Dec 3, 2018
In a bit more than one year, the Winter Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will be held in the Canton of Vaud. The region’s resorts are already getting ready to host this major event in the world of sport.
Between 9 and 22 January 2020, from Lausanne to the Alps via the Jura, the whole area will switch to Olympic time with the 2020YOG. This major event is the highest-level international competition for athletes aged between 15 and 18. The Nordic skiing challenge will take place in the Vaud Jura, in the Vallée de Joux, while in the Vaud Alps, Leysin will host the freestyle skiing and snowboarding ones (Halfpipe and Slopestyle), Les Diablerets the downhill skiing and finally Villars the ski and snowboard cross contests as well as ski mountaineering.
The resorts are getting ready for the event. This winter, Les Diablerets ski area will be dotted with a brand new 10-seater gondola carrying 2,500 passengers per hour. Christened the “Diablerets Express”, it will carry walkers and skiers/riders to the Meilleret area in 6 minutes and 30 seconds. This will also delight the sledgers since it will make the sledge run more accessible. The ski area will also propose a floodlit run and a 100 m carpet lift for budding skiers. To make the most of all these new and existing installations, various activities are on offer, including night skiing and sledging evenings every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 21 December to the end of March.
Villars is testing out the events side by organising a FIS ski cross competition (European cup) from 11 to 13 January 2019 as well as the World Ski Mountaineering Championships from 9 to 16 March 2019. Same approach in the Vallée de Joux, at Les Grandes-Roches, where the OPA Games ¬– a cross-country skiing competition – will take place on 2 and 3 March 2019. Finally, in Leysin, the construction work on the halfpipe has begun.
These new additions will add to the winter delights of the different ski areas, which offer already a wide panel of winter activities. In Les Diablerets for example, Glacier 3000 welcomes skiers from October on. Other activities like the Peak Walk, glacier hikes or dogsled rides are also offered during the winter. In Leysin, visitors can have a go at tobogganing and ice climbing, experience the snow village or relax in Le Kuklos, the famous revolving panoramic restaurant. The Château-d’Œx Balloon Festival is a must and the Pays-d’Enhaut is also ideal for skijoring and snowshoeing. Finally, in the Vaud Jura in the Vallée de Joux, winter fans can choose between a walk on the frozen lake and night skiing at L’Orient. Saint-Cergue, for its part, offers visitors a chance to explore the region at night, with snowshoe and fondue or night skiing packages.