Ready to tear your way through one of the most legendary spots in the world for expert skiers? Verbier is packed to the brim with high-altitude terrain, hair-raising piste, and incredible backcountry. And if that isn’t enough for you, you have the 410km 4 Valleys ski area on your doorstep.
But with epic slopes at every turn, how will you ever plan your week? Start sussing out an itinerary with this complete guide to advanced skiing in Verbier.
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Verbier’s ski area
Verbier sits at 1,500m, and its highest point on Mont Fort stands at a towering 3,300m. This means you can indulge in dreamy snow conditions throughout the season. With 27% of Verbier’s piste graded as expert, you can rest assured you won’t be ending a day under-stimulated. And with a seamless lift network, you can enjoy long uninterrupted cruises back into town.
With so much to do in Verbier, it might be difficult to tear yourself away. But, for advanced skiers, a 4 Valleys ski pass offers a huge return on investment. This gives you access to one of the world’s top five lift-linked ski areas, offering a fantastic variety of terrain and lift-served off-piste options. Modern high-speed lifts are on hand to whisk you away to the neighbouring resorts of Nendaz, Veysonnaz, Thyon, and La Tzoumaz/ Savoleyres.
La Tzoumaz/ Savoleyres is often dismissed as a beginner-friendly area, but you’ll find some fun tree skiing around this area. Both Thyon and Veysonnaz offer fantastic variety and quieter slopes. While Nendaz boasts north-facing slopes that hold their snow well and two tricky itinerary runs. And don’t forget about Bruson, perfect for bad weather days and lots of fun tree-skiing.
Verbier’s Black Runs
If you picked Verbier for its expert slopes, chances are you’ve already heard of Mont Fort. It’s the highest peak in the 4 Valleys, and the panoramic views from up here are enough reason to visit alone. On a clear day at the summit, you’ll be able to spot the Matterhorn, the Grand Combin, and Mont Blanc.
To ski back down Mont Fort’s steep black, you’ll need to be at the top of your game. After you’ve contended with the steep kilometre stretch of moguls, you can continue a 15km cruise back into Verbier choosing a variety of routes. You’ll definitely have earned a beer at apres after that descent.
Many people dismiss Bruson as an intermediate area, saved for bad weather days when the treeline can protect from the elements. But you’ll find some great skiing here and, if the sun is out in the rest of the 4 Valleys, it will be relatively quiet.
Pasay is the only black run in the area but offers two different starting points. Start with the easy option, gradually progressing to the main piste’s 600m drop, or throw yourself in the deep end with a steep 35° slope. Bruson is also a top spot for off-piste skiing, with lots of fun routes to take through the trees. Take some of the easier runs and keep an eye out for opportunities to spice things up.
For an action-packed morning in Nendaz, head up to the top of the Greppon Blanc. From here you’ll have three different black runs to choose from. Whether you then decide to head home or continue further afield, you can access the other areas via a series of tricky reds. You could also head over to Plan-Du-Fou, where you’ll have the choice of four different black routes. Les Fontaines is a steep and quiet run perfect for picking up some serious speed.
If you find yourself over in Thyon, make sure you try the Etherolla run. It offers outstanding views of the Grande Dixence dam and the summits of the Val d’Hérens. The long black is a real leg burner, with four different pitches to have a go on. Make sure you squeeze in a race down Piste de L’ors. As a former World Cup run with a 900m descent, it’s a real test for both your legs and nerves. But with fabulous views of Sion and huge bends to ramp your speed up, the pleasure will more than outweigh the pain.
On your way back into Verbier, hang out in Attelas for a while. Warm up with the short Lac Des Vaux black then recover on the cruisy reds and blues. Wrap up the day with the long FIS run down to the Carrefour back in town. It’s the perfect way to exhaust yourself before you wrap up the day, with a staggering 971m drop. With wide and varied piste, you can end the afternoon feeling satisfied.
Verbier’s Itinerary Runs
When looking at a 4 Valleys piste map, you might feel disappointed at the amount of black lines. But don’t let that fool you. A few years ago, many of Verbier’s black runs were re-graded as yellow itinerary runs. This means they’re no longer groomed but are still marked and opened/closed according to safety conditions. If you’re looking for an easy introduction to off-piste skiing with less risk, then these are the slopes for you. And with many of them lift-linked, you have the option to meet up with less confident skiers again at the bottom.
The most famous itinerary run in Verbier is the Chassoure-Tortin. It’s easy to access via the Lac Des Vaux 2 or Tortin-Chassoure lifts. Not only is it steep and icy, but you’ll also have to navigate a mogul field and a rocky traverse. But if your nerves can take it, the rewards are huge, especially on a fresh powder day.
Other itinerary runs to note are around Mont Gele, Col des Gentianes, and Lac des Vaux. If the idea of exploring the backcountry has captured your imagination, Verbier has some of the most accessible off-piste skiing in the world. You can find out more about Verbier’s itinerary runs and its backcountry opportunities in our off-piste guide to skiing in Verbier.