Have you ever seen a fantastic slope that was entirely inaccessible and thought longingly: “If only I could get there, that run looks sick?” Well, dream no more, because that’s exactly what the billionaire owners of Glacier 3000 in Switzerland were thinking. Unlike you and me, they had the resources to dig an 870ft (265m) tunnel from the main resort to the back of the mountain to access a slope that was previously entirely inaccessible due to the sheer cliff face right above it.
Glacier 3000, owned by Gstaad local Marcel Bach, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone, and French property tycoon Jean-Claude Mimran, announced the opening of the new run ‘Cabane Pillon’ for the 22/23 ski season. The run will be 1.9 miles (3km) long and cover 3,280 ft (1,000m) in vertical, with a gradient of 41° in the steepest section. The run’s name derives from the name of the middle station, Cabane, and the name of the gondola base station at its end, Col du Pillon.
The resort Glacier 3000 is 20 minutes from Gstaad and 40 minutes from Monetreux. Unlike most other European resorts it does not have a village at its base. The closest village is Les Diablerets, which is in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, whereas the Glacier3000 is in the German-speaking area.
The billionaire trio bought Glacier 3000 in 2005 and successfully turned a bankrupt ski area into a year-round mountain playground. They added many attractions, like a peak-to-peak suspension bridge and an ice cave, tobogganing, and dog sledding. Through these measures, they managed to give the resort a much-needed boost and extended the resort’s season to year-round operations.
Currently, 100m of this tunnel have been built and Glacier 3000 trusts they can finish this project in time for the ski season opening in November. Once the run opens, it will be one of the steepest ski slopes in the world. A day pass for Glacier 3000 is $79 (CHF 75) and a season pass is just $482 (CHF 459).
They say money can’t buy you happiness, but I guess these guys would beg to differ.