One may not be aware, but Verbier, Switzerland’s only purpose-built resort, dates to the late 1,400s when the Castle de Verbier was destroyed by war. Today its ruins are being restored. The first skiers tried the sloping pastures in 1925. Switzerland picked Verbier’s sunny plateau as a ski resort in 1946. Today it’s a favorite for party people, who take their skiing very seriously, many from the UK, so language is not a problem. Verbier’s built in a modern châlet style, compactly developed making it easy for those who flock here to get to the lifts, bars, shops, restaurants, sports center, late night bars, or everywhere, whether by foot or the free buses.
The resort sits at the bottom of a bowl dominated by Mont-Fort and Monte-Gélé. In the midst of ‘Les 4 Vallées,’ it has just an incredible amount of skiing. There are 255 miles of trails serviced by 95 lifts including the Chondola a gondola-chair combo between La Chaux and Les Ruinettes, a 6-seater at La Chaux, a 30 person high speed gondola above Medran, and the 150 passenger Mont-Fort cable car. The newest one, Les Ailletes to Mont-Gélé’s free-ride heaven, replaces the resort’s oldest installation. The many experts take their chances on Monte-Gélé or Lac des Vaux. Those finishing Tortin’s 3,000-foot vertical of bumps have a gondola or cable car to whisk tired bodies back to Verbier. Intermediates are happy at Ruinettes or Savoleyres. Débutants can begin just above the village. The more adventurous can ski a day in Chamonix or Courmayeur or try the ‘Super St. Bernard’ to Italy. In April, the most experienced can do the four day haute route to Zermatt and Chamonix. It’s an Epic Pass partner with five days of skiing while staying in specific hotels and was awarded Switzerland’s best resort for a second year by World Ski Awards.