Swiss Alps skiing: an insider’s view

Swiss Alps skiing - chairlift
This photo taken from the “James Blunt” chair lift, yes, it’s named after the singer who has a home in Verbier. The mountain to the upper right is called the Mont Gele and is accessible by gondola and provides amazing off piste ski zones.

We’ve enjoyed Swiss Alps skiing since November 10, 2017 — Verbier, Switzerland to be exact! The resort of Verbier 4 Vallées officially opens daily from December 2, 2017 and stays open through the end of April, 2018.

How’s the snow?

A heavy snowstorm hit the region last weekend and lasted all day Saturday. Despite heavy snow and extreme winds, Verbier was able to open a good portion of the mountain for intermediate to expert skiers.  Four gondolas and four chairlifts were available. Slopes were open up to 3000 meters high.  By Sunday the storm gave way and gifted skiers with nearly 2 feet of fresh snow over the beautifully groomed trails!  As a result, we had some impressive fresh powder runs at the start of the day. With bluebird skies and frigid temperatures, the base for the season is off to an amazing start. The majority of the slopes are intermediate to expert level.  Several resorts joined together to compose Verbier 4 Vallées.  This creates a 400 square km zone of skiable runs, in addition to off piste areas and heli-ski possibilities.  Verbier attracts a variety of people who want to experience Swiss Alps skiing because of its accessibility and terrain.

Igloo at Gentianes

The area called Gentianes at 3000 meters (9800 feet) high. The round building is called the igloo and houses both a self service restaurant and gourmet service restaurant. To the left of the igloo is the station for the gondola that goes up to the top of the Mont Fort glacier.

How do I get there?

Access to the Swiss resort located in the state of Valais is quite easy. If you are flying in from abroad, the closest international airport is Geneva, which is 1hour 45 minutes by train to Verbier.   Several bus services run from Geneva to Verbier as well.  Another option is to take the train directly from the Geneva airport (track 3 towards Brig) to Le Chable (with a change in Martigny to track 1).  Le Chable is a town below Verbier with an extensive parking lot and a Gondola that goes up to the resort for Swiss Alps skiing. Gondola hours are 9:00 am to 7:30 pm daily, so be sure to plan your travel within that time.  If you miss the gondola, you will need to take the bus, which departs hourly and costs 6.20 francs. Because Switzerland is not part of the European union and the local currency is in Swiss Francs or CHF. Many businesses accept euros but may give change in CHF.

Who skis in the Swiss Alps?

Verbier is a fun resort with an active nightlife. It is a hotspot for the British Royals, Madonna, James Blunt and more. I recommend skiing Verbier 4 Valées especially during the non-holiday periods to really benefit from the wild terrain, and to catch a glimpse of some favorite celebs. A guide or ski instructor from the Swiss Ski School will make it easier for your first time on this vast mountain. The language in the region is French, however most people speak English, but please greet the locals with a “bonjour” and “merci beaucoup” to show you can make the effort to communicate in their language. See you on the slopes!


2 Comments on "Swiss Alps skiing: an insider’s view"

  1. Looks amazing! My husband and son love skiing. This destination is definitely on their wish list.

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