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Espace Killy vs Verbier

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am likely going to ski from Geneva and am debating between Espace Killy or Verbier.  Verbier is nice because I could take the train from airport. 

 

Is E Killy much bigger than Verbier, is the expert terrain much more extensive??

 

I've already been to Zermatt and St Anton/Lech.  I just see that there is non-stop from Newark, which makes it a very doable trip compared to flying out West. 

post #2 of 11

Verbier (or rather, Quatre Vallées) has more expert terrain than EK, IMO. But is twice as expensive in accommodation, food, lift tockets, etc. QV is much more spread-out and not as well connected as EK. So: QV has more terrain, but you need to be an expert avalanche risk manager to use it. If you are not, go to EK instead.

post #3 of 11

I think the terrain in the EK is more conveniently laid out. If you're staying near the center of Val d'Isere, in La Daille, or the left side of Tignes, then you can easily ski the entire area without too much hassle. The QV terrain is a lot more spread out, and Verbier is on the edge of the area rather than in the middle. That means longer commutes if you want to ski the entire area.

 

There's also a difference in altitude that is worth considering. Val d'Isere is at about 1800 m and Tignes le Lac is 2100 m, while Verbier is at 1500 m. Val d'Isere and Tignes both have glaciers, while the QV area doesn't have as much high-altitude terrain (Mt. Fort is high, but the rest of the area isn't). So if you're going early or late in the season, EK should be a better bet for snow. But if you're going mid-season, then the QV will probably have nicer temperatures.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I know this may sound a bit "crazy", but I might be only skiing for 2.5 days (from US).  It's tough for to take days off of work and I have a free plane ride which eases the $pain.  When I skied St. Anton I was able to get on the slopes by 12:30 w/ my 7:30am flight arrival.  I wanted to do the same w/ Zermatt but has unusually delayed luggage and then some train problems. 

 

So is the basic answer that Verbier has plenty of expert terrain, but is a little lower elevation which might affect the snow? Cost does matter somewhat, I know St Anton was very expensive for food and lodging.  Verbier is so nice because I can likely hop on the train and stay at the village it lets off in.  I had that as a plan for my prior trip, but i went in December and there was no snow so I switched to Zermatt and it worked out fine. 

 

I plan on going end of Jan or beg of Feb, I know there is are school vacation in mid-Feb which might make it crowded.  I skied St Anton at that time and crowds were no problem.

post #5 of 11

I think St. Anton was expensive when you went because it's heavily targeted at 7-night stays and you were going for a long weekend or something, if I remember right. I think there's a big chance of that happening in Val d'Isere and Tignes, and it might be a similar story in Verbier (or Le Chable to be precise). You might want to start with an accommodation search first, since that might be the deciding factor for you.

 

Other than that, there's a good chance that the EK will be quite cold at that time of year. My boss went there at about the same time of year last season, and even despite the unusually warm early season, it was still very cold by the end of January. It was the same for me the one time I went there early February a couple of years ago (around 0 F temperatures, with a temperature inversion making colder as you made your way down the mountain).

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

0F - now that's too cold!!

I just read that Verbier doesn't have the ticket where you can ski all the mtns, do you know anything about that?  Because what I like to do is blast around the whole place, riding as many different lifts as I can and seeing as much as I can.

Also - I have a thing for big trams - I love riding them. 

My only problem with EK is that I would rather not drive, and it seems I have to drive if I want to be fairly sure of getting my first 1/2 in. 

Le Chable - yes that is where I booked last time for early Dec, but luckily they let me cancel when i switched to Zermatt. 

post #7 of 11

I think you might have been seeing out-of-date information. There was a dispute between the lift companies around the QV last year, and Verbier was threatening to go on its own. But they settled that before the beginning of last season.

 

Their website hasn't been updated for the upcoming season, but you can see their prices for last season here http://en.verbier.ch/seedo/winter/prices#.VhVKnMl31Xk. If you look at the file name for the pdf link, you'll see that the top batch of prices is for the 4 Vallees pass, not a Verbier-only pass.

 

I'm not sure which area has the more impressive trams, but the EK has more of them, as well as two underground trains going up the mountain.

 

The transfer to Le Chable is definitely shorter and more convenient. It's about 2:25 from Geneva airport with one change in Martigny. So if you can make the 8:24 train, you'll be arriving in Le Chable before 11:00. There's a train every hour or so doing that route, so you're not up a creek if you miss it. If you're flying midweek, then the baggage area shouldn't be a mad house and you might actually make that early train.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm booked for skiing 1/29 to 2/1.  Here is what I am thinking.  I will have 3.5 days of skiing and I will ski the first 2.5 at Verbier, then hit Chamonix for a full day(Montets) on the way to GVA.  I read that it is a little over an hour between Cham/Verbier, but I am looking at a map and what looks like an hour drive has a long road that looks like unimproved in the middle of it.  Does anyone know about that drive in the winter? 

 

Also, to do both resorts i'm going to have to rent a car, so i don't have to stay at Le Chable to be near train station.  Is Le Chable a good option as my base?


Edited by SnowbirdDevotee - 10/10/15 at 3:35pm
post #9 of 11

Le Chable is a quiet little satellite village, linked into the Verbier lift system. Fine for a couple of nights IMHO.

 

Re the road to Chamonix. If the suspect stretch is on the E 27 it will most likely be the St Bernard pass which is closed most winters. The St Bernard tunnel carries the traffic. You will be fine.

post #10 of 11

Hi.  I live in La Tzoumaz, a well-connected satellite resort of Verbier.  We drive to Chamonix all year round.  It's not the St Bernard Pass (which leads you into Italy), it's actually the Col de la Forclaz & Col des Montets.  The road is occasionally closed after heavy snowfall but they work flat out to open it again as soon as possible.  Sometimes it can take more than an hour in winter if you end up following a nervous winter driver who has foolishly not rented a car with winter tyres.  

 

We manage 50 chalets & apartments in La Tzoumaz on a 7-day basis but release all our unsold properties for weekends & short stays.  You can sign up to get the alerts here: http://4vallees4saisons.com/blog/ 

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4valleesfan View Post
 

Hi.  I live in La Tzoumaz, a well-connected satellite resort of Verbier.  We drive to Chamonix all year round.  It's not the St Bernard Pass (which leads you into Italy), it's actually the Col de la Forclaz & Col des Montets.  The road is occasionally closed after heavy snowfall but they work flat out to open it again as soon as possible.  Sometimes it can take more than an hour in winter if you end up following a nervous winter driver who has foolishly not rented a car with winter tyres.  

 

We manage 50 chalets & apartments in La Tzoumaz on a 7-day basis but release all our unsold properties for weekends & short stays.  You can sign up to get the alerts here: http://4vallees4saisons.com/blog/ 

 

OOPS lost again. 

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