Verbier or Zermatt?

| Add a new Post...
Post By
  Thread Started By:   foosscubaboard   On:   Wednesday 11/10/2017 @ 16:26 Show Newest First    
Posts: 2
  #2  Verbier or Zermatt?  Posted 11/10/2017 @ 16:26
A few of us are looking to make the trip across the pond to switzerland. I know there are a TON of slopes to choose from in the Alps, and we have seen two show up on alot of 'best of' lists.

All snowboarders, maybe on skier. Intermediate to experts. Mostly fast cruisers. Looking for long runs, powder, etc.

Any advice? How is it getting to the resorts driving from Zurich? I'm guessing one road in one road out.

          Reload  Top
Posts: 3
  #3  Re: Verbier or Zermatt?  Posted 12/10/2017 @ 22:37
In reply to post #2...
Not been to Verbier, so can't comment. Zermatt has a massive ski zone split into several areas so you won't get bored. From the top of the Glacier cable car there is a great piste into Italy where you can access all the pistes/terrain above Cervinia. The off piste/backcountry is pretty special, although my understanding is that Verbier has more to offer in this department.

Zermatt town is buzzing and picturesque. It has plenty of great bars and restaurants but at a cost. You will need a tonne of cash to spend a week there (I hear Verbier is the same.) Both great mountains, but probably two of the most expensive resorts in Europe. (Have you considered Tignes, France? In my opinion, one of the best in Europe.)

I wouldn't bother driving to Zermatt. Switzerland has an incredible mountain railway network and you can get a train from the airport right into the centre of town. In addition to this, cars are banned from Zermatt and everyone gets around in these electric buggy things.

Hope that's useful.
          Reload  Top
Posts: 2237
UK - England
  #4  Re: Verbier or Zermatt?  Posted 13/10/2017 @ 09:20
In reply to post #2...
What he said, plus you can't drive to Zermatt - you have to get the train at some point. Swiss public transport is excellent and the rail stations are co-located with the airports, for example. Unless you need a car for other reasons, you may well find it cheaper and easier without. You don't need/ want a car to get around the resort. In Zermatt the lifts are right in the village - you may have to walk a few meters (not all sections are connected), but that's it. Verbier is bigger/ more spread out, but from what I remember there are free shuttle busses to get you to the lifts (these may also be useful in short-circuiting the interlinked-area: catch a bus to the far end of the area then board back, for example). Almost no tourists will drive in these places; those who do will pay to park their car for the duration of their stay.

Resort wise, well if you pick the country first (not necessarily a bad thing) then you've already made a lot of choices. There are many excellent resorts with completely different set-ups and vibes in other countries, just so you know. But Switzerland isn't a bad place to start - the resorts tend to be more "traditional" with a year-round culture; the lift systems more idiosyncratic; and the mountains particularly pretty.

You'll be fine for "long runs" (assuming your legs are up to it) at either of those places, although the snow conditions will change significantly from top to bottom so you may not always want to ride that way. If you've not been before then either of those places will work, although I'd recommend Zermatt because it's stupidly pretty, has slopes for all sorts of people, and (a little like Snowbird) delivers more the more you know it.

"Fast cruisers" would translate as "motorways" to UK people - Cervinia would be a better bet for that but it's not really in the same league as Zermatt and you can ride over there (Italy) for a day if you like.

Verbier attracts a slightly younger crowd and may be a better bet for party types. It's got some magnificent slopes and the 4 valleys gives you more to ride than Zermatt/ Cervinia, although it's not a giant French circus, so those links aren't as good as the French 3 Valleys for example.

In both cases the best stuff may well not be controlled/ patrolled. You need to understand the local safety rules, which are different from North America. Broadly you're absolutely entitled to kill yourself, and it's easier to do than in the US (because there's no in-bounds off-trail concept: you're either on piste or you're on your own).
powder mountain   Facts about snowboarding safety
          Reload  Top
Posts: 14
  #5  Re: Verbier or Zermatt?  Posted 15/10/2017 @ 00:36
Revision #1 (Last edited: 15/10/2017 @ 00:43)
In reply to post #3...
          Reload  Top
Posts: 86
  #6  Re: Verbier or Zermatt?  Posted 27/10/2017 @ 16:30
In reply to post #5...
I've been to both resorts a few times and Zermatt would be my choice. It's a proper alpine village with some very old picturesque buildings. Verbier doesn't have the same ambience. Having said that, I've never stayed in Verbier but have spent a weekend there in the summer and whilst it is more of a party town, it won't be as scenic as Zermatt in the winter.
philw made an interesting point, you should only really go off-piste where it is safe to do so. There are some good unpisted runs (orange runs on the piste map) from Hohtalli and Stockhorn and elsewhere but unlike some resorts I've been to in North America, you can't just hop off the side of any piste and expect to have a run out piste at the bottom.
Zermatt is also easier to navigate from one end to the other, and into Italy. In Verbier it isn't as easy to explore the rest of the 4 vallées region as you need to plan to get back into Verbier before the last lift. In Zermatt, as long as you're back over the border, there is always a run back down to the village...
          Reload  Top
Subscribe using any feed reader!
Search the Forum
Advanced Search
Latest Posts Latest Active Threads RSS Feed
- Les Trois Vallees Feb 22- March 2nd 2019
- Yes Ghost vs Jones All Mountain Twin: Board Length Advice
- Pale Snowboards - What's the crack?
- Snowboard Binding Survey
- Banff Canada
- Breckenridge March 2019 - Anyone looking for Accommodation Share ?
- Best board for carving/ charging hard
- Laax end of Jan
- New Board-sports apparel brand | Fotans Collective | Please support
- Chamrousse Feb 2018
- Values&Voices. Athletes as advocates for pro-environmental behavior - A research project
- FOR SALE: Zardoz Low-Fluoro Iron-On Race Wax
- With wise binding offset.
- Hemel Hemstead meetup / Ben Nevis Feb 09
- test
- Lib Tech Skate Banana sizing
- New members.
- Why did you start snowbording?
- Snowboard binding digging into little toe :(
Get our Newsletter
Your E-mail Address
More Details
Find us on Facebook
© 2001-2018