Downhill skiing & snowboarding
Lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding are the most popular activities in Verbier. So much so that we could write several guides dedicated to them... and, in fact, we have! Take a look at our Ski Areas, Pistes and Parks Guide where you'll not only find a lot of information on the Verbier ski area but also links to many other articles: Ski Lifts Guide, Best Pistes Guide, Snowparks Guide, Beginner Ski Areas Guide, Advanced Ski Areas Guide, Off-Piste Ski Areas Guide, Ski Itineraries Guide and even a guide on the best places to go skiing when the weather is bad.
However, lift-assisted downhill skiing and snowboarding aren't the only things you can do in Verbier while having a pair of skis or a board strapped to your feet.
Verbier has four designated cross-country skiing circuits, which vary in length from 2.4 km to 6 km and are suitable for skating of classic style cross country skiing. You can hire XC ski boots and lightweight skis and poles fairly inexpensively from most sports shops in Verbier. Find your way around with the cross country skiing maps.
How much does it cost to go cross-country skiing in Verbier? Cross-country rental prices starting at around 15 CHF per day. You may also want to book a group or private lesson to learn the basics, in which case prices start at around 180 CHF for a six-day group lesson. Finally, to access the higher trails you'll need a lift pass. Cross-country skiers can purchase pedestrian passes starting at around 7 CHF for a single trip and up to 80 CHF for six days.
Enjoying the thrill of being on the pistes need not escape you if you're less mobile or have special physical needs. Resorts all over the Alps offer equipment and fully qualified guides to help you get the most out of your experience. Sit-ski, taxi ski, Vertiski, Handiski... whichever method you're used to, or would like to try there will be at least one ski school or activity company in Verbier that offers this service.
Heliskiing & heliboarding
Skiers, snowboarders and telemarkers can take a helicopter ride into the very heart of the Swiss Alps and enjoy an original and challenging descent of Verbier's mountains. You'll be under the supervision of a qualified guide who knows the area well and can recommend the best places to go. Heliskiing isn't legal in neighbouring France, so a lot of people will cross the border to enjoy the experience. The most popular destinations in the region include Rosablanche (3314m), Petit Combin (3670m) or on the Trient glacier (3295m). For those wanting to explore deep into the backcountry, try heli-touring with a guide.
How much does it cost to go heliskiing in Verbier? Perhaps unsurprisingly, heliskiing is one of the most expensive activities on this list – after all, you’re swapping the lifts for your very own helicopter! Prices start at around 300 CHF per person and include the helicopter ride and a guide to go with you as you ski down the remotest areas in Verbier.
Ski touring & split boarding
Whether it's going up the pistes that most people normally ski down or tackling a backcountry route, ski touring and split boarding allow you to get off the beaten path while working a sweat up the slopes. Verbier has seven designated ski touring itineraries and a plethora of backcountry options for the more experienced, or those heading out with a guide. A number of ski schools, private instructors and companies can show you their favourite touring itineraries, or if you've got all the necessary equipment you can head out in your own group.
How much does it cost to go ski touring or split boarding in Verbier? It depends. Ski touring prices in Verbier range between 60 CHF per day if you’re only renting the gear and around 400 CHF if you’re also getting a guide for the day to help you explore the backcountry. Of course, if you already have the equipment and the local knowledge, ski touring in Verbier is free!
The idea behind speed riding is to combine the sensations of skiing and paragliding into one activity, and then descend off-piste sections of the mountain using a mini-wing to enable you to access areas that you might not normally go. Learning and having fun with speed riding comes very fast as long as you are a competent skier; you need to be able to ski red pistes with confidence in any type of snow. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
How much does it cost to try out speed riding in Verbier? Beginner speed riding lessons usually start at around 100 CHF for a half-day group lesson and they include the wing but not the ski hire – high-end ski hire for advanced skiers starts at around 30 CHF per day in Verbier. Speak to one of the companies offering this activity who can show you the ropes (literally).
Telemarking is a form of downhill skiing where you are only attached into the binding at the toe, so to turn, you have to lunge and bring your heel upwards. Talk to one of the ski schools or private instructors who can teach you how to telemark and take you out on excursions using this technique.
How much does it cost to go telemarking in Verbier? It depends. Telemarking prices in Verbier range between around 40 CHF if you’re only buying a ski pass for a day, plus around 70 CHF if you’re adding one-day gear rental, and around 90 CHF if you’re also getting a private instructor for an hour to teach you the basics.