Best Ski Routes in Verbier
Verbier is a true winter sports wonderland and anyone who likes to strap on a pair of skis and explore snowy terrain is impressed with this resort. As it’s located in the 4 Valleys, the biggest ski resort in Switzerland, it’s easy to see why so many novice and advanced skiers rush to Verbier every winter.
The entire ski area has over 400 kilometers of slopes with more than 90 ski lifts and many off-piste runs. No matter your skills, you can be sure that you will find one of the best Verbier ski routes tailored to you, even though you might need a guide to skiing in Verbier first.
Best beginner Verbier ski routes
Beginners have a choice between four nursery areas, all of which are easy to handle:
- Les Esserts. This is the largest ski area for beginners in Verbier and has short, gentle slopes that are family-friendly and very popular amongst novice skiers. It has one drag lift and two magic carpets, one of which is the longest in Switzerland.
- Le Rouge. After you tackle Les Esserts, you can visit the Les Rogue nursery ski area that has slightly more inclined slopes and it can be great for beginner progress. It has one drag lift with variable speed and two slopes.
- Les Moulins. Right in the heart of Verbier, you will find Les Moulins, which is the smallest of the beginner ski areas with just one short drag lift and a slope of 318 meters in length.
- La Chaux. If you’re confident enough on the other nursery slopes, you can progress to the La Chaux area, which is further up to the mountain. There are slow blue pistes in the area which often soften up in the afternoon as the slope is south-facing, so they aren’t too hard to handle.
Best intermediate Verbier ski routes
When it comes to Verbier ski routes, intermediate skiers have more choices. As the 4 Valleys ski area has 400km of pistes, if you want to hit all of the intermediate ski routes, it won’t be an easy feat. But if you’re up for a little adventure, you can explore the area and tackle some great routes.
From Verbier to Thynos
You can go to the ski resort Thyons, which is an intermediate skier’s paradise. Take the piste down Lac Bleu or the more challenging one down Lac des Vaux until you arrive at two chairlifts.
One of the chairlifts, an older three-seat lift called Lac de Vaux 2, will lead you to the most popular itinerary in the entire 4 Valleys. This area goes from the top of the Chassoure chairlift (2,740m) to the bottom of Tortin (2,050m).
When you reach the bottom of Torin, you can continue your way down to Sivez, from where you will jump on the Combatzeline Gondola and reach the Greppon Blanc double button lift.
The lift on the left-hand side will lead you straight to the top that sits at a height of 2,700m, from where you can descend into the fourth valley. There you will find a plethora of pistes and many open slopes perfect for any intermediate skier.
From Mont Fort to La Chaux
If you’re looking for a little bit more of a challenge and want to push your advanced skills on harder terrain, you can take the black piste that descends from the top of Mont Fort (3,330m).
Reach Col des Gentianes, a high mountain pass which is located in the district of Entremont in the canton of Valais and has an elevation of 2.906 meters. There, you will find a big cable car that will take you up to the highest accessible point in Verbier that’s an impressive 3,330m.
To the left of the glacier, you will notice that the slopes are at a much shallower angle but those slopes are also the ones that are used the most. As you make your way down to the Col des Gentianes, you will notice that the gradient becomes easier and you will be able to put in some faster wide turns.
After all of this, you will be able to take the long red run that goes down into La Chaux.
Best advanced ski routes in Verbier
Advanced skiers who are on the lookout for a true challenge have many Verbier ski routes to choose from.
If you’re looking for steep descents you can test your skills on the Chassoure-Tortin “wall” located in the Col de Chassoure. Simply drop straight in and tackle the moguls which shouldn’t be an issue for advanced skiers, and the terrain will become less bumpy as you go along.
While Mont-Gelé offers endless skiing opportunities, there are two official skiing itineraries for it. One of them takes you down the south face and ends up in La Chaux, and the other one takes you off the back and leads you to Torin.
If you want to take the south face descent when you exit the cable car at the summit, drop in on the right and make your way diagonally left until you reach the choke point. There, you will be met with a big open bowl that ends up in La Chaux.
If you continue straight, you’ll end up on the Col des Gentianes-La Chaux red run, and if you progressively cut diagonally, you’ll end up on the La Chaux 2 blue run.
The Mont-Fort sector has one marked black run that’s just waiting for experienced and advanced skiers. When you reach the top of the Mont Fort 2 tram, you’ll be met with an amazing view of the Matterhorn in the East and Mont Blanc to the West.
From there, you can make your way down the stairs where you will end up at the top of the mogulled and steep piste. To master the piste, you need to follow the fall line to the skier’s left of the lift until you can cross to the right side of the front face where the terrain becomes easier and mellower.
This area also has one marked black piste advanced skiers will enjoy, and it’s called La Pasay Noir. The piste has two starting options, both of which fuse when you go lower down. When you reach the top of the La Pasay triple chair, simply exit right and take another right to get to the start of the piste.
The piste itself follows the fall line to the skier’s left, but you can also go straight when you get off the lift to enjoy the wrap-around portion of the run which is short but more scenic.
Best off-piste routes
Verbier ski routes are well-known all over the world, but this resort is also famous for its off-piste runs. In fact, off-piste skiing is considered to be one of the top winter activities in Verbier.
Keep in mind that these routes are not beginner-friendly and while some intermediate skiers can tackle them, advanced skiers are usually the ones on the lookout for the best off-piste runs.
These are some of the best and hardest ones:
- Rock ‘n’ Roll. This is the first major couloir along the Attelas ridge. The run itself is very steep but kind of short, and skiers should be on the lookout for a large rock in the middle of the couloir. While the run itself is little, the biggest challenge for skiers is getting around this rock.
- The trees at Siviez. On the left of the Combatseline red run, you can find a set of narrow couloirs through the trees. These runs are at a lower elevation, so they require good snow cover. After you tackle the couloirs, you can take the track on your left to reach a boulder field, which is perfect for those who like to jump while skiing.
- The backside of Mont-Fort. Quite possibly the most famous off-piste run, this route is accessible from the top of Mont-Fort with multiple steep routes that are usually covered in snow. After you are done with a route in the first section, you can choose one in the second section with bootpacks up other ridges.
- Turtle Back. To reach this route, you will need to take a short skin up from the end of skiers which will last around 20 minutes. Just go right from the Mont-Fort cable car and when you reach the run, you will be able to choose between multiple pitches with varying degrees of steepness.
No matter if you’re a beginner, intermediate, or expert skier, you’ll find a plethora of pistes that cater to you and your skill level. And even though the Covid-19 pandemic is still making travel difficult, you won’t have to worry about your health here, as the resort complies with all the necessary health guidelines.
You can have an unforgettable and safe time while exploring the best Verbier ski routes, and leave all of your worries behind. But before you book your ticket and especially if you’re planning to come to Verbier regularly, you should check out real estate for sale and find the perfect place to stay while you’re on vacation.