Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better!
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

4 Vallees help

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi folks...

Considering booking to go to the 4 Vallees next Feb but unsure on a) the type of terrain, and b) the access to the best slopes. Ive wanted to go to Verbier for some time, so thought I'd be a bit more pro active for next year. We're a mixed bag party, with advanced skiers/snowboarders, young children (4 under 9yrs) and 2 guys that have been snowboarding for 1 week only (blues mainly).

Ive seen a couple of chalets in neighbouring Nendez, but looking at the piste maps, it seems like it's a proper journey to get up the hill and across to the neighbouring resorts, especially Verbier... The last thing we want is to have to spend an hour just uplifting to get to decent areas... and I also have to consider the newbies and find them some relatively tame terrain within easy reach of home...

Any thoughts, ideas, advice, recommendations on where to stay in the 4 valleys would be hugely appreciated... Ideally would love Verbier but budget might mean we have to stay in the other resorts of the 4V...

Thx in advance folks...
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Nendaz is nice, albeit pretty quiet. We've only done a weekend there staying in a friend's chalet. I think the link to Verbier is dependant on the amount of snow they have and is not always open. Depends on the budget I guess, but I'd pay the extra to be nearer to Verbier.
latest report     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@AlpineAddict, I did a half term week in Nendaz but had a car, so mainly drove up to Siviez and caught the lift from there to Verbier. We could get to the Verbier skiing from there more quickly than people we met who travelled up from Verbier itself during that week. Only skied the link runs on the first day but poor snow cover meant we didn't do it again. There is a bus from Nendaz to Siviez which seemed ok, but it was rammed on the way back down from Siviez in the afternoon, while we sailed down past the queues in the car. May well be fine outside peak weeks. There is a thread on here about improving the links between Nendaz and Verbier but not sure how far that's progressed, so maybe worth a search.
latest report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Thx for this, and potentially confirming my thoughts...

Unfortunately, we'll be travelling in half term... My gut feeling is if we want to enjoy the stay, and it not be a chore to get about, we need to be in Verbier. Might have to shelve this location until I can afford to large it up in Verbier, or the [current] teachers and kids no longer require school holiday holidays...
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
How about the much nearer satellite of La Tzoumaz? (The following easier if you download a 4 valleys ski map:)

Nendaz is very isolated from the rest of the 4 Valleys and personally, I wouldn't base myself there given the choice of Verbier or La Tzoumaz as a base. Other forums report it's a bit of a bunfight at the end of the day getting back from Siviez. On the upside, it's got a wide range of accomodation and eating-out. But to get out you either (a) take the draglift up from Prarion then queue for the ancient Plan du Fou gondola or (b) go up to Siviez by bus.

Thyon-Veysonnaz-Les Collons isn't, so isolated and has more extensive runs, but it's a bit of a trek to/from the Verbier-Mt.Fort area. So again, regard this a self-contained ski area that's rather bigger than Nendaz, with the potential for a early start trip over to Verbier.

I'm biased, because we bought in La Tzoumaz as a Satellite and can get from there to the upper slopes of Verbier in about the same time, or less than if we had to come up from Médran (in the centre of Verbier). Of course, staying in verbier is usually quite pricey.

La tzoumaz pricess should be around half those of cantral Verbier, but you'll be skiing the same slopes in much the same time. If you stay in La Tzoumaz, you have about 100Kms of local north-facing ski area and (snow permitting) a 10kms toboggan run. You can ski over to Mayentzet and catch the chair to Ruinettes and you're on the upper slopes of Verbier. On the way back, you have to ski down to Carrefour and catch the bus to the Savoleyres Sud gondola, which takes you back to Savoleyes (the summit of the La Tzoumaz ski area).

https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/dec/06/satellite-ski-resorts-verbier-four-valleys-switzerland
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2296527/How-Verbier-cheap--stay-little-sister-La-Tzoumaz.html

To give you an idea of the accomodation on offer, here is the agency that manages our apartment. Note - I'm not trying to sell direct, ours is in there but it's just one of many. I'd suggest you consider self-catering in an apartment to keep costs down, or there are some new apartments that are in apart'hotel complex. Note that the Swiss convention is that the number of rooms minus one = number of bedrooms e.g. 3-Room is 2 bedrooms. To give an idea of price, our 2-bedroom apt is CHF 1,450/week in peak season; a 4-bedroom chalet CHF 3,800; and a luxury new chalet 5-beds might go up to CHF CHF 8,500 or so. Some of the restaurants also do catering, where you select a week's menu and they drop-off ready meals each day.

http://www.carron-immobilier.ch/en/rent

If you must have a catered chalet, then the easiet route might be to got to the Verbier Tourist Office website for La Tzoumaz and look at the chalet accomodation listed there, or contact them:

http://www.latzoumaz.ch/

or just do the standard web search and you'll see plenty listed.

To give you an idea of the ski area, have a look at the Verbier Webcams http://www.latzoumaz.ch/fr/webcams/webcams.htm and links (LIEU) for the village (La Tzoumaz) the summit (Savoleyres) and Croix de Coeur.

Main downsides (compared to Verbier)? If it's very windy, the older gondola from Verbier to Savoleyres is more prone to having to shut down than the newer ones (including the new one up from the village to Savoleyres; if Verbier gets chock-a-block, guides are prone to actually bringing people over to the much quieter Savoleyres sector (a bit annoying if you've been skiing nice quiet runs up to then); if the snow is really bad, then the run down to Mayentzet may get closed and you have to catch the gondola down and then the bus to Carrefour (upside is that the Verbi-ites don't come over and it can be surprisingly quiet).

Hope this is useful
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
What is your budget so people can offer you ideas rather than plugging their own business/resort wink

Verbier half term yes expensive or is it?? (Note Nedaz etc like Verbier put their price up in holiday weeks) Right now we (Verbier) are 50% full at best, my guess is rental companies would take an offer if you can book late....!

You can stay just outside Verbier in Verbier village Les Tourist is cheap, or down in Le Chable and jump on the ski lift directly in the morning, again cheaper than Verbier. (But not such an apres ski place)

MAP is cheap in Verbier village ok 7-8 in a room

AirBnB has some good offers as well for Verbier.

Kev
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I'm not 'plugging my own business/resort' I don't own La Tzoumaz (sadly) and, as I said, my apartment is just one of hundreds they'll find listed and unidentifiable anyway. We've stayed in Verbier and enjoyed it and thought it was good value but it was the most expensive family ski holiday per head. I'm just suggesting a satellite, like the Nendaz that they originally discussed, and if they look at the article I linked to, they'll see a lot of other satellite resorts mentioned elsewhere, which may also be worth considering. I didn't try to hide the fact that I own a place there, if you read it carefully.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I agree with @LaForet, La Tzoumaz would be a good bet, also look into Veysonnaz (World Cup run Piste de l'Ours) and the Thyon/Les Collons area, there are quite a few ski in/Ski out properties. Nendaz is a nice buzzy place but unless you're right by the Tracouet lift there is a lot of walking in ski boots.The Printse area has a lot of skiing for all levels and its certainly do-able to get to Verbier, albeit governed by lift timings coming back, you could then just get a Printse pass and top up at Siviez (chf 20) for the day for Verbier.
snow report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
This is a genuine question - given that the OP has some novices in his/her party - where do the ski schools take the beginners in La Tzoumaz? The airport run could be a candidate, but I wouldn't fancy getting a class of beginners there from the bubble.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@AlpineAddict,
I've been to Nendaz quite a few times and actually greatly prefer it to Verbier. A fairly major caveat is that I have not been in Feb high season so don't know what it is like then.
The local Tracouet area is very well set up for children with a great area at the top of the bubble, good for early skiers as well.
We have a hire car and usually drive up to Siviez from where much of the best of Verbiers skiing is more quickly accessed than it is from Verbier, if you don't have a car the ski bus will take you but can get unpleasantly crowded. The ski across if not driving up to Siviez can take a bit of time but is not an unpleasant ski and has been made more reliable by snow cannons and a faster chair on the return.
The resort itself has fabulous views across the Rhone valley and in my experience has been a great friendly place to ski.
latest report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Hi all

Thx for the responses and this site has again not let me down... @Verbier Kev, We have just spent around €6500 for our feb half term trip in Alpe d'huez (6 bedroomed SC chalet). I don't think we'll be wanting to spend much, if any, more than that...

@LaForet, very detailed response and I will take a closer look at your links this evening, thank you... Smile Smile

I'll take a harder look at the map and the La Tzoumaz area in particular... The 4 Vallees are one of several locations we're looking at, but Ive never been here and always wanted to go, but I do think for our group make up, I might have leave this place to a smaller group trip with similar ability people... Seems like it might be less hassle...

Thx again so far for the assistance folks... Appreciated...
ski holidays     
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I'm with @T Bar: Nendaz is the place to be, BUT you do need a car.
We went for many years at Easter, hiring a chalet from Interhome.
It is right in the middle of the 4-Valleys with excellent accommodation.
The local skiing is fine for a day or two, but with a car you can be up in Siviez as the lifts open and on up to Mont Fort before the Verbierites have got off their first Gondola.
Lovely runs over to Thyon and Veysonnaz, and easy access to the Chassoure gondola for the wonderful Tortin Bumps.
Finally, the run back to Siviez from the Tortin chair is just perfect for beginners to get their confidence.
latest report     
 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Thx folks... having done some investigation it appears that a 7 bed SC chalet in this region (in a decent location) is proving quite hard to come by... well, one that suits what we want for a chalet anyhow...

Onto the next location... Thx loads for the help guys...
ski holidays     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Apols for hijacking the post (as I see the OP is considering other resorts). We had booked a great value, central, UK-owned self-catered apartment in Nendaz for next January but sadly I have just heard that the owner is planning to sell it so has returned our deposit. I'm still keen on Nendaz (buzzy but not wild nightlife, nice choice of restaurants/bars and cheaper access to 4V) but thought I should ask how quiet Tzoumaz is as a resort in comparison as this could be an alternative. We were going to hire cars and drive to Siviez but as there are 8 of us, it's quite pricey and wondered how realistic it is to get reasonably strong intermediates down Les Fontaines (or can they download on the chair) back down to Nendaz?
snow conditions     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
LaForet wrote:


I'm biased, because we bought in La Tzoumaz as a Satellite and can get from there to the upper slopes of Verbier in about the same time, or less than if we had to come up from Médran (in the centre of Verbier). Of course, staying in verbier is usually quite pricey


I quite like the skiing in La Tzoumaz, especially with the kids, but not sure how you can justify the statement above!

Given that you need to take a 10 min gondola up from La Tzoumaz, ski down from Savoleyres and then take a long path to Mayentzet and then take another chair up it's going to take you a minimum of 30 minutes to get to Ruinettes from La Tzoumaz. It takes 10 minutes from Medran?

And that time certainly makes a difference if you want to be on the first Jumbo and Mont Fort on a busy day.

Even quicker access from Siviez although you wouldn't want to stay there.

La Tzoumaz has some decent snow sure North facing slopes, but the village tends to be cold as it gets little sun due to its aspect and convenient it certainly is not!

For what the OP asked either stay in Nendaz and rent a car so you can ski from Siviez, stay in Le Chable and get up early or stay in Verbier, which IMHO is a miles better holiday experience if you can afford it.
ski holidays     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@BobinCH: This certainly applies in school holdays, in our experience. First time in Verbier we got fed up with catching the bus to Médran or rather, watching 2-3 full buses go past as they were stuffed full of people. Second trip , even when we were by the Place Central and walked to Médran, the queues there were horrendous. So I stand by my statement that it's actually as quick/quicker to get to Ruinettes and Lac de Vaux from La Tzoumaz when the OP will be going. I would admit that the exception would be if you were near enough to Carrefour to get up to Mayentzet on foot/ski.

@SteveSparks: I'd agree that for complete beginners i.e. in their first week, it's a big transition from the Baby Lift slope to the Blue down from Savoleyres (past the altiport). Our children learned in Bardonnechia, where there were four learner-only, graded slopes of increasing difficulty. But then, while Verbier learner slope is nice and big, the next step is to go up to Ruinettes, which is an even bigger challenge to my mind.

@Mountaindoc: Yes, La Tzoumaz is quieter than Nendaz, and certainly not in the Verbier league for clubbing. Bars are the 'T-Bar' (new), Vitho/BigBen, and then bars with restaurants in Les Trappeurs, Harry's@Les Fougeres, Le Central, and during the day the Etablons at the piste/navette/carrefour. You can drink/eat up the piste at Chez Simon in the evening and then ski down if you're up to it. Or even stay the night there, up the mountain. So that's it. Probably enough to have tried them all out in a week but not really a clubbing mecca. My son did stay overnight in Verbier one night with a taxi between 5 coming back at 3.30am costing about £40 each but I'm not sure he thought it was worth the effort in the end.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks @LaForet,
@BobinCH,
Quote:

ski down from Savoleyres and then take a long path to Mayentzet and then take another chair up

I'm interested in staying in the Savoleyres area. Is there a way to ski from the top of the Savoleyres lift to Ruinettes? Or do I just get the ski bus to Medran?
ski holidays     
 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Mountaindoc, usually great sunny views from that side. From the top of Savoleyres you can ski directly to the Mayentzet lift which takes you up to Ruinettes. This is also the route back from the vallon d'arbi itinerary. Note that late season the path that you need to take can close due to the risk of wet snow avalanches from above in which case you'd need to take the bus.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
From Savoleyres, there are a number of runs down to a gate at the bottom of the draglift up to Savoleyres. You ski through the gate an onto the connecting run to Carrefour-Mayentzet.

Here's a video from the gate onwards, to Carrefour:
http://youtube.com/v/8_d-LgkoDmA

From Carrefour (the end of the video) it's just another 150m gentle downhill to the Mayentzet lift, which goes up to just above Ruinettes. Unfortunately, the 4 Valleys piste map isn't at a very good angle to make all this clear. Coming home to La Tzoumaz, you ski down to Carrefour by keeping right all the way down, and there's a shuttle bus to the Savoleyres Sud telecabine.

The video part of the route is actually tarmac road underneath (part of the road from Verbier to Croix de Coeur in the summer). So if the snow if really thin, it may be closed because the Carrefour end will just be tarmac (it does have to be quite bad for this to happen). Conversely, if there's been very heavy snow, the gate may also be closed because of avalanche danger (although you willsee poeple skiing underneath it often). In these cases, you would have to catch the Savoleyres Sud telecabine down, and then the shuttle bus to either Carrefour or Medran. The former is almost always preferable, as Mayentzet is usually less busy than Medran.
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It's worthwhile saying that the status of the link video'd by msej449 is shown on the website and the big display boards. So you will know if the gate is closed before you get to it. If like me you forget to check, you then have to choose whether to follow the people ignoring the gate and pressing on or take the draglift back up. As implied above, the link is usually open but can be closed in bad conditions. If you think that an avalanche looks unlikely, as it's really a very gentle run down to Carrefour, then take a look at one which was recorded a few years ago:


http://youtube.com/v/7IBDScL_l_Y

It doesn't look that threatening, because it's going fairly slowly, until you realise just what force is behind it. And it's just worth saying that the link is usually open most of the time and if it's shut, it will be shut from first thing so you'll know.

As you can see, the video is about 4½ minutes. To get to the gate from Savoleyres is about 5 mins. The lift up from La Tzoumaz to Savoleyres is just under 9 minutes. Add 2 mins to get to the Mayentzet lift and then another 8 mins up. So in total, that's about 25 mins plus the usual faffing-around, so say about 35 minutes from La Tzoumaz to Ruinettes. I'd be surprised if you could get to Ruinettes from the entrance of Médran in a similar time, in a peak week. However, I appreciate that if the link is closed, then you have to use the old Savoleyres Sud télécabine down from Savoleyres and then get a bus to Carrefour, which will certainly take longer.
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@LaForet, with respect, you're suggesting there will always be a minimum queue of 25 mins at Medran while on the same day there will be no queue at La Tzoumaz or Mayentzet? Really....

Big up La Tzoumaz all you like but don't mislead people....

I've skied every weekend bar 2 in Verbier this season and haven't queued for more than 10 minutes at Medran. Most days there is no queue.

Probably due to the exchange rate this feels like the quietest season on the slopes in the 10 years I've been skiing here.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I've skied the area now for 14 years. Of course it's tricky to generalise. Outside of the school holiday weeks everywhere is quieter and I have never had to queue at La Tzoumaz and I'd concede Médran will be quieter too.

But to guarantee to the OP that they wont see long queues at Médran in school holidays seems pretty 'misleading' to me.

I'm actually quoting the 4 Valleys Tourist Office when I talk about it bring as quick from LTZ to say Lac de Vaux than from many parts of Verbier in peak weeks. Although that tends to be in the context of positioning the satellites of LTZ, Nendaz and Veysonnaz: "It takes just eight minutes to get to the top of the Savoleyres ridge in the new gondola and then it takes only a few minutes to get over to the beautiful restaurant Le Carrefour, in the heart of the Verbier slopes." (Luc Pignat, La Tzoumaz Tourist Office, in The Mail Online.)

These discussions of times, queue lengths etc are always subjective and hard to judge. They also involve a lot of assumptions that can cause unnecessary disagreement. If the OP has no financial constraints, then they'll be able to afford the premium you pay for being close to Medran or Mayentzet. And if they are unconstrained by school holidays, then they may find that there aren't any significant advantages time-wise to being in LTZ.

But I won't concede that in school holidays, for the same cost, I'd rather be based within walking distance of the LTZ telecabine rather than a distant bus ride from Medran, on the basis of the overall time it takes to get to Ruinettes. Perhaps we will just have to disagree.
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I didn't guarantee anything. I just pointed out the somewhat implausible implications of your maths and my experience of skiing from Medran this season
ski holidays     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Fighting the crowds at Medran on Sunday morning @ 9am on a powder day...


Hmmm not sure the path to Mayentzet will have any snow on it
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
If you really want to ski Verbier, and if you really want fast access to the slopes with 99.9% chance of zero queue....

Stay in Le Chable.

In the last ten years, skiing six-eight weeks a season, the single longest queue I have ever had was 5 minutes.
Note the word "single".

The lift takes 7 minutes to Medran, you don't get off, it goes straight through and up to Ruinnettes.

Plenty of places to stay, several restaurants of a wide quality spectrum (pizza to gourmet).
Several bars (but no nightclubs).

The night bus to/from Verbier operates until just after midnight.
The lift runs until 19.30 which allows for a decent Apres-Ski in Pub Mont Fort or Farinet etc.

If you want to be really close to the lift a new B&B (more like a mini boutique hotel) will open next season just 100m from the lift.
If you would like contact details I can give you them...sorry I don't know if they have a name yet!
snow report     



Derived from phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group & 2004-2013 snowHeads.com Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy