This spaghetti of reds is a glorious intermediate playground, but even cautious beginners should ride up to access a couple of scenic blue runs higher up. From the top of Mont-Fort there is only the black run and serious off-piste runs to be tackled with a guide, but everyone – non-skiers included – should ride the sequence of gondolas and cable cars to 3,330m for the views.
The gentle, sunny bowl of La Chaux, before the top of the area, is popular with families and beginners. There’s also a terrain park here that has three routes (blue, red, black) with jumps and rails of varying difficulty, plus a giant airbag and a thrilling snow cross run.
An alternative to the Médran lift at busy times is to take a shuttle bus to Carrefour, a roundabout and restaurant of the same name near the top of the Le Rouge drag lift, which access the fast Mayentzet six-seater chairlift to Médran’s mid-mountain hub of Ruinettes.
The Savoleyres sector of slopes is a 10-minute bus ride from central Verbier, and this is followed by a 12-minute ride on a slow gondola. However, the reward is an extensive network of blue and red pistes shared between a sunny bowl above Verbier and the forested slopes behind, which lead down to the smaller resort of La Tzoumaz. The Savoleyres runs are quieter than those directly above Verbier, and the north-facing tree runs down to La Tzoumaz are the best place to go on low-visibility days. The Audiquattro Funslope, a cross between a terrain park and snow-cross course, is a fun run for all levels with a tunnel, banked turns, gates and small jumps.
The more confident should certainly explore the further reaches of the 4 Vallées ski area, allowing a day for Thyon and Veysonnaz, and another for Nendaz. The routes to get there do include ungroomed itinerary runs, but non-experts can always ride a cable car or gondola down instead.
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