If you have any free time when you are in Leysin, or need any equipment for your course then we hope this information will help steer you in the right direction.
Tourist Information, Bouldering Wall and Swimming Pool. Leysin has a leisure centre just below the lift station on the right after the lift car park. There is a great swimming pool and climbing wall and the Centre is also home to the tourist information Centre. Your Carte de Sejour obtained at the Grand Chalet will give you discount at the pool.
The Tours above Leysin are a nature reserve and the rest
is classic Swiss pasture dotted with chalets and farms. The region is
served by a network of well-marked hiking and mountain-biking trails and
this, combined with the range of sports facilities within the village,
makes Leysin a popular destination for an active holiday and a pleasant
place to spend time before or after a course.
Our partner in Leysin is Hefti Sports which has both summer and winter equipment to buy or hire.
In summer you can buy or hire walking and mountaineering boots. Hefti Sports has a good range of boots and sizes. If you would like to hire boots for your course please contact Hefti Sports direct in advance to reserve a pair for when you arrive. If you do need any last minute kit then the shop also sells a range of waterproofs and outdoor clothing, socks, sun glasses, water bottles and other technical hardwear such as crampons and Ice axes.
Throughout the summer Hefti Sports also hires Mountain Bikes so you can explore the surrounding mountain bike tracks and trails. Leysin and the Leysin Tours above the village are littered with world class mounatin bike trails and 'full on' downhill mountain bike tracks which are all graded in difficulty. To access many of these runs simply take the Berneuse cable car up the mountain to the top of the Leysin Tours. The lift also accesses many of the walking routes around the Tours including the Via Ferrata.
Leysin has two great Via Ferratas, one which is only a 10 minute walk from the Grand Chalet. The second, the Tour D'Ai Via Ferrata is accessed from the top of the Berneuse cable car. The Tour D'Ai Via Ferrata is a fantastic day out which finishes on the summit of theTour D'Ai at 2,331m. Once on the summit you're rewarded with some amazing 360 degree views stretching out across Lake Geneva, around to the Mt Blanc Massif, the Swiss Valais and the Bernese Oberland.
Both the Via Ferratas are a great way to acclimatise and stretch your legs before your course. If you have any time at the end of your course and feel confident then the Tour D'Ai is great.
If you'd prefer to walk, there's also a popular mountain trail to the summit of the Tour D'Ai (which is also the descent from the Via Ferrata). This is a great day out and you can also take in other summits within the Leysin Tours. Whatever you decide to do, please make sure that you take care and get as much information as you can when planning your trip. Speak to Jacky or Lysiane at the Grand Chalet, Hefti Sports and also the Leysin Tourist Information office as they'll all very pleased to help.You can hire Via Ferrata kit at Hefti Sports in Leysin.
Hotel Grand Chalet Via Ferrata. This excellent new via ferrata can be found by walking directly uphill from the parking area just below the Grand Chalet Hotel. It takes around10 minutes to approach and about 2 hours to climb. There are two starts to the route, which traverses its way along the top of this cliff. This also allows you the option to bail out early if you wish to as this is shorter but steeper than the Tour D’Ai via ferrata. A short cows tail (an extender) is very useful for clipping in tightly to the cable if you get tired (the gripper clipper!). This via ferrata has sustained and strenuous overhanging sections on it.
Tour D’Ai Via Ferrata. For the more adventurous and technically minded this is approached from the Berneuse lift and takes about an hour to walk to the start. It is best approached by taking the path to Chaux de Mont and then walking towards the west face of the Tour D’Ai. This via ferrata is only grade 2, but is extremely exposed and not for those nervous of heights! There is an etiquette that users do not go down the via ferrata as this obstructs people on their way up and it can be dangerous to pass. Walk down the footpath from the summit cross.
Please note: If you do head up and climb the Via Ferrata, please ensure that you have a good weather forecast which is sunny and without the chance of afternoon thunderstorms, as the Via Ferrata makes a great lightening conductor! Please carry plenty of water and some food for the day, walking boots or approach shoes, warm clothes and take a waterproof/windproof jacket.
In the winter Hefti Sports also hires and sells skis and ski boots. They also offer a ski touring package which includes ski rental, boots, skins, harscheisen and poles. Please contact them direct to reserve this so that they have it ready for you when you arrive. Hiring ski equipment really does make sense especially when it comes to skis, as you get the latest models and can hire the best ski type and shape for the snow conditions at that time.