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Top 5 Reasons To Go Skiing In Verbier
Verbier is simply one of world’s best ski resorts. It’s a haven for beginners, intermediates, powder skiers and party lovers alike.
A unique blend of sunny south-facing intermediate slopes and world-renowned off-piste gives some insight into why this resort is beloved by many. However, to help you gain the full picture, I’m going to share my top 5 reasons to go skiing in Verbier.
The only challenge I faced when writing this article was narrowing the list down to 5. With so many positive things to say about this fabulous Swiss ski town; it’s a miracle I managed to finish writing before packing my bags and purchasing a lift pass.
Verbier is home to some of the best off-piste skiing in Europe. It’s renowned as one of the premier backcountry resorts in the Alps thanks to its huge variety of lift-accessible ‘itinerary’ slopes.
Itinerary slopes are officially designated for off-piste usage and provide a superb learning environment for budding powder hounds. They are marked by yellow poles and left completely ungroomed yet still controlled for avalanches. As you might expect; they are remarkably fun when fresh snow is falling.
Away from the designated terrain; backcountry skiers enjoy skinning and skiing from one valley to the next. The reliable snow conditions, fantastic views and often sunny conditions all contribute to what makes Verbier one of the best ski touring destinations in Europe.
Exploring the unchartered territory can easily be accomplished within a day and you never stray too far from civilization. The vast network of lifts allows you to access isolated valleys and get back to Verbier multiple times during each excursion.
Whether you’re just staring out on your off-piste journey or consider yourself a seasoned veteran; Verbier is sure to get you excited. It doesn’t get much better than making fresh tracks in the Swiss Alps. Trust me; I’ve searched far and wide.
Verbier is the jewel in the crown of Switzerland’s biggest ski area; the ‘4 Vallees’. It’s a monstrous combination of peaks and valleys that offers 412km (256 miles) of downhill skiing that’s spread across 205 marked pistes.
The huge area provides a diverse blend of beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes. It’s a great location for mixed ability ski groups and everything from easy to reach nursery slopes to powder inspired tree-skiing is easily accessible via a network of 92 lifts.
The lift system provides all the efficiency you might expect from one of the best ski resorts in Europe. A variety of gondolas, chairs and surface lifts grant you seamless access to the 8 resorts that are dotted across the 4 Vallees. Visiting each one should be considered a great achievement for any skier!
Another number that will help you recognize the magnitude of Verbier comes in the form of elevation. The resort of Verbier itself sits at a height of 1500m, with the accessible peak of Mont Fort sitting at a snow-sure summit of 3300m.
In order to put this into context; the lowest marked ski route in the 4 Vallees runs into Le Chable. It takes you all the way down to 821m and gives the area a total skiable vertical of 2509m, which ranks as the second biggest in Europe.
However, one statistic stands out amongst all these facts and figures. Verbier and its home, the 4 Vallees ski area, ranks as the 3rd biggest in the world. If you hate skiing the same run twice, it’s definitely the resort for you.
Verbier isn’t just about backcountry and powder. As you might expect; the enormous ski area provides a variety of blue, red and black terrain that will satisfy the needs of any skier.
Beginners are well-situated to learn their first turns without travelling far from the resort. Several top-class learning areas can be found right at the base of the mountain, with good snow almost guaranteed thanks to their height of 1500m.
Moving away from the learner slopes, you will progress to a range of mellow blue slopes that drop down into Verbier. Each of them offer a sunny environment and panoramic view while you perfect your turning technique.
Stepping up another level; intermediate and advanced skiers have a seemingly endless selection of cruisy groomers to choose from. Long red slopes snake and zigzag across the entire interconnected 4 Vallees area. One major highlight is the lengthy red slope that drops 1200m vertically from Attelas into the Medran lifts at the top of Verbier.
It’s a well-known fact that expert skiers arguably have access to the best skiing in Europe when they visit Verbier. A combination of very doable black slopes and some of the longest mogul runs in the world make it a haven for anyone more experienced. Not to mention the aforementioned off-piste terrain that’s quite simply unreal.
Verbier has a well-deserved reputation for having some of the best snow conditions in Europe. It’s no surprise when you consider the resort sits at a height of 1500m and boasts access to a peak of 3300m.
The ski season in Verbier will typically begin from the first week in December, although weekend openings often start taking place in November. Consistent early season snowfall has made it a popular resort for those seeking to ski before the Christmas break.
Following this early start, you will find more than enough snow coverage to ski all the way until the last week of April. The extended ‘spring skiing’ season provides superb coverage across the entire mountain, despite much of the lower slopes facing most of the sun.
Since plenty of the upper mountain terrain is located above 3000m; it’s not hard to find quality snow conditions throughout the season. Advanced skiers will enjoy the powder skiing that can be found throughout the famous off-piste itineraries. The fact that Verbier is the last stop on the Freeride World Tour should tell you everything you need to know about the epic snow that’s on offer.
Much of the beginner and intermediate terrain sits at a lower height, but still boasts snow-sure slopes throughout the season. The south-west facing nature of this area provides plenty of sunny weather that is a big hit with learners and cruisers, without sacrificing snow quality.
In recent years; the prevalence of snow manufacturing has only added to the quality of snow found on the slopes leading into the resort. With this combination of height, weather and technology; it’s no wonder Verbier is such a superb location.
Verbier is more than just sliding on snow; it’s also home to some of the world’s best après ski. Across the resort you will find more than 12 bars and discothèques that offer nightlife that is sure to keep you dancing until you drop.
Once you finish your last run in the afternoon; you will be greeted with slope-side bars that offer scenes reminiscent of a beach club. Ice Cube, Bar 1936 and Big Ben Pub all offer loud music, deckchairs in the sun and a vibrant social scene that will kickstart your evening.
Anyone looking to take their après ski to the next level will usually be drawn to one of Verbier’s most popular watering holes; Mont Fort Pub. It boasts a variety of delicious snacks and a range of cocktails that are perfect for healing your wounds and toasting your triumphs after an intense day on the slopes.
If you’re still in the mood to get merry; the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Heading over to the lively Farinet Après Ski bar will have you dancing on the tables in no time. It guarantees a lively atmosphere that features the best live bands in Verbier and a legendary sliding roof for when things get heated.
Those in the mood to spot celebrities or rub shoulders with the wealthy can also check out Farm Club. Its eye-watering prices are matched by undoubted glamour. If you’re in search of the perfect late night selfie; it’s definitely the place to be seen.
The whistle stop tour of Verbier I just described paints a brief picture of the diverse, lively and entertaining nightlife scene you will find in Verbier. However, it’s hard to do this buzzing town justice through words alone; so I implore you to discover it for yourself.
If I had to sum up the Verbier’s après ski scene in one word; it would definitely be ‘awesome’.
Selecting the top 5 reasons to go skiing in Verbier was not an easy task. I could name countless positives that reflect on the magical nature of this winter wonderland. Limiting my list to just 5 was the only challenge I faced.
Amazing skiing, superb snow conditions, excellent off-piste, scenic views and a vibrant nightlife scene; it’s obvious why this ski town is viewed as one of the best in the world by so many. Just for the record; I agree with their sentiments.
If I could give you one piece of advice; it would be to go out and explore the resort for yourself. It’s an experience you’ll never forget, one that will keep you coming back for more.
My sheer excitement around Verbier is clearly evident when reading this article. It sets my hopes and dreams alive with every word I type. I can’t wait to get back out there this winter.