The Swiss region of Valais is a skiers’ paradise, with over 2,000km of pistes available and an impressive altitude meaning great snow is guaranteed. Add in a range of world-class resorts, fantastic gastronomy and spectacular views and there’s no surprise skiers love these Swiss slopes season after season. However, if it’s your first visit or you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve rounded up our top five descents in Valais for you to explore this winter.
For The Adventure Seekers – Le Pas de Chavanette, aka The Swiss Wall
Perhaps the most famous run in the Portes du Soleil ski area, this run is on many skiers’ bucket list. After heavy snowfall, moguls of up to two metres have been known to form on the upper section, making this run a rite of passage for keen mogul skiers. It covers a descent of 400 metres despite being just 1km long, so is recommended for only the most experienced skiers.
For The Best Views – Matterhorn Glacier Paradise
This 25km run from the cable car station of the Matterhorn glacier down to the world-famous resort of Zermatt offers some of the most stunning views in the Valais region. At an altitude of 3,883 metres, this is one of the highest cable car stations in Europe, giving skiers an incredible panorama of the surrounding mountains. From here, you can see the mountain peaks of not just Switzerland, but of France and Italy too.
For All Early Birds – Les Attelas, Verbier
One of the most picture-perfect runs in the area, hit this run first thing in the morning and you will find yourself with perfectly prepared, wide open pistes all to yourselves! 10km of gentle sunny slopes, this is a piste that skiers of all abilities can enjoy. Upper beginners to intermediate skiers will appreciate the gradient and enjoy developing their skills, while advanced to expert skiers will relish the opportunity to crank up their carving turns.
For Picture Perfect Scenery – Ripaille to Grand-Paradis
This beautifully varied run is sure to remind all skiers why they absolutely love the mountains. A 10km trail down from 1,820 to 1,055 metres, this slope provides exceptional views of the dramatic Dents du Midi and Dents Blanches peaks, before winding through enchanting pine forests and snowy wonderlands. With winding trails, straight schusses and some steeper sections, this run is a lot of fun. We’d definitely forgive you for getting the lift straight back up to do it again!
For On Slope Refreshment – Mittelallalin to Saas-Fee
Starting at 3,500 metres, this high-altitude 9km run is dotted with mountain restaurants offering food, drink and a place to rest your legs! The more challenging upper section sees you pass through a steep dramatic glacier landscape of crevasses and mountain peaks down to the slopes of Spielboden. Once you arrive in Spielboden you can then choose between two further descents – the off piste, often mogul-filled Weisse Perle, or the more gentle option of the groomed descent.