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How to approach Verbier

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
One week away. First time visiting. Busiest week of the year, but what can you do. We are staying in Verbier, but apparently in a neighborhood that is a 10 min bus ride closer to the savolyres lift, or area?

Any suggestions as to how to approach the mountain? Go to medran and just head as high up as possible and explore? Are there many itineries to find good/less crowded terrain that keeps us in resort and out of trouble? I assume all 4V are connected and we should just explore? Any recommendations, ski circuits, lunches, dinners, etc are most appreciated.

Very excited to see the area.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Redwine, sounds like you may be better getting off the bus at Le Rouge, taking the Poma lift there and heading to the Mayentzet chair to avoid theMedran scrum.

There are plenty of itineraries, which are secured as long as you stay close to the poles. Trip across the 4V always good fun and well connected. Beware bottle necks at Greppon Blanc and Tortin on your way back.

Get a guide for a day if you want to explore the back country, but at this time of year you will need to reserve in advance.

Reservations for dinner are likely to be needed.

Have fun!
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 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?
The best way is from the South West, up the access road Toofy Grin
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@Redwine, when busy , get to medran early and head down to la chalbe and over to Bruson , we were in Verbier at same time last year and spent loads of time in this quiet area , with great skiing and an interesting itinerary also nice local small restaurants , but also skied most other areas without to much trouble getting around , have fun its a great place
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've just returned from three weeks in the 4 Vallées, based in the satellite of La Tzoumaz. We've previously stayed in central Verbier as well. I think the advice to avoid Médran first thing is good if it's busy or Weekend but the best advice rather depends on where your accomodation is: can you say where you're staying in Verbier?
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@Redwine, timing is everything. Medran is fine at 8:45 but get there at 9:15 with the ski school groups and it may be carnage. Some tricks:
- as above get the bus to Carrefour and uplift via the Mayentzet chair. This is a fast 6 and you never queue more than 5 mins.
- get the bus to Savoleyres and go up via the James Bond gondola. But it’s slow and will probably also have the top end of the resort wueueing there at 9:30
- get the lift from Mexran and take the gondola down to Le Châble. Go and ski in Bruson. Amazing on a powder day but why not on a busy day
- (cheeky) get the lift and take the bubble down to Le Châble but stay on and come back up to Verbier. It’s an 18min round trip and occasionally they haul you off at Le Châble but locals still do it...

For the 2nd half of your question you need to tell us your ski level, preferences, dining out style etc. Assuming you are a ski legend, Bec des Rosses could be in great condition!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
lol. thank you all. we are staying at route de creux, seems very near savoyleres lift. small bus ride to town?

thank you for lift suggestions. we have become experts at pushing and shoving after a few 1/2 terms in the alp, but it would be nice to avoid them when possible.

bobch. thanks for all the videos over season. i think you are more aggressive at hiking but the terrain seems worth it. i have hired a guide for a few days so hopefully they will get us to some of that terrain. i don’t really know how to read avi danger enough so maintained itineraries when i ski with my daughter is probably safer. fairly good at all off piste, really don’t like big drops into chutes but getting the heart going a little is fun occasionally. really enjoy the feeling of being away from the crowds.

for restaurants. i think we have a good idea of dinner spots for swiss/mountain food. sometimes it’s nice to have an option other than cheese / dried meats (don’t hate me please) so any decent non swiss restaurants appreciated. also must try on the mountain food recommendations appreciated.

how has snow been, i learned a while ago not to read weather threads, just makes u crazy. always snow, warmth, more snow etc. so hopefully more snow and cold coming for next few weeks.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Redwine, reduced cheese venues include Shed (http://leshed.ch) for excellent burgers (halfway up the road between the Fer A Cheval and the Medran lift station); lasagne at the Fer A Cheval (http://feracheval.ch); Au Vieux Verbier (just past the Medran lift station) for serious meat eaters; the Phoenix (entrance opposite the bus station, just below the post office) for sushi; the W (just past the Medran).
A more complete list is available here http://www.verbier.ch/en/resort-and-useful-information/restaurants-nightlife/restaurants/restaurants-listingm-s0-rs0.html
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Who is your guide?

Adding to @oui4ski, list:

On the mountain: Dahu (booking long in advance mandatory), chez Dany as long as you have no beginners, Marmotte on Savoleyres side, Carrefour if you want to eat a great steak on the hot stone.

In town: Aiseki @Phoenix as above, Shed awesome burgers as above, Silk (Asian), Gunpowder (Curry), Chocolaterie de Verbier, Bec Brasserie (modern lunch opposite W), Arctic Juice Café (healthy), Sandwicherie for Fish and chips for 10chf (kids winner!)

Snow is great and getting better next week!
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we used group recommendations and booked extreme. i think we have been assigned anders. we are doing off piste with me and 16yo daughter on monday and tuesday in 9 days. others can join i assume if anyone is intersted. non aggressive but competent.

thank you for recommendations.
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@Redwine, Anders is awesome, you will have a great time.
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 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.
You're going to enjoy Verbier whatever strategy you take, but as you're staying on the western side, near the Savoleyres Sud gondola, then I'd echo the advice to get the free Navette bus up to Carrefour and ski the 50 yds through the tunnel, over to the Mayentzet chairlift (on the right). This will whisk you up and away avoiding the possible scrum and certainly unappealing concrete of Médran. The buses go to more than one destination, so be sure you're on the right one. You can ski back down to Médran at the end of the day and pick up the bus there to Savoleyres. If you want to reprise your outbound journey, then keep to the right (left in the picture) of the long downhill from Attelas (this is just the middle section - the full length is an uninterrupted drop of 971 metres / 3,186 ft)



at the base keep to the right and follow the road 'round back to Carrefour where the Navette will take you back home.
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 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
There's an interactive piste map at https://infosnow.ch/~apgmontagne/?id=45&lang=en&tab=map-wi&sat=&tv=

Our apartment is at the base of the Savoleyres sector - which is where the (ancient) Savoleyres Sud gondola takes you. This sector is quite popular with Verbi-ite ski schools, or if it's foggy in the Verbier bowl:



and because its north-facing runs tend to keep the snow better than the south-facing ones of Verbier. It's also often a bit quieter than the main Verbier slopes at the Weekend.

A nice run is the continuous piste running from the top of the Tournelle lift down to the télécabine at La Tzoumaz - about 900m / 2,953ft. If it's quiet, and/or 1st thing in the morning, the wide blue running to the left of the Croix de Coeur café is a good place for snowboarders to practice their wide, arcing turns. No so much, though, when it's busy on wednesday afternoon (school sports half-day) and Weekends.

The Chez Simon café/restaurant (right - just above the Nord chairlift)



is an independent whose croute au champignons (mushrooms on toast) is a favourite of ours, as are the wines of the eponymous owner, M.Simon, from his vineyards in the valley below.

Returning to Verbier is easy if the Planards-Carrefour piste is open (you just ski down the Carrefour via the gate and woods). But it's prone to avalanches and often shut, so you have to take the red to the right of the gate down to the road and either catch a bus or ski through the learner slope back into Verbier.

There is also a 10km toboggan run down from Savoleyres to La Tzoumaz which can be fun. But if you do opt to try it, I'd suggest you wear ordinary walking boots or your snowboard boots, not ski boots.

Are you flying into GVA and hiring a car, or is the transfer included?

I'm only detailing the Savoleyres sector because I have the photo's and it's 'my' part of the 4 Vallées - don't neglect the loads of other areas and off-piste, which I'm sure your Guide will be aware of.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Thank you. All the Information is so helpful. And the pictures are wonderful. It never stops to amaze me just how big the alps are vs us ski resorts. Trying to understand the silly online ski maps for a place this large is probably useless.

We have rented a car in gva and plan on slowly making our way to Verbier. Maybe a stop in Lausanne for lunch before getting into 4V. (Any fave places in Lausanne)?

Wife is also keen on some mineral spa place when returning to gva. Very excited about coming to 4V, not sure why we waited so long, maybe it was cost of CHF. Not sure what big places are left after this (will have done Cham, 3V, espace killy, arlberg, zermatt, wengen, and now 4V over the decades, very lucky yanks!)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Redwine,
Regarding lunch on the lake.
What date are you doing the drive from GVA to Verbier?
If its Feb 15th then I'd say don't hang around Lausanne too long.
Thats one of the busiest day on the road in the Alps this winter?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Redwine wrote:


Wife is also keen on some mineral spa place when returning to gva.


Saillon Les Bains. Avoid Lavey (or the sex baths as my Swiss colleagues called it Shocked )
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Redwine wrote:
Maybe a stop in Lausanne for lunch before getting into 4V. (Any fave places in Lausanne)?


Check out Ze Fork, right on the lake in Vevey. Tripadvisor Ouchy, Pully, Cully (all lakeside) if you want somewhere closer to Lausanne.
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 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 think that I'd advise getting to Verbier ASAP once you leave Geneva. Lausanne is a lovely university town, and well worth a visit in the summer, but quite time-consuming to get into and park. Montreux (of Freddie Mercury and Charlie Chaplin fame, as well as political assassination) is similarly interesting, but more so in the summer. If you really want to break your journey, I'd visit the famous Chateau Chillon on Lake Geneva https://www.chillon.ch/en/



which I think would be a better return on investment re your time. But this might be a better excursion if your return day involves an evening flight and you have plenty of time for a leisurely drive 'round the lake.

As mentioned, the Bains de Saillon spa and thermal resort is in the valley just north of Martigny (the nearest valley town to Verbier) which might be of interest. Our son spent a day there ahead of an evening flight home and enjoyed it. It's also somewhere you might spend a day if the weather in Verbier is so bad that you elect to take a day off. See

https://www.bainsdesaillon.ch/en/

Finally, I've written a Guide to Car Hire Pickup and driving to La Tzoumaz for our own clients, which is at

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/8bc80396-14e6-4fc0-8470-b11597a0b388/downloads/LTZ1%20-%20Geneva%20Airport%20to%20Résidence%20Laforêt%20-%20H.pdf?ver=1579187154716

but only the first 6-7 pages are relevant to your drive: you'd take a different route from Martigny. You would continue to follow the green autoroute signs to Gd.St.Bernard at Martigny until Le Chable and then come off to Le Chable and up the mountain to Verbier.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 9-02-20 14:59; edited 2 times in total
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Regarding the drive up the valley, when do the bulk of the crowds arrive? If we try to get into Verbier by 5pm is that the height of the scrum?

Our school vacation seems to always be during uk 1/2 term so I have seen how bad it can be.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yes, it'll be busy, but that's unavoidable. Traffic will probably be a bit slow but not a major delay. I assume you have private parking at your destination? Because the bigger issue would be public car parking. This will be in short supply that week and expensive. If you don't have a private car parking space then I'd seriously consider going by train - there's regular trains from right inside the airport to Martigny, then an short hop to Le Chable in the valley, and either the télécabine or PostBus up to Verbier.
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There is a big Coop and adjacent McDonalds at the Villeneuve turn off on the A9. Good for the kids as you can stock up and feed them en route to the resort.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Redwine, It may be too late now, but rather than hiring a car, you can either:
a) take the very civilised Swiss railway from the airport (turn left after going through customs) to Le Chable and then the Le Chable-Verbier Medran gondala (about 100m from the railway platform) or a taxi.
b) we now largely use AlpineXpress (https://www.alpinexpress.com) for an also very civilised Mercedes minibus transfer from the airport to Verbier - the shared transfers may actually be private if nobody else is arriving on flights when you land (and are about a third of the private transfer cost). These tend to be cheaper than the train and hire cars without the effort of driving.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
BobinCH wrote:


Avoid Lavey (or the sex baths as my Swiss colleagues called it Shocked )


What????? Been there a few times and haven't noticed anything vaguely X rated....what am I missing? Maybe I'm in the wrong pool! Laughing
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@redwine, given all the replies here you probably all the info you need, however, for anyone else reading the thread, I found this great blog written by actual skiers and Verbier veterans which is a really useful read eg https://www.alpinepropintel.com/30-years-in-verbier-our-top-tips/
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Tramsel wrote:
@redwine, given all the replies here you probably all the info you need, however, for anyone else reading the thread, I found this great blog written by actual skiers and Verbier veterans which is a really useful read...



Come on, dood.

If you're gonna spam your company with your very first post, at least be inventive, make us laugh or whatevs wink
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Tramsel wrote:
@redwine, given all the replies here you probably all the info you need, however, for anyone else reading the thread, I found this great blog written by actual skiers and Verbier veterans which is a really useful read eg https://www.alpinepropintel.com/30-years-in-verbier-our-top-tips/


There's a separate mechanism for advertising. Please don't use discussion threads to advertise your business. Lots of us owners explicitly don't push our properties on general discussion threads - it's what makes SnowHeads such a useful source of genuine information. And your photo' of the Le Chable railway station is out of date.
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 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.
Oh, apologies, comment is genuine although I can see why you think its spammy being the first post and all that.
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