|Showing the way in Verbier (Switzerland Tourism)|
Verbier is a mega-freeride mountain. The terrain is among the most spectacular and varied in the Alps, and the runs seem endless. The area can be prone to avalanches and kills a number of careless or unlucky people every season. Never ride without a transceiver if you are going off-piste, and either take a guide or befriend one of the locals. It's almost impossible to describe all the options because there are so many, but listed here are a few tasters.
For excellent tree runs, go across the valley to Bruson—you'll find trees, trees, trees! If you want to do some cliff jumps, take the 116, 117, or 118 lifts. There are cliffs all over the place, but check out the landings first. Bec des Rosses is strictly for experienced riders with guides and definitely not for the fainthearted. For a long run, ride "round" the mountain down to Fionnay. Mont Geli has some excellent riding off both the front and back side. Another good run starts from the Col des Mines and heads down the Vallon d'Arby, which turns to forest at the bottom. Pick your line with care.
Both in summer and winter, the pipe and the park are on the Mont-Fort. In winter, the pipe and park are at the bottom station of Le Jumbo; in summer, they're moved near the top. The lift that services the area— 114-La Chaux 2—has its own natural hits all the way.
112 Attelas 3 is a great run for carving, as it is steep and impeccably manicured. 117 Lac des Vaux is a great place to learn how to carve. 108 is always well-groomed, though at times very steep. There's an incredible array of runs to choose from. We could go on forever. Explore!
The Nitty Gritty
Mountain chain: Valais Alpes, Four Vallées
Vertical meter range: 1,500—3,300 m (4,921—10,827 ft)
Season duration: November—May, glacier in the summer
Number of lifts: 100; the list goes on forever.
Snow-making facilities: Mainly on the bottom slopes nearer the town, to keep access ways open and beginner trails covered.
Safety: There are avalanche indicator boards on the top and at the bottom of Les Ruinettes gondola. The Swiss ski school hires off-piste equipment.
Guides: Contact the Swiss Ski School or the Fantastique.
Heliboarding: Ask at the Swiss Ski School for details and prices.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication