14th September 2022
Verbier was voted the best ski resort in the world at the 2021 World Ski Awards. PlanetSKI has asked the Swiss resort to update us on its new offerings and developments for next season. NEW
Verbier is part of the largest ski area in Switzerland “Four Valleys” ski area with 410 kms of slopes that cater for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.
The resort has the Medran with its cruisy blues, Les Savoleyres with lovely sweeping reds, and the more challenging black runs of Mont Fort.
The resort is also known for its off-piste skiing – particularly the testing Mont Gelé – and each year Verbier hosts the finals of the Freeride World Tour.
The mountain views are spectacular, particularly from the 3,300m Mont Fort peak where you can see the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc mountains simultaneously.
Verbier – Val de Bagnes – La Tzoumaz and Vollèges in Switzerland – offer visitors more with 300 km² of fun and adventure across six charming, yet varied villages.
PlanetSKI toured the 4 Valleys ski area in a day last winter:
Sporty, relaxing, traditional, stylish, natural, and extreme – experience a heady mix of feel-good pheromones and excitement in the heart of the Valais.
Ready for the up-coming 22/23 winter season, Verbier has made many updates to its ski-lift infrastructure.
New accommodation is being built and renovations are taking place across the resort.
There is a clear trend towards using renewable and local energy.
The resort is installing equipment that uses less energy, improving snow grooming and snowmaking systems, encouraging alternative forms of transport – all these measures are being put in place to reduce the carbon footprint.
From the UK there are direct flights from Aberdeen, Belfast-International, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Cardiff, Doncaster, Dublin, East Midlands (new), Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Inverness, Leeds, Liverpool, London-City, London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow, London-Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, and Southampton.
It can be reached by train from London St Pancras to Geneva and then a local train.
Le Châble is only two hours and 40 minutes by train from Geneva Airport and is linked to Verbier (between 05.00 – 23.55) and Bruson by cable cars that leave directly from the village.
Last year, the new station in Le Chable became the first train-gondola link in Switzerland, meaning guests of Le Châble can access Verbier late into the night.
New: Haute Route
Starting from Verbier, the NEW international Saint Bernard Haute Route (or high Alpine ski route) crosses magnificent passes, glaciers and mountains at over 3,700 m.
Passing the Grand Combin and Mont Vélan, this route will take tourers (on skis or splitboard) from Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses in Italy to Bourg-Saint-Pierre in Switzerland.
There are six stages, passing through mountain high points such as the Great-Saint-Bernard Pass and mountain huts at Vélan, Panossière and Chanrion.
So, put on your skins and get touring. See here for further details
New: 3* The Shed Hotel
Back in 2014, four friends decided to start a food truck by the name two buns & meat in Gothenburg.
It was a huge success and they moved to Verbier in 2016 to open their first restaurant to craft the best burgers in the Alps – The Shed.
The Swedish team continues to expand in Verbier and is opening at a new address in the centre of Verbier with Loonie, Buddie, Roomie and Biggie rooms.
A stone’s throw from the centre of resort this hotel is well placed and starts from £167per night for a room. www.shedhotels.com
New: Replacement lift in Bruson
Bruson also has a direct connection to Verbier and has been a favourite with locals due to its beautiful slopes.
However, its slow lift connection let it down.
Therefore, this winter, the four-seater Pasay chairlift built in 1990 in Bruson will be replaced by a six-seater with a protective bubble, ideal for travelling comfortably in all weathers.
Plus, the new lift will reduce the journey time from 11 minutes to less than five minutes. www.verbier4vallees.ch
New: Restaurant de la Pasay
Replacing the chairlift is not the only project underway in Bruson this summer.
The La Pasay snack bar will be fully renovated and extended to transform it into a traditional, local mountain restaurant with a sunny terrace and panoramic views.
With the addition of the new infrastructure, skiers can discover the local’s secret stash. www.verbier4vallees.ch
Located at an altitude of 1,400m, this traditional Mayen (Valais Mountain lodging) has been tastefully renovated.
It respects the original concept with magnificent views of the Alps and the Val de Bagnes.
This has been completed to retain the atmosphere of this 18th century dwelling, whilst installing all 21st century commodities above the village of Bruson.
It’s remote and accessible by snowshoes plus ticks all the boxes for an authentic experience promoting the local economy.
A basket of local produce for breakfast with organic goodies as well as to personalise a stay, massages and a raclette evening can be booked.
A two-night minimum stay package starts from £447/499 Chf for two people (£223 pp). www.altypic.ch
New: Panoramic platform on Mont-Fort
Opening for the 2022-23 winter season, the construction of a safe panoramic platform on the summit of Mont-Fort at an altitude of 3,330 m began in summer 2022.
Visitors will be able to enjoy an exceptional 360-degree panorama of the entire Alpine range from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn.
This new infrastructure will complete a package of already available attractions in the vicinity, including a Via Cordata, Via Ferrata and the Mont4Zipline. www.verbier4vallees.ch
New: Race Experience
This winter, skiers and competition fans can enjoy a brand-new dedicated race area accessible to anyone at the top of the La Tzoumaz – Savoleyres sector.
There’s a permanent timing system and a giant slalom of around 15 gates.
Whether it’s a challenge between friends or alone on the quest for speed, it will be the stopwatch that decides the outcome. www.verbier.ch
New: Night Touring
From either La Tzoumaz, Le Châble, Bruson or Verbier, there are seven marked ski touring routes.
And for real enthusiasts, ski touring under the stars is on offer every Wednesday from January to March.
There are two possible itineraries starting from Verbier (650 m or 590 m difference in altitude) or from La Tzoumaz (710 m difference in altitude) with a combined finish at Savoleyres at 2,340 m, where you can enjoy a pasta dish at Savoleyres restaurant before returning to any of the villages. www.rando-nocturne.ch
New: Objectif 4000: Le Grand Combin
The Grand Combin is the legendary mountain of Verbier and its region.
From the top of its 4,314 m, this mountain and its glaciers command respect and capture the imagination.
Accompanied by a mountain guide, adventurers start the journey from Fionnay via ski touring to reach the Panossière hut (D+ 1,100m – 3hr).
Following a short night’s rest (departing at 2.30am), the serious stuff begins.
The start of the climb involves skiing up the Corbassière glacier.
At the foot of the couloir du Gardien, tensions rise as the summit approaches.
Here, crampons replace skins for the final ascent (D+ 1,700m – 6hr).
Once the summit has been conquered, emotions run high and there’s just enough time to take in the view before starting the long descent (over 3 hr) into a pristine wilderness.
A two-day trip, when expressions such as “pave your way” and “leave your mark” take on their full meaning.
Ski level: Good to excellent. Little mountaineering experience required.
Price: approx. 950 CHF pp (calculated for 2 people) www.guideverbier.com