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!)

Full week in Verbier, or Verbier + some other resort?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My friends and I are planning to spend a week skiing in Verbier in late January. What we cannot quite decide on is whether we want to stay in Verbier the whole time, or if we should split our time between Verbier and some other nearby resort. (do half a week at Verbier, and the other half somewhere else).

Level-wise, all 3 of us are advanced, but definitely not expert skiers. Meaning that we all can handle any sort of a groomed black run, and most of us can handle ungroomed black runs that aren't too ridiculous. I've also done some easy off-piste ( i.e. black dotted runs in Ischgl, red dotted runs in St Anton, easy/intermediate trees in the US) but nothing terribly challenging. My friends don't have any off-piste or deep powder experience at all, but they are adventurous and willing to learn. From what I am reading about Verbier, it should be a reasonably challenging place, and in that respect it fits what we are looking for. At the same time, I can't quite figure out just how much terrain there is that would fit our abilities, since none of us are expert skiers that would go far off-piste to do backcountry skiing, which, if I understand it correctly, is one of the things to do in Verbier. Will there be enough terrain to keep us occupied and entertained for 7 days of skiing? I tend to prefer large ski areas, such as 3 Vallees, St Anton, Val d'Isere, etc. Is Verbier comparable to those? Or should we ski there for 4-5 days, and then move to some other nearby resort for the other 2-3 days?

Your advice is much appreciated!
latest report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@alenchic, You'll be fine. One of the most attractive features of Verbier are the itineraries. These are avalanche controlled, unpisted and are as challenging as you want to make them. You also have access to the entire 4 valleys, which in effect gives you 4 ski areas on one pass. There are over 400km of pistes in the 4V.
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?
I feel you will have enough to do in that one area easily to take you through a whole week.

It's a large area to travel just on piste, basically beatle shaped with the head to north. Nendaz and Veysonnaz sectors being the antenea of the beast are a long way out from Verbier village which would be the lower end of the body.

There's a huge range of levels to be skied and your stated skills should allow you to venture to every part of it without concern.

It stretches right up to severe within the normal piste control domain with the off piste going on further than that. You'll have no problem negotiating the pistes to match your skills with inbound severe areas very easy to hop over via lift if you judge them beyond ability, so you don't need to compromise where you go.

It fits the bill for your request very well I think and is a great ski area to explore. There are many different facing aspects to it so you can work your way round with the sun through the day and keep getting various conditions to ski.

It really is a very extensive area all in one domain and well worth your interest.
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
And if the snow is good don't forget down the hill to Bruson. A charming little diversion.
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@alenchic,

“Verbier, it should be a reasonably challenging place”

No, really? I always wondered why they ran the World Freeride Tour finals there.

Always seemed a bit flat to me Twisted Evil
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
@alenchic, in addition to the ideas above, if conditions are good, it would be a perfect opportunity for you and your group to try out some proper off piste. The off piste terrain is limitless in Verbier and there’s plenty of easy stuff a guide can show you. Contact www.powder-extreme.com if you are interested.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
You could stay in Verbier for a month and not run out of things to do, is my view. Our apartment is in La Tzoumaz (one of the linked 'satellites' along with Veysonnaz, Nendaz and Les Collons), but I'd not deny that being in Verbier is better from a logistical point of view, if nothing else: basically, it's the 'hub' of the 4 Vallées with various satellite 'spokes' as mentioned. It's also got a large pool complex if the weather is really bad, or you fancy a day off. And obviously the nightlife, if that's your thing. It'll take you a week just to get to grips with the 400kms (250 miles) of the 4 Vallées pistes. And off-piste, as mentioned above, is outstanding, as are the heli-ski options if you can afford them.

Download the Verbier app https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/verbier/id348884790?mt=8 and you can spend the time ahead of the trip looking at the various webcams.

Days Out: Culture vultures in the group wanting a day out can do the Fondation Giannada in Martigny http://www.gianadda.ch/accueil/101_actualites/ (lift pass to Le Chable and then short hop on the train to Martigny). It has a world-class Impressionist collection and outstanding modern outdoor sculpture park. A day at the big thermal spa and wellness complex in the valley at the Bains de Saillon https://www.bainsdesaillon.ch/en/ is another bad weather outing.

Transfers: Consider transiting by train if you're going via GVA https://www.sbb.ch/en and an app as well, although it can still be cheaper to rent a car. What I like about the train is that there's no parking hassle/cost in the resort and on returning, once you're on the train at Martigny, you can relax right through to the airport: none of that hassle of busy holiday traffic 'round Lake Geneva, finding somewhere to fuel-up, all the car return stress and worry the nutter hire company driver is going to scratch it and blame you, and shuttle bus etc - just step off the train in GVA and walk up to Departures. Outbound, the route is usually GVA>Martigny then change Martigny>Le Chable then télécabine or bus up to Verbier. But as I said, the economics doesn't always favour the train (even with the foreigners-only Transit Ticket) and depends a lot on the rates on offer for your specific dates from GVA car hire. One other upside to the train is if you're group is arriving by different flights: nothing more annoying than seven of you waiting 5 hours for #8 in the group to turn up because of a travel glitch.

There are companies that do transfers by minibus and coach, but these are more commonly to the French resorts. Swiss transfer services seem to be pricey and I've never used one. But if someone else can recommend one … Trouble with shared coach transfers is that you may be waiting for other passengers, or they may leave if you're badly late. But some people seem to like them.

Car Hire: Go to the Geneva Airport Car Hire page http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-72/ for links to the main car hire companies based there - mostly the ~.ch landing sites, which sometime have better rates and additional vehicle options not on the generic ~.com ones. For a larger group, a minivan may be cheaper than two separate cars. I'm a Hertz Gold Plus member and at busy times like season Saturdays, the Hertz Gold desk can save a lot of time queuing, but up to you how much this is worth if there's a premium to pay. But GVA Hertz doesn't offer straight-to-the-car pickup (at least not when I've used them).

Swiss Sector vs French Sector: Be aware that there are two car hire areas at Geneva Airport: Cointrin also called the Swiss Sector is in the airport itself and only 10 mins walk or there's a shuttle, but Fernay-Voltaire or the French Sector is waaaay out at a village on the north edge of the airport, in France. Fernay can be cheaper and that's fine if you're aware of why and happy with the more complicated road access and greater time to get to/from - it's your choice but if you just want a simple life then go for Cointrin. Also Fernay rental agencies have been known to not include winterization and mandatory Swiss motorway toll ('vignette') and have these as options which then make them no cheaper than the Cointrin pickups (which include them). February, a friend of mine "got a great deal" for a car he picked up from Swiss Sector / Cointrin - but when he took it back they told him the drop-off was at the French Sector / Fernay Voltaire! Cue a road tour of the airport environs; one very annoyed wife; and an almost-missed flight: so just double-check your details before clicking.

Even if you car hire, if your group is arriving by different flights, it's worth pre-planning how to get to Verbier by train, in case one or more of you are badly delayed. Then the rest can press on and get to your accommodation and the laggards can get the train. The station is in the airport complex and the ticket office all speak English so it's really not a big challenge to DIY your own train trip. You're usually catching an intercity train to Brig and then changing at Martigny for the short hop to Le Chable. If you have a car and don't mind picking them up, then you might drive to Martigny or Le Chable to meet them. Although if they're at Le Chable in the valley, they could probably hop on the télécabine or bus and get into central Verbier almost as quickly.

Offers & Info: Last year, Téléverbier (the lift company) ran a number of discount schemes including an attractive all-season pass for under-25s that was still cheaper even for just a week. So keep a lookout on the Verbier website for what might be on offer this year http://www.verbier.ch/en/index.htm?respp=9&cat_id=13&val_33=200065&hide_data=33;200065&tri=1&Tri=1. Other useful travel sites would be the Swiss National Tourist Office https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/home.html and the London Swiss Travel Centre (STC) https://switzerlandtravelcentre.co.uk/.

Apps: As well as the Verbier App it's worth downloading the Geneva Airport App http://www.gva.ch/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-470/ which I find is usually more prompt in sending flight and delay info. Also the Swiss Météo weather app is pretty accurate and has a good snow/cloud animated forecast https://itunes.apple.com/ch/app/meteoswiss/id589772015?l=en&mt=8 and obviously, try to load these before you travel.

MySwitzerland.com above will send you old-fashioned brochures: I always like to order the winter ones for the coffee-table so I can leaf through them at idle moments and get excited about my winter holiday.....


Last edited by Then you can post your own questions or snow reports... on Sat 11-08-18 14:42; edited 13 times in total
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@alenchic,
Personally I can't imagine running out of things to do in Verbier.
The only thing to be aware of is that if you are used to and like fast modern lift systems once you are out of the main Verbier area you don't have them.
The areas beyond Verbier many of the lifts are slow and old.
Whenever I've been they've never been crowded and it has never been a problem for me but some folk don't like it.
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.
I know OP is planning late January but if you have to change your potential dates: like most resorts worldwide, if you can avoid going in the school holidays that's preferable. Flight costs are astronomical compared to term times and obviously, everywhere is busier. My understanding is that the main school holidays this winter are (2019)

4-9 Feb Germany
09 Feb - 2 Mar ~ France
18-22 Feb ~ UK State Schools (Private schools often earlier/later)
16 Feb - 9 Mar ~ Various Swiss Cantons
02 Mar - 9 Mar ~ Belgium

8-26 Apr ~ UK State Schools
13-27 Apr ~ Easter

But you should do your own research. The above is just a quick summary of what's on our letting Agent's web pages. Overall, January after the New Year Week up to and including the 1st week of February is usually when we go and school hols are minimal, as is the slot after the mid-terms hols end around early March and before Easter. This leaves you with something of a choice of early but cold and possibly bad weather vs later and possibly warm and sunny but may get slushy.

The really worst time to go would be when all of France, the UK and the local Cantons are simultaneously on holiday i.e. 16 Feb - 9 March.
snow report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quote:

Even if you car hire, if your group is arriving by different flights, it's worth pre-planning how to get to Verbier by train, in case one or more of you are badly delayed. Then the rest can press on and get to your accommodation and the laggards can get the train.

On one of my trips to Switzerland, I ran into a fella who was in that exact situation. His fight was cancelled so he missed the rendezvous with his group (by a day). He was told to take a train! Shocked

Fortunately, that's what I was going to do anyway, albeit to a different resort. So I let him tagged along to walk over to the train station and up to the ticket window. Watched me purchase my ticket (mine were a more complicated itinerary). Then he got his ticket and instruction on which platform to wait for his train...

I have reason to believe he got to his destination in good time.
snow conditions     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Verbier is the best allround ski resort on Earth.

Verbier has the best lift-accessible steeps in the world.

Stay in Verbier all week.
snow report     
 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.
Thank you all so much for your advice! We are going - I booked the hotel for the full week Smile. Really looking forward to the trip!

Special thanks for all that additional information in regards to transportation, timing, tips, etc. We will most likely take the train, although it looks like I might have to fly through Zurich- it's literally half the price of flying to Geneva from NY, so I think that is worth spending an extra hour plus on the train each way.
snow 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
@alenchic, excellent. Out of interest which hotel did you go for?
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
What @Whitegold, says. Its a magical place.
ski holidays     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Well, I actually work for Marriott hotels, and so I get a discounted rate at the W, which is what I've booked. It's still quite expensive, so I am considering getting a self-catered apartment instead (that's the only option that's cheaper than my rate at the W, from what I've seen on booking.com), but I am not sure... It looks like the W is ski-in/ski-out, right next to the lift, which may be worth the extra money. But I am sort of dreading the thought of how much money we will end up spending eating out every day/night. Switzerland is expensive, in my experience, and from what I understand Verbier is even more so.
snow conditions     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@alenchic, The W is ski in and right next to the Medran gondola.
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Verbier is no more expensive than anywhere else in Switz, actually it is often a bit cheaper!

Strange but true...(not claiming it is cheap for a Brit,,,,just that many other places, notably the main cities, are worse)
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?
@alenchic, well the W is about as good as it gets and is across the road from the lifts so I’m jealous! But yes eating every meal out is not going to be cheap! How many of you are there? Quite a bit of Verbier accommodation on Airbnb which may be worth a look...
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
@rungsp, that's reassuring.
@BobinCH, there'll be 3 of us, an awkward number. Thank you for the Airbnb suggestion, I will take a look!
snow conditions     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
If it were me, I'd eat peanut jelly sandwiches all week to stay in a ski-in/ski-out place!
snow conditions     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
We stayed at the W two seasons ago. It's ski in and a brief walk to the Medran. Friendly ski rentals across the plaza if you need it.
snow report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy