Freeriding, terrain parks and pistes
Freeriders who know just what snowboarding is all about will be very impressed with Verbier. The ONeil Xtreme competition is held here on the North face of the Bec des Rosses which should give you an idea of what awesome terrain is on offer. The Mont Gele cable car serves no piste, just a series of off-piste runs and couloirs of varying extremity; tuck your balls (or equivalent) away before you get up there. The less squeamish should check out the areas round the back of Lac des Vaux! The Col des Mines, and Vallon d Arbi routes steer you towards wide open powder fields with the words session me written all over them. A great and long off piste ride is a short walk from the new Les Attelas chair or the 104 Funispace cable car all the way down to the 107 Mayentzet lift. If trees are your thing, Verbier has loads of them, especially in the Bruson area, but remember, Switzerland is the one country that protects its forests, so shredding the spruce is not always appreciated.
Freestylers have an ok park located up on La Chaux, it features 3 separate lines and a number of kickers and rails. The natural stuff around La Chaux is pretty good as is the area around the Lac des Vaux lifts. Theres no pipe which is a surprise and quite frankly a joke for a resort of Verbiers size but freestyle and boarding are defiantly an after thought. Not all is lost though, for the freestyler with some imagination, as theres hundreds of rock drops ranging from a few feet to insane cliffs, which is what Verbiers all about, its natural extreme terrain.
Piste riders who enjoy hacking it down the pistes will love things here. The best run is undoubtedly the long, wide red piste that goes from the top of Attelas all the way back to the Medran lifts. Theres also some cool stuff at Savoleyres and Ruinettes, but no one can argue against the fact that Verbier has; long, short, wide, thin, banked, rolling, steep and flat pistes, there really is the lot and enough to keep you riding for a season without getting bored.
For Beginners the best option is the runs at Savoleyres, where you are certain to end up doing a few 180 butt spins. Some lifts can be tricky, so keep to the slower chair lifts. The instruction here is fine, with English speaking instruction no problem. For those of you who want a BASI instructor check out the British run New Generation school, who’ve recently set up here.READ NEXT: Village life, accommodation & nightlife