<p>Come to Verbier to explore the 4 Vallées and experience incredible off-piste and backcountry skiing.</p>
Photo: verbier.ch/Melody Sky

Guide to Skiing in Verbier

Come to Verbier to explore the 4 Vallées and experience incredible off-piste and backcountry skiing.

Resort Guides
Published at: 28 Aug 2020
Last updated at: 13 Feb 2023

Famous for its off-piste skiing and mogul fields, Verbier attracts powder hounds from all over the world. Linked to the 4 Vallées, Verbier forms part of Switzerland’s largest ski area with 410 km of pistes to explore. Stretching from 1,500 to 3,330 metres, Verbier is one of the top ski areas for advanced skiers.

Serena Norton
Serena Norton

Verbier Ski Area

The main Verbier ski slopes are served by lifts from Médran, with two gondolas ascending to Les Ruinettes. During peak periods, the lifts from here can get busy, so an alternative is to drive or take the shuttle bus to Carrefour, giving you access to the fast Mayentzet chair to Les Ruinettes. From here, you can reach the gently sunny bowl of La Chaux, a fantastic network of red runs surrounding Les Attelas and further up the mountain, Col des Gentianes and the top of Mont Fort at 3,330 metres.

From Gentianes, you can head to Tortin which is the limit of the Verbier lifts. You will need a 4 Vallées pass to reach the likes of Siviez, Nendaz and Veysonnaz-Thyon. It’s worth pointing out that whilst the region claims to have 410 km of slopes, the 4 Vallées are in fact widely scattered with some tedious links and not the continuous ski network you might expect. Accessed from the north-west end of Verbier, Savoleyres is a smaller area of sunny open slopes and shadier forested runs which often fall under the radar. This is a great place to ski on low-visibility days. Bruson should also not be forgotten; accessed via a gondola from Le Châble, it offers quiet scenic slopes and some fantastic off-piste terrain.

Beginner skiing in VerbierPhoto: Verbier Promotion

Is Verbier Good for Beginners?

Whilst Verbier wouldn’t necessarily be a ‘go-to’ option for beginners, the resort does have accessible nursery slopes. These can be found in the middle of the village at Les Moulins and at the larger Les Esserts, which features one drag lift and two magic carpets. Once you’re feeling confident on the nursery slopes, La Chaux has some gentle blue pistes to progress to. Verbier is also renowned for its fantastic ski schools and guides, making it a great resort for stepping up your skiing level.

Intermediate Skiing in Verbier

There is excellent and varied intermediate terrain in Verbier with the main slopes concentrated between Attelas and the village, around Les Ruinettes and at Lac des Vaux and La Chaux. However, these slopes can get crowded so don’t rule out heading over to Savoleyres or La Tzoumaz where there are some pleasant red runs with fewer people.

Adventurous intermediate’s have more scope in Verbier, as travelling across the 4 Vallées often involves negotiating some trickier runs. There are some fantastic intermediate itineraries accessible from Lac des Vaux; both Val d’Arbi and Col des Mines are a great introduction to off-piste skiing.

off-piste-skiing-in-verbierPhoto: Verbier Promotion/Yves Garneau

Expert Skiing in Verbier

Verbier is one of the best places in the world for advanced skiers and is a mecca for off-piste skiing. Much of the challenging skiing centres around Mont Fort, with a steep kilometre-long, often bumpy, black run from the top down to Gentianes-Tortin. Verbier’s most challenging itinerary is Tortin with a rocky traverse and huge mogul field to navigate. Another respected line on the mountain is known as ‘Banana Couloir’, with access from the top of Mont Gele.

For powder-lovers, heli-skiing is also possible; the four drop-off points are Petit Combin, Glacier du Trient, Rosablanche and Pigne d'Arolla.

Snowboarding & Freestyle in Verbier

With its epic off-piste, it comes as no surprise that Verbier is one of Europe’s top resorts for extreme snowboarding. Verbier hosts the last stage of the Freeride World Tour; Xtreme Verbier sees the best male and female freeride skiers and snowboarders compete on the Bec des Rosses north slope.

Located at La Chaux (2,250m), Verbier’s snow park offers a diverse range of obstacles from kickers and rails to boxes and even an airbag feature. There are four separate lines catering for all abilities plus a ski cross course.

Skiing off-piste in the backcountry in VerbierPhoto: verbier.ch/Yves Garneau
Making fresh tracks in VerbierPhoto: verbier.ch/Melody Sky
Snowboard free-riding in verbierPhoto: Verbier Promotion/Anders Ödman

Where to ski off-piste in Verbier?

Verbier is one of the most renowned resorts for off-piste skiing in the world thanks to its ample backcountry ski areas. Easily reached with a high traverse along the top of the Chassoure-Tortin slope, Col de Mouches is a popular area for off-piste skiing in Verbier, whilst Col de mines has a moderately steep grade for a more relaxed descent. For the first skiers in the morning, the untouched powder here is amazing.

Part of the 4 Vallees, skiers and snowboarders staying in Verbier can also enjoy the backside of Mont Fort, however, this is not the most suitable area for snowboarders due to the amount of walking needed. Accessed at the top of Mont-Fort, there are several routes to take in order to descend the mountain. The first section is pretty steep so why not hire a guide who will know the area like the back of their hand and help you to descend the area safely.

Following ample snowfall, backcountry skiers can also enjoy a set of narrow couloirs through the trees on skier’s left of the Combatseline red run that lead you back to the Siviez area.

View over Verbier and its luxury ski chaletsPhoto: Verbier.ch/ Melody Sky

Where is Verbier Ski Resort?

Verbier ski resort can be found in the centre of the 4 Vallees, in the French speaking western part of canton Valais in Switzerland. Part of the largest Swiss ski area, there are numerous luxury ski chalets in Verbier available to rent. The nearest major airport to Verbier is Geneva (160km) with a transfer drive time of around 2 hours, however Sion is even closer (52km) to Verbier and particularly popular for those flying into the resort by private jet.

Whilst Verbier does not have a train station, visitors can still make their way to this world-class ski resort by train with Le Châble train station located just down the valley. From Le Châble, a lift will take you all the way to the centre of Verbier in just 10 minutes.