Zac’s Take on the Five Toughest On-Piste Runs in the Four Valleys

 

It’s that time of the season when the skiing in Verbier is just fantastic! On the high mountain the coverage is excellent and consistent and, for now, the temperatures are cool enough to maintain delicious, dry quality of snow. The best time to hit the on-pistes runs is first thing in the morning, once the piste-bashers have finished their long night’s work of smoothing and restoring and perfecting the groomers. That way, you’ll be in the best position when the sun starts to soften the luxurious corduroy lines beckoning you down the mountain. Time to don your carving skis and why not give these five challenging pistes a run for their money?

Countdown of the Toughest On-Piste Runs

1: Mont Fort

This run, which is un-pisted at the top, requires big legs and big lungs to make it down without a break. Drink in the incredible views from the top of Mont Fort (a view that all visitors to Verbier should see) then power your way down through the bumps before hitting the straight.

2: Greppon Blanc

This consistently steep wide black run definitely makes up for the long pomma ride up! It is accessed from the top of Combatseline quad-chair by a short run to the base of the pomma. A great slope to practise short turns due to the even pitch which is the highlight for me as this is not easy to find in the Four Valleys.

3: Etherolla in Thyon

A long black run that has three or four different pitches and which is usually nice and firm, adding to the challenge. It is accessed from Verbier via the Four Valleys connections and then a ride up on the Etherolla quad-chair. This run makes the trip all the way over from Verbier worth it especially on the right day snow-wise.

4: Les Fontaines (in the Plan-du-Fou area)

A medium-length black run that makes the trip towards Nendaz (accessed via Siviez) well worth it. Nice and steep and usually quite empty, this one is definitely good fun. My highlight is being somewhere where most people based in Verbier for their holiday don’t bother with.

5: Piste de l’Ours

Last, but definitely not least, is the best piste in the Four Valleys I believe. At one point a stop on the World Cup used for Super-G races, this run is a thigh-burning length (depending on how many times you stop, of course) and has a high degree of difficulty with its many different pitches, sweeping bends, and sometimes stiff snow. Also it is often pretty quiet and is wide enough that you can really get a good head of steam. All of these things, combined with the view of Sion, make it an absolute must for the piste fanatic.

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