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Pic and Video TR: Verbier 2/15-2/18

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Verbier had probably the best terrain I had ever experienced. Off piste, there are massive bowls and tons of gnarly couloirs and chutes. Supposedly, Espace Killy was about 4 to 5 times the size of Vail. Verbier was probably 1.5 to 2 times the size of Espace Killy. There was tons of terrain I did not ski, much less ski. I could spend a season here and not ski all the terrain. But be warned, Verbier is centered on expert off piste skiing-- the piste skiing was pretty miniature compared to the size of the area. Verbier was like a day's worth of pistes, while the Nendaz area (the other side of Tortin) would be 2-3 days but connected by mostly drag lifts. So if you're not at least an advanced skier looking for off piste skiing, this area is probably not the best for you. The pistes are relatively challenging too.

It hadn't snowed in a while so that was a putdown. We did get about 3-4 inches during the last day which was nice. But, the snow was soft off piste (icy on the piste). The off piste was very bumped up, however. Still great fun.

My favorite run was the backside of Mt Fort. I skied this with a guide, who I had on the 4th and final day (before this, he also helped me fix up some flaws and improve my skiing ). This is a 4000 ft vertical run, reaching 50 degrees at the top in places with nasty chutes and couloirs up top and wide open bowls and steep gullies as you head farther down. This is true off piste. You are really out there. We didn't see anyone the entire trip down, and there were still untracked lines to be had, about a week plus since the last storm. So we were skiing in a foot and a half about in some bowls, while besides the 3 or 4 inches that fell that day, a week since the last storm. Then there was about a 20-30 minute hike out. Really, really, fun. And it's another 1000 vertical of treelined skiing after the hike to get down to the lift. One of my favorite runs of my life.

Other favorites included the couloir under the Mont Fort tram, the off piste chutes and bowls near the Attelas chair, Mont Gele down to Tortin, and Valon D'Arby (also got some freshies here with the guide). My favorite piste was probably either the Mont Fort piste or the Attelas groomer in the morning.

Me and my dad stayed in Max and Millies B&B down in Le Chable. Highly recommended, with a 5 minute walk to the train station and gondola to take you up to Verbier and the mountain. Max and Millie were both splendid hosts. Max was actually my guide for the 4th day, and I had a great time with him.

And now for some pictures:

roomview.JPG
the view from our room... beautiful

verbier view1.JPG
even better on the mountain (picture from La Chaux Express chair)

attelas terrain.jpg
awesome terrain off the attelas bowl lift (only a small portion of it)
the pitch is probably 38-45*

attelas side view.jpg
as shown in this photo

attelas couloir.jpg
a steep couloir off attelas

attelas couloir 2.jpg
that same couloir from a looking at view

savoleyre.jpg
The Savoleyres area with a double lift heading up to Ruinettes

bec des roses.JPG
Bec des Roses - Yes, the freeriders compete on this 55+ degree cliff filled peak

mont fort frontside.jpg
Frontside of Mt Fort. To the right is the piste (about 35 degrees at its steepest) and to the left is the fun couloir under the tram (top bit is about close to 45, then goes down to like 30-35 for the rest of the way)

IMG_0191_2.jpg
A closer look at the steep couloir under the tram

lookin down mt fort.jpg
Looking down the Mont Fort couloir

mt fort couloir.jpg
Side view of the top, not quite the very top though.

me skiing mt fort.png
me tearin it up on the mont fort piste

beautiful verbier.JPG
beautiful!!!!!!!

crowded.JPG
at times in the afternoon it was pretty crowded on piste to say the least...

mont gele tortin1.JPG
The backside of Mont Gele, the itinerary coming down to Tortin. The clear route coming down in the middle is the most often taken route, but the cliff bands to the left side were fun

mont gele tortin2.jpg
Looking down from the top

verbier and funispace.JPG
The town of Verbier, the Attelas Funispace, across the town of Verbier is the Savoleyres area


mont gele view.JPG
a beautiful view from the top of Mt Gele

attelas view.JPG
an amazing view from the top of Attelas

combatsline couloir.jpg
A mini couloir by Combatsline in Nendaz. Probably about 45-50 degrees, but then again only 3 tight steep turns.

combatsline couloirs2.jpg
Looking at the mini couloirs by Nendaz. The couloir I'm looking down is the farthest one to the left (biggest one too, 2nd steepest. The steepest is the one to the right and had very thin cover).

nice verbier view.jpg
A nice view from the same location.

col des mines.JPG
This is a traverse on col des mines. It is really interesting. It's sorta like a bobsleigh, with 4-6 ft sized walls to the side of you, and the mountain on the other. It's about 2 minutes long.

valon d arby1.JPG
Valon D'Arby from the top

valon d arby2.jpg
Valon D'Arby from the bottom








And now the rest of the pictures are from the top of the Backside of Mont Fort:

backside1.JPG
backside2.JPGbackside3.JPG
backside4.JPG
backside5.JPGbackside6.JPG
Amazing skiing to be had back there. Pretty steep too... not to mention right at that second lip it gets narrower (exceeding 50 degrees and about 10-15 ft wide for about 400 vertical)

Now a short video of me ripping it up on a red piste on one ski...




Thanks, hopefully you made it this far in your reading! Would like to hit this place up with a real powder day because it's the best terrain I've skied in my opinion....

BTW, I had about 250+ pictures to choose from... tough eliminating the few to go up here...
Edited by skiking4 - 2/25/10 at 4:09pm
post #2 of 7
Thanks for sharing. I've been waiting for some sweet trip pics from out in the Alps and these definitely delivered. I just got back from snowboarding myself and was pretty content; then I saw those pics and am itching to get out to Switzerland. Looks incredible! 
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeUT View Post

Thanks for sharing. I've been waiting for some sweet trip pics from out in the Alps and these definitely delivered. I just got back from snowboarding myself and was pretty content; then I saw those pics and am itching to get out to Switzerland. Looks incredible! 

Yeah, the Alps are really incredible. I personally enjoy to ski the Alps more than anywhere. Really, all the US has on Europe is snow quality, but that's still not 100% getting a powder day in a week out west, and much less. I'll take my risks in the Alps for a powder day, where when it's on, you got less people tracking it out, more terrain, and way more vertical. It's just so big in the Alps really... it's not a single mountain, it's an entire mountain range you're skiing on in the Alps.
post #4 of 7

Hi

 

Great report, I am taking my daughter to verbier the last week of march.  We are going to stay in Le Chable as well.  Any tips?

post #5 of 7

Great TR - the only thing is that your guesstimates of the pitch are far from true. Detract from 10-15 degrees from every number mentioned.

post #6 of 7

Verbier is next on my Euro list.  The thing is, you can fly from US overnight to Geneva, then take the morning train and be skiing that afternoon.  I did that for St. Anton.  Sure, I got all screwed up with the time change, but it's manageable.  Then ski a couple of full days, leave the resort late afternoon and take train back to airport for early am flight home next day.  Using my miles and booking in advance it's not much more expensive for an Easter coaster than going out West.  And staying at Le Chable looks to be the ticket, the train drops you off right there.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

Verbier is next on my Euro list.  The thing is, you can fly from US overnight to Geneva, then take the morning train and be skiing that afternoon.  I did that for St. Anton.  Sure, I got all screwed up with the time change, but it's manageable.  Then ski a couple of full days, leave the resort late afternoon and take train back to airport for early am flight home next day.  Using my miles and booking in advance it's not much more expensive for an Easter coaster than going out West.  And staying at Le Chable looks to be the ticket, the train drops you off right there.

 

Yeah, plus getting on the gondola from Le Chable is CONVENIENT - you have to endorse some fierce and long lines if you want to get on from Verbier, I remember.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by apeyros View Post

Great TR - the only thing is that your guesstimates of the pitch are far from true. Detract from 10-15 degrees from every number mentioned.

 

Hmm, not so sure about that. I used to have an obsession over pitches of slopes and have been able to get within a few degrees of many slopes. If you enter the front side of Mont Fort under the lift from above the tram, it's definitely over 40 degrees for the first few turns. On the backside, it's a pretty consistent 40+ degrees before dropping even steeper, depending on the entrances, into the couloirs. And the Attelas face under the chair is pretty darn steep, as you can see from the 4th photo. Sure, you can take easy way downs that face towards looker's right, but right under the lift and lookers left is pretty damn steep.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrtee View Post

Hi

 

Great report, I am taking my daughter to verbier the last week of march.  We are going to stay in Le Chable as well.  Any tips?

 

 

ABSOLUTELY, yes, ABSOLUTELY, find a guide to take you down the backside of Mont Fort if you both are expert skiers. It is an unforgettable experience, and nearing 3 years later, I still consider it to be, by and far, the greatest runs of my life. The off piste is some of the best in the world at Verbier and is easily accessible - be safe and definitely take advantage.

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