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Verbier, Swiss ski resort

Verbier, Swiss ski resort

Limitless off-piste opportunities
No Limit! You get the full sense of this slightly hackneyed expression in Verbier. At the top of the ski lift, gaze out over the panoramic views where the peaks extend as far as the eye can see and you'll understand what we're talking about!
A majestic chain of mountains with amazing steep slopes, incredible corridors, glaciers and rocks. Verbier is just made for skiing, and skiers will find all they need for a fantastic stay.
The many off-piste opportunities colour the whole atmosphere of the resort…
Join us now for a quick guided tour!
The skiable domain of Verbier and its 4 valleys
Verbier. Everyone in the ski world knows the name. Verbier covers a good part of the sunny plateau that looks out to the massifs of Combins and Mont Blanc.
The resort ranks among the top ten world favourites. The 4-valley domain, which boasts over 410 kilometres of slopes and is close to almost 90 ski facilities, is also one of the largest. Linked to Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon-les-Collons, it's possible go from one end of the valleys to the other in a day, taking in Chassoure, Siviez, Greppon, Blanc and Thyon…a great ride in this exceptional powder paradise.
Mont Fort
Located at an altitude of 3300 metres, Mont Fort is the highest peak in Verbier. The slope from the summit is considered as one of the best black slopes in Switzerland, and that's really saying something! The Italian, Simone Origone, reached a speed of 216.89 km/hr there in 2007.

La Chaux
The favourite place for snowboarders and intermediate or post beginner skiers.
The sunny slopes open onto the massif of Combins where you'll find the astonishing Chaux express, an installation that combines closed gondolas and ski lifts on just one cable…
Gulliver's snowpark
A giant snowpark of over 120,000 m² in la Chaux, featuring a specially designed trail, rails and a landing mattress. Don't miss the Verbier Ride in mid-December, the biggest early season event.

Savoleyres
Savoleyre boasts a number of exceptional features with slopes running down two sides, Coté Verbier to the south and Coté Tzoumaz to the north. The snow is better on the latter, but you'll need to be well covered! The slopes to the north are great for tree skiing, and ideal in foggy or poor weather conditions, which was what we experienced when we were writing our article.

The longest toboggan run in the French-speaking part of Switzerland
The Savoleyre sector boasts a 10-km toboggan run between the top Savoleyre lift station and la Tzoumaz. There aren't that many toboggan runs in ski resorts and it's really worth trying: an amazing experience!
Off-piste skiing in Verbier
The huge off-piste domain and its relative accessibility has made Verbier famous with all off-piste ski fans. Some areas are inevitably more popular than others. The corridors at Attelas Le Creblet from Attelas, and the Vallon d’Arby from Lac des Vaux are the top flavour of the month at present. From the pass at Gentianes, the favourites are the Col de la Chaux and the Highway.
Heliskiing
Forbidden in France and Austria, heliskiing is strictly regulated but allowed in Switzerland. You can heliski to three peaks: the petit Combin (3672m), the Rosablanche (3336 m) and the Aiguille du Tour (3540 m). It'll cost you though, a €300 per person, not including ski lift, meals and taxis. And don't think you're going to enjoy the solitude of the great white open spaces more easily. When the weather's fine, the helicopter is continually buzzing overhead and the long-awaited off-piste experience quickly loses its virgin snow charm. But do we really need to heliski in a place that has such breathtaking potential anyway? According to Mountain Wilderness, half the landing areas are located in limited or protected areas.
An off-piste run
Leave Medran and head for Les Ruinettes resort. Take the Funispace towards les Attelas. After a short descent towards the Lac des Vaux, the lift takes you to the Chassoure pass. On your left, you'll see the Tortin slope. Once across, you'll arrive at La Mouche slope. Ski to Siviez, then Plan du Fou and Haute-Nendaz. Head for Tortin, Chassoure and the Lac des Vaux. Come back via the Col des Mines.
Art de vivre
Not content with its reputation as an international resort, Verbier is also well-known in the world of …gastronomy! From the traditional raclette to dishes created by top chefs, the choice is varied and mouth-watering, something relatively rare in ski resorts. The higher altitude restaurants have an excellent reputation, especially Le Carrefour. Located at the slopes crossroads, you can't miss it. It's better to book first. The venison meat pierrade is a pure delight and the owner is incredibly friendly, which always helps.
All the Bagnards (inhabitants of Verbier) will tell you to try La Grange in the evening. The full house says it all. Despite it's simple appearance, this restaurant is probably the best in Verbier, with wonderfully rustic decoration and faultless service. The restaurant has been making its mark for over 25 years, and people travel from afar to enjoy its fish specialities. The Philippe turbot is good value and wouldn't be out of place in a 3-star restaurant. The brasserie and the grill are simpler, but the quality remains first class. You can enjoy healthy grills and traditional raclette but make sure you book first!
Best addresses and miscellaneous
Accommodation
We stayed at «Les Chamois» hotel, owned by the very friendly Oreiller-Jullier family. Great view over the Alps in the centre of Verbier. Phone: +41 27 771 64 02
www.hotel-chamois.ch
For other hotels, go to this link or log onto MediaHols rentals in Verbier.

The resort website www.verbier-st-bernard.ch

Off-piste opportunities
Verbier sport: +41 0277753363 - info@verbiersportplus.ch

Guide
JM Krattiger: +41 79 205 46 64 - jm.krattiger@bluewin.ch
Ski pass rates
You need to count around 60 FS (€40.70) for a day pass in high season and 343 FS (€233) for six days, putting Verbier on a par with the top French resorts.
Off-season, expect to pay around 494 FS (€335) for 3 nights in a 3-star hotel. Verbier lacks hotel rooms and the rooms on offer are expensive and of average quality. It's the resort's main weakness.

Ski lifts
The sometimes ageing facilities struggle to cover the huge domain and the influx of skiers during the busy holiday periods. It's better to go in January or March if you want to get the most out of this exceptional site.
For more information on heliskiing, read our article Heliskiing in Turkey on Winter-Sports.com or find out more on Heliskiing abroad.
Photos: N. Cuche E. Beallet
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