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Verbier or Saas-Fee, it's complciated please help!

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello everyone!

Planning a ski trip to Switzerland with my two sisters (both absolute beginners) from 1-10 April, I chose to ski in Zermatt 1-5 April, and then head to either Verbier or Saas-Fee for the remaining 5 days.

Both resorts (Verbier vs. Saas-Fee) are certainly not the best choices for my two sisters, however, given our ski trip is scheduled late in the season we need a high resort for the best snow conditions, we also want (have) to stay in Switzerland given the current restrictions, and we prefer not to travel very far from Geneva unless we have to. Nonetheless, I can't make up my mind between these two resorts but have to book my hotel rooms ASAP as they are running out fast.

Verbier seems to get good reviews, wide and well-maintained pistes, but not the best for late winter skiing since the mountain overlooking the village is north or south facing (I forgot) and tends to meltdown really early in the season.

Saas-Fee seems to have an excellent snow record, and because of the resort location/orientation, the snow lasts much longer in the season, however, it has a much smaller skiing area compared to Verbier, so I risk not being able to find a blue run for them if some lifts close down.

From a resort prettiness perspective, I read mixed reviews about both resorts.

One thing is for sure, I need to get these two girls hooked on skiing, they are extremely excited and I don't want to put them down. Any help from those who skied either (or both) resorts would be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Mohammed
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Some info on Saas Fee here (might help)

https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=137428
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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?
Thanks @albob it does!
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I have a provisional trip booked for Saas Fee from April 8. It is snowsure - I usually go at the end of April - so you should have no problems with that. It is a reasonably attractive village in a spectacular location. Plenty of blue runs and easy areas for first week skiers to progress too. Would need a bit of careful planning to avoid some of the steeper reds and it's always possible to download on one of the many cable cars or gondolas to avoid the long run home. Much of the blue skiing is accessed by the highest lifts so not quite so much fear of 'early meltdown'! I would also recommend the Ski Zenith ski school - excellent instructors.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks LOTA, that's very helpful and encouraging, have you skied Verbier before? Any thoughts?
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You'll need to Register first of course.
@Mohammed, My pleasure. I am a big Saas Fee fan and like to encourage people to go there!

I've only skied in Verbier once and the trip was spoilt by lift closures due to high winds etc so not fair to make any kind of judgement based on that. High winds and storm closures can be a problem at Saas Fee, mind you. I have, on more than one occasion, been asked to clear the mountain by piste patrol as a storm was imminent. Looking at the web cams/website there are closures today due to a storm!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
i love Saas Fee...unfortunately the ski pass ist too expensive for me otherwise there is something for everyone
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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!
@Mohammed
Saas Fe would suit them, Verbier you. What a dilemma! But perhaps a nice one given the current situation?
If I had rellies I wanted to get hooked, I'd choose Saas Fe over Verbier. Verbier is never recommended for its suitability for beginners in other threads - which may say something. I really enjoyed Verbier the one time I went..but that was with some experience under my belt. But I'm sure those with better knowledge of Verbier beginners opportunities may have something more informed to say.
The smaller size is a plus in many ways..there is very little danger of getting 'lost' by taking the wrong lift and finding yourself on something you cannot ski but HAVE to (and reading a piste map is not always easy - it is not what beginners ski school focuses on!)..guaranteed to put off all but the most committed. I've been there done that and it was horrible and I have to admit frightening. Plus the fact that they do clear the mountain if a storm is imminent can be quite reassuring for a beginner..the decision is 'made' for you rather than you 'staying out' and finding yourself in a white out blizzard with no experience of how to cope. Another plus side is that the two nursery slopes (nice and wide, one steeper than the other - good for progression before venturing out onto the hill itself) can still be open if the rest of the mountain is closed and providing visibility is ok you can still ski them and practice what you've learnt in ski school. Most skiers seem to have decamped to lodgings/bars when I've been there in this situation and the nursery slopes were nice and quiet. The glacier is exposed and can be cold but has some really nice cruisy runs on it so beginners can get up into the scenery. The advantage here is that the beginners are smack in the middle of stunning scenery..bound to hook them if it's blue sky day.
If you are a committed 'mile muncher' SF will be too small for you. But perhaps it's case of 'sacrificing' the miles this trip for bigger places in the future with your sisters? Personally I like miles but do not have a big problem in smaller places (particularly ones like SF) if I have to ski the same runs over an dover. Particularly after this year, I don't care if a resort had one run..I'd be on it all day Very Happy
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Thanks folks, I'll just go ahead and book at Saas-Fee & Zenith ski school.

Suec, greatly appreciate your detailed feedback, I certainly have no problem doing the same runs all week, when I get bored I can always go faster to maintain excitement.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Mohammed, One thing I did not mention is that your accommodation location in Saas Fee is crucial. The village covers a long distance along the valley and some hotels/apartments are a serious trek from the lifts. You need to be close to either the Alpin Express or the nursery slopes. If you do end up a distance away, most hotels have ski lockers close to the main lift bases.
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We ski in Verbier a lot, and I do mean a lot.

In your situation I would 100% chose Saas Fee.

Verbier is, at the best of times, a poor choice for absolute beginners, and in April it is even worse as the only true nursery slope is the very lowest slope of all and is quite likely to be out of use. The next group of less steep slopes are rather steep for a true beginner.

Saas Fee (which I also know quite well) has a more gradual progression.
It is a lovely car free village, full of alpine charm.
It is very easy to get to from Zermatt too.

I love Verbier...but I'd chose Saas Fee


Of course...Covid...the most likely outcome is neither I am sorry to say.
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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.
@Mohammed, Zenit is a good choice...ask for Ben Shubrook, he is a super nice bloke and a top instructor too.
He will make it a rewarding and fun experience (and to hook a beginner fun is crucial)
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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
Thanks, @LOTA @rungsp great information and advice, I am all set on Saas-Fee.

Fingers crossed we all get to ski towards the end of March, I am optimistic snowHead too
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Mohammed, Pleasure. I hope to see you there but, sadly, I think it's becoming less and less likely.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
My pleasure too, LOTA, but any reason you think it is unlikely? I assumed it's because you are situated in Glos, France?
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@Mohammed, Glos is Gloucestershire in the UK (home of the currently struggling but always mighty cherry-and-whites!).

I think it unlikely as tourist travel is currently prohibited under lockdown rules, and the Swiss are getting very agitated about the spread (See Switzerland 20/21 thread) of the virus and require strict quarantine. I wouldn't be keen to travel anyway without having the injection currently being rolled out at great pace in Britain. Whether my turn comes around before April remains to be seen...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Oh, I understand.

Fingers crossed it's gonna happen this season, it's still early and I believe many people will get vaccinated in the next month or two.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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