Verbier is a ski resort for gourmets.
The awe-inspiring 3.300-meter-high snow pyramid of Mont Fort will ensure that Verbier does not leave most skiers indifferent. Only the best or most daring skiers will decide to descend from the peak on steep trails full of moguls, while most skiers will rather stay on the terrace of the Col de Gentianes plateau. Nonetheless, if you belong to that braver and more experienced kind of skiers, keep in mind that on the first five kilometres of the trail, in the direction of Tortin, you will come across numerous moguls and predominantly wild and unkept terrains.
You can descend from Mont Fort above the Tortin Glacier another way as well. Between Mont Fort and Les Gentianes, a 1.4-kilometre zip line is installed. It reaches speeds over 100 km/h. The meeting point is located in the restaurant des Gentianes (where the zip-line ends).
The descent from Mont Gelé (3.023 metres) will make even the best skiers sweat. It is possible to descend from all sides around the peak. If you are a freestyle type of skier, untidy terrains will be a challenge for you, but also a paradise for performing various acrobatics. The only complaint is that some cable cars are not the newest, so they do not follow the expansion of accommodation capacities. In addition to the old and slow chairlifts, gondolas have been built in parallel on the main routes to increase the flow of skiers. Of the other, less adventurous trails, the trail from Chassoure (2.740 metres) towards La Tzoumaz is one to recommend. It passes through a beautiful landscape next to icy waterfalls. That side of the ski area around Savoleyres (2.354 metres) is much milder and the slopes are wide and ideal for carving. Verbier is also famous amongst snowboarders who consider it one of “their” ski resorts.
More than 400 kilometres of trails and a system of 101 cable cars connecting Verbier, La Tzoumaz, Siviez, Thyon, Veysonnaz, and some other smaller places is really impressive, as well as numerous off-trail skiing opportunities make this largest Swiss ski resort one of the most complete and best in the Alps.
Verbier is located in the south of Switzerland, in the province of Vallis where French and German language is mostly spoken. Although it does not have a long history as a ski resort, the small alpine village with churches and farms is beautifully organized so that it is easier to reach the cable cars and terrain. There are also several interesting museums in the village. The gastronomic offer is top-notch and it includes a wide span of different cuisines: from Swiss specialties such as fondue or rösti to Mexican food, and the always-present burgers and pizzas. The Milk Bar offers a perfect ski break and it is a great breakfast place where one can indulge in hot chocolate, homemade cakes, ice cream, pancakes, and milkshakes.
Since Verbier is the central village of the Four Valleys
it is sometimes quite difficult to sleep next to the largest selection of entertainment. Après ski starts below the bottom station of the Medran cable car at Place Centrale. Pub Mont Fort is the best après ski choice for retelling adventures while enjoying your beer. With the neighbouring Big Ben and Offshore Café, this area is the centre of events and a gathering place after skiing.
Other places of Quatre Vallées-a
Travelling from Verbier, the other places of the Four Valleys are not easily accessible by car as they are connected by roads only to the valley. For the average skier, it is possible to go skiing in the ski sectors above Veysonnaz (1.400 metres) or Thyon (2.000 metres), which is a much faster and shorter route than others. Veysonnaz, a small and quiet place in the neighbouring valley. It developed skiing and tourism a bit later than Verbier. It is located on a mountain and is ski-connected to the entire system. Additionally, it is famous for its quality accommodation in chalets. Neighbouring Thyon is a modern place with a rich offer of apartments and chalets well blended into fascinating nature. La Tzoumaz (1.500 metres) is a family-oriented place connected to Verbier by cable car via Savoleyres.
The best fun and the craziest skiing
The Four Valleys ski resort, I must admit, is not for everyone. It is great for advanced and good skiers, actually, for them, it is a real discovery. However, beginners do not have a big choice of trails as in some other places. Weaker skiers will wonder why they are here and not in the neighbouring Portes du Soleil. But, when the skiing is over and the night falls, the fun is immeasurable. The adrenaline that you will feel on the steep trails will continue in the night hours in Verbier where the fun is among the best in Switzerland.
Thanks to the organization of extreme ski races such as Verbier Ride and O’Neill Extreme, the craziest freaks from around the world come here for skiing. The goal of these races is to descend as fast as possible from the top to the valley without marked trails and on unorganized terrains. Everyone chooses their own path and it is necessary to be the fastest down – so “whoever survives the descend, will live to tell the tale”. For young people, or for those who still feel young, Verbier is the right choice and a winning combination of great skiing and nightlife.