Verbier and the five other resorts that make up Les 4 Vallées (that’s Bruson, La Tzoumaz, Nendaz, Veysonnaz and Thyon) are world renowned as freeride and off piste destinations. Verbier and the surrounding mountains are formed as if carved out by the snow Gods themselves, creating a perfect winter playground for steep-seeking skiers and boarders alike. The resorts are now home to many riders who made the powder-pilgrimage to Switzerland and Verbier in their youth, but simply couldn’t see past the dreamy lines off Mont Gond, the Funispace chutes and the steep faces of Mont Gelé.
For more fantastic routes like this one, we can recommend guides around Verbier and Les 4 Vallées, whose impeccable local knowledge means they’ll be able to craft a route that fits your ability and interests perfectly.
Prioritise Verbier’s lift-accessible runs first.
Head up the FUNISPACE straight away and aim for the backside of Lac de Vaux for a blast down Col de Mines (a wide open, south facing itinerary slope that averages around 30 – 35 degrees gradient).
Once at the bottom, head back up the MAYENTZET chairlift, followed by LES ATTELAS chairlift (a comfy lift to ride with a sandwich, on account of the windshield). Once at the top try to catch the first lift up to Mont Gelé. From here there are a plethora of options on all aspects: if Verbier’s conditions allow it, ski the north face for some steep and challenging terrain, alongside some accessible cliff drops and narrow chutes.
At the foot of Mont Gelé, in the Lac de Vaux bowl, take the chairlift to the top of Tortin. Once at the top, hike up to your left to find the entry points into the Tortin chutes.
So how to find the best bits:
With more and more people learning of the epic terrain and accessibility of it, how to approach a powder day in this region, to maximise the fresh lines under your feet? Here are a few top tips to help you plan your perfect powder day in Verbier and Les 4 Vallées…
Starting point: Verbier
Note: This route guide does not take Verbier’s current snow conditions and weather forecasts into account. Please consider the avalanche risks before skiing any of the following suggestions. If you do not have the necessary knowledge and skills to make a safe assessment of the conditions, consider hiring a local guide.
When in search of powder the best time of year to hit Verbier and Les 4 Vallées is between the middle of January and end of February. On a blue-bird powder day after a storm you can expect some serious competition for first lifts, so be sure to get yourself there early. Head for MEDRAN gondola in Verbier for no later than 8:15am.
Ride the gondola down to Le Chable and all the way back up to Verbier to avoid a long queue time (and possibly to get ahead of several people in front!)
Quieter areas for the afternoon
By this point midday will be upon you and everyone in Verbier and the 4 Vallées will be well into the day of powder hounding too, so begin to aim for slopes further from the busiest areas. Avoid La Chaux and Mont Fort at all costs.
From the foot of Tortin you have options to explore terrain en route to Thyon, or to aim for Nendaz’s irresistible freeride competition faces off the top of Dent du Nendaz and Mont Gond. Spend just over one hour hiking to the summit of Mont Gond to be rewarded with a steep face, peppered with perfectly located cliff drops and ridges, and scored by hundreds of line options.
If snowy weather is against you, head for Bruson resort on the other side of the valley. Take the gondola down to Le Chable and then up to Bruson. Here you will find a splendidly spaced forest for tree skiing till your heart’s content.