Top Reasons to Ski Verbier/Val de Bagnes – La Tzoumaz this Winter
As the largest ski resort across the 4 Valleys, Verbier offers skiers and boarders as much excitement off the slopes as on them.
This winter, once visitors have finished enjoying the snow-sure terrain and off-piste freeriding, the cosmopolitan resort is set to come alive with its trademark blend of tantalising entertainment.
To celebrate the imminent start of the new 2016 / 2017 season, Verbier presents ten top reasons for holidaymakers to choose the resort for their next winter getaway:
- SUNSHINE: Verbier’s sunny south-facing slopes ensure terraces are warm all day – even in the depths of winter.
- SCALE: Thanks to over 410km of well-groomed runs catering for all abilities and 92 lifts, Verbier is one of the largest ski areas in Europe and the largest in Switzerland.
- ENTERTAINMENT: From internationally famous music festivals and gastronomic gatherings to world-class downhill events, there’s no shortage of ways to stay entertained in Verbier. (See calendar of events below for more details)
- COSMOPOLITAN: With its combination of traditional chalets, world-class hotels, delicious dining, boutique shopping and electrifying events, Verbier blends the finest Alpine atmosphere in one mountain paradise.
- VARIETY: From cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing to bob sledding and off-piste skiing, there are endless ways to take advantage of Verbier’s snow-sure terrain.
- FAMILY-FRIENDLY: Those travelling with younger snow fans are well catered for, with its wide range of ski schools, dedicated nursery slopes and child-friendly accommodation choices.
- VIEWS: With the resort located between 1,500 and 3,300m, there are plenty of opportunities to take in the breathtaking panoramic views across some of the best-known Alpine peaks, from the Matterhorn and Combins massif to Mont Blanc.
- APRES-SKI: From piste-side bars to live music, Verbier is known for having some of the liveliest venues in the Alps that continue to prove equally popular with Royals, celebrities and party-lovers alike.
- FREERIDING: With 11 marked and officially designated ‘itinerary’ routes to follow, Verbier is considered the freeride capital and a great place to develop off-piste skills in a safe environment.
- ACCESSIBLE: Less than two hours from Geneva Airport (170km) and easily reached by train from Paris and Milan, getting to Verbier is simple.
NEWS WINTER 2016/2017
400m family-friendly park and snowtubing run to open
This season the Verbier slopes will feature two new courses designed to keep adventure-lovers of all ages entertained.
A hybrid of a snowpark and bordercross course, the Audi Quattro Funslope will feature 20 different elements for snow enthusiasts to get to grips with. From a 10m long ‘snail’ and a 15-high berm to a tunnel, jumps and banks, freestylers are set to welcome the new park, located on the Savoleyres slopes at 2,226m.
Capitalising on the rising popularity of snowtubing, Verbier visitors will also be able to enjoy the newest addition to its winter sports range this season as a new run opens at Les Esserts.
Seated inside a giant rubber tyre, those looking for a gentler downhill thrill will set off down the especially prepared piste which resembles a bobsleigh track before taking a well-deserved break from their adrenaline pursuits at the nearby Les Esserts restaurant.
Further information: www.verbier4vallees.ch
New chairlift doubles capacity
This December will see the opening of a new 1,100m-long chairlift which replaces the old La Chaux II chairlift.
Following a 9 million Swiss Franc investment by Televerbier, the new ski lift will double previous capacity as it carries over 2,000 people per hour.
The slow-boarding, six-seater installation located at 2,200m and serving the dedicated beginner slopes will be especially welcomed by the resort’s ski schools.
45 new apartments open in La Tzoumaz
The first stage of Televerbier’s ski-in, ski-out tourist residential complex will open this December.
The initial 45 apartments will open their doors at the start of the 2016/2017 season, with 40 more to follow. The 85 apartments will be spread over two big chalet buildings, offering close to 500 beds between them.
The T-One residence will also incorporate 180 covered car parking spaces and a number of stores, including a supermarket.
Further information: www.tzoumaz.net
Freeride legend Steve Klassen opens Verbier store
Before winning the inaugural Xtreme de Verbier, Steve Klassen was already advising other riders in his Wave Rave Snowboard Shop at Mammoth Lakes in California.
Now, 30 years on and after 20 years of visiting the resort, the first Verbier branch of one of the largest speciality snowboard shops in the world is set to open in the heart of Verbier.
Spread over two floors, the Wave Rave Snowboard Shop in Verbier will open in time for the new season, stocking some of winter sports’ best loved brands, including Burton, Volcom and Dakine.
Further information: www.waveravesnowboardingshop.com
Freeriders offered free mountain safety courses
Mountain professionals at the DVA Park at la Chaux will be helping freeriders stay safe when heading out with a range of safety training events throughout the season.
Mountain guides will lead half-day risk-assessment sessions to help attendees understand mountain risks. These vital training courses will prepare visitors for their off-piste adventures, explaining the safety measures to minimise risk, from evaluating the conditions and terrain to carrying the appropriate technical equipment. The lessons cater for one-on-one instruction as groups of up to 7 participants.
Every Sunday afternoon from 1 January to 26 March 2017 skiers can also take advantage of free 50-minute afternoon sessions between 1pm and 3pm at the DVA park. These safety trainings will include instruction into avalanche transceivers and victim detectors.
Further information: www.guideverbier.com
Verbier partners with the International Snow Training Academy (ISTA)
The first international training programme aimed at those who love the mountains, powder and skiing will arrive in Verbier this season.
To ensure visiting snow enthusiasts are kept fully informed of the risks and behaviours associated with safe off-piste action, Verbier has entered into a partnership that will increase the number of ISTA-certified instructors based in the resort
Further information: www.ista-education.com
DIARY OF EVENTS 2016/2017
3 December 2016 – Opening Session (Verbier)
Details: Opening celebration of the ski season on and off the slopes
9-12 December 2016 – Polaris Festival (Verbier)
Details: For the second time, the biggest name from the world of electro and techno will gather in Verbier for an Ibiza-style experience in an unforgettable mountain setting.
28 December 2016 – Christmas Concert of the Verbier Festival
14-22 January 2017 – Verbier Freeride Week
Details: Freeride fair and official Freeride World Tour Qualifier competition
2-5 February 2017 – City Ski Championships (Verbier)
4 February 2017 – Ski Mountaineering Race by Night (La Tzoumaz)
11 February 2017 – Bruson Freeride
18 February 2017 – Intégrale du Rogneux
Details: Started in 2009 by the Grand Combin Ski Club, this gruelling challenge – part of the Swiss Ski Mountaineering Championships – sees two-man teams seek to climb 2,000m to reach the summit of Mont Rogneux in the 5th such race.
5 March 2017 – Bobsled Festival (La Tzoumaz)
1-2 April 2017 – Xtreme Verbier
Details: Watch future world champions launch off the unforgiving face of Bec des Rosses as they compete in the grand finale of the Freeride World Tour; one of freeriding’s most mesmerising competitions.
5-8 April 2017 – Haute Cuisine by W Verbier
Details: Following it successful 2015 debut, Haute Cuisine returns for 2017 with a range of workshops and taster sessions at the resort’s newest hotel; the W Verbier. Over four days, a dozen celebrated chefs will gather from all over the world to help holidaymakers enjoy the best of local Valais dishes and international cuisine.
8 April 2017 – Verbier High Five by Carlsberg
8-10 – Verbier Impulse Music & Ski Festival
Details: This popular Pop-Rock Music Festival returns for the final weekends of the season. Combining sporting events with musical concerts, the events will be take place on the slopes and across the resort.