It's very cold and the days are short, but the skies are blue and the pistes are quiet, so wrap up warm and get outside to find new year adventures.
After the Christmas / New Year holidays are over, January is the quietest part of the main winter season in Verbier. This means you have the slopes to yourselves, rarely have to queue for a lift and can enjoy pistes in great condition.
The quiet conditions on the mountain don’t translate to quiet nights in the town. There are fewer families and more adult visitors, meaning it can be easier to get a table at a restaurant, and the bars are buzzing with plenty of live music and party nights to keep you entertained whilst you warm your hands on a glass of vin chaud.
Read on for a look at what we like to do in resort throughout January.
What are the weather & snow conditions like in Verbier in January?
There is regular snowfall - on average 11 days - and subzero temperatures keep it nice and fresh. In January the days start to get longer and the sun gets higher in the sky. As a result, the slopes see more hours of sunshine than in December. However, the temperature still tends to be cold and we can get a lot of snow. The average daytime temperatures generally fall between a high of 1°C and a low of -7ºC, getting around five hours of sunshine. Definitely pack those thermals!
What's on in Verbier in January?
FIS World Snow Day
Taking place mid-month, this is a wonderful event aimed at children aged from four to 14 years who are beginner skiers. It involves a program where participants will be welcomed by the Swiss Ski School in Verbier and will then proceed to have a three-hour lesson by a professional instructor, with a ski pass, equipment and a picnic provided. This is a really fun event, with brilliant instruction and a chance for kids to meet other children with similar abilities and ages.
Audi Quattro Ski Cup
This amateur ski racing competition take place towards the end of the month. There is a specially prepared giant slalom course on which competitors (over 18s only) will battle for the fastest time. The event is aimed to give people the opportunity to try their hand at downhill slalom racing and participation is actively encouraged whatever your ability. There will be a grand final on the last day and the winners will qualify for the world finals. Most importantly, it’s a day of fun and friendly competition.
ISTA Safety Days
A series of in-depth avalanche safety courses held by the International Snow Training Academy. The courses will offer you an invaluable opportunity to learn the dangers of avalanches, how to read the snow, transceiver use and emergency procedures. Whether you’re just beginning to push yourself into dangerous terrain, or are an experienced freeride skier, you can never have too much avalanche safety training.
On 26th January, our antipodean friends celebrate their national day. Australia Day has become a day to celebrate for all nationalities and it’s now an institution across the Alps. You'll probably see large groups of seasonnaires BBQing on the slopes and then hitting the town afterwards. There’s going to be lots of typical ‘Straya Day’ fancy dress, national flags, and all things Aussie. The bars and clubs around Verbier will be hosting parties and no doubt the atmosphere around resort will be fun.
With all those empty pistes, no lift queues and perfect conditions, we like to get out into the mountains on our skis and snowboards as much as possible.
If you visit the resort in January you can buy a lift pass and join one of the local ski schools' many ski or snowboard lessons taking place around the resort.
Things to Do
Alternative Winter Sports
It doesn't just have to be piste based adventures you take part in. Ski-touring and split-boarding have become extremely popular in recent years, and there's nothing that gets the heart pumping like gaining altitude under your own steam. When it's a 'white out' you'll find us changing tack entirely, pulling on some raquettes (snowshoes) and venturing forth into the wilderness on one of the many snowshoeing routes around the valley, all the while dreaming of tomorrow's bluebird powder day.
Bars & Clubs
At this time of the season we are looking forward to some live music sessions, whether from local bands or even one of the open mike nights and jam sessions that the local bars often hold. So, whether you fancy yourself an Adele, Bob Dylan or a Satriani, there's definitely somewhere you can 'entertain' the crowds.
Of course, that's if we've made it home from one of the many après-ski events taking place every evening across town.