – exciting but not too hair-raising.

Géraldine followed a few people after me and said found the ride so exciting she was trembling – high praise indeed.

The Verbier Life verdict the zip line is a fantastic addition to the area, for both summer and winter. Don’t be intimidated by it, challenge yourself. If a scaredy-cat like me enjoyed it then the chances are, you will too.

Some tips:

I was holding a GoPro in my hand which put me off balance on the way down and caused me to twist in the harness and face backwards – I wasn’t the only one. The trick, I now know, is to stay in a straight and even position.
Make sure that if you are wearing a hat or sunglasses they fit securely, otherwise they’ll be needing a big lost property box at the bottom of the zip line.
Read the advice on the website: if you have heart/ health issues, are pregnant or have serious vertigo (not like my rather pathetic version) it’s probably not for you!

Practical information:

Access:
Paperwork and weigh-in in the Gentianes igloo.
From Verbier, take the Jumbo cable car to the Col des Gentianes.
From Nendaz, take the Siviez-Tortin chairlift then the Tortin-Gentianes cable car.

Make sure you book your descent online to ensure a place. Reservations can be made directly on the website www.mont4zipline.ch or www.easyverbier.com

Holders of VIP Pass and Openair Pass benefit from a free return trip to Mont-Fort.
Holders of a 4 Vallées annual pass benefit from a ‘2 for the price of 1’ voucher.
For annual pass holders:

  • CHF 45 adults
  • CHF 38 young and seniors
  • CHF 20 for children (from 7 -14 years of age. Minimum height 120cm and minimum weight 30kg)

Without a pass (includes a pedestrian day pass):

  • CHF 75 adults
  • CHF 64 young and seniors
  • CHF 36 for children

(Open weekends until September 2020, reopens for the winter season! )