Tag Archive for: Off Piste Verbier

Mixing Champagne and Powder Snow

Champagne and Powder Skiing | Verbier

Champagne and Powder in Verbier

Roddy Skiing Epic Powder Snow in Verbier

Champagne and Powder Mixed Together

You can easily find and drink champagne in Verbier. You can also find powder snow in Verbier. However, finding super light fluffy powder snow and champagne together can be tricky!

I started to write a blog about skiing epic powder that is super light and fluffy. The type of snow that is often described as ———–* Powder. However, after some research on the internet I’ve discovered that a certain ski resort in America has registered this term as trademark. So, it is tricky to write about ———-* Powder skiing in Verbier. Which is a shame as it is probably the best descriptions for super light fluffy powder snow.

Super Light Fluffy Powder Snow

After considering the potential threat of receiving a nice letter from a friendly lawyer somewhere in America! I’ve decided to brand up my own versions of this incredible ski experience. From now on I am going to call it Champenoise Powder. Maybe that’s missing a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’! But this new brand of snow will hopefully avoid the attention of some pesky lawyer!

What causes Champenoise Powder

The meteorological conditions for Champenoise Powder in Verbier, happen when there is a convergence of a cold Artic air mass with a warmer moist Atlantic weather system. The moist air meets the cold air and produces cold dry snow.

The air temperature needs to be so cold that it tickles your nose like champagne bubbles! Minus 10° Celsius and colder. The lower the air temperature the lower the moisture content in the snow. The lower the moisture content in snow, the lighter and dryer the snow (weighing 70 to 100 kilograms per cubic meter). The lightness and dryness are the main factors that makes this type of snow so special to ski.

Finding Champenoise Powder Snow in Verbier

After a snowfall, epic powder can be found on all the classic Verbier itineraries: Tortin, Gentianes, Mont Gele etc. However, to find quieter less skied powder you’ll need to not follow the sheep like masses and head away from the big names on a busy powder day.

When is a good time to find the best Powder in Verbier?

Over the last few years after the New Year crowds have gone. Verbier has had some super cold, deliciously soft, marvellously light and exceptionally dry powder snow in the middle weeks of January. So, a good bet for great powder snow in Verbier is January 15th!

Finding Champagne in Verbier

Head to almost any bar in Verbier, to discover the tingle of champagne bubbles in your nose.  Of particular-note for champagne is the Farm Club.

When is a good time to find Champagne in Verbier?

In my opinion, pretty much any time is a good time. However, if you want your powder and champagne mixed then the winter months are a good time.

If you need help finding either Champagne or Skiing Powder in Verbier please do contact me.

Savoleyres looking down to Verbier

Off Piste Regulations – Verbier

 Savoleyres looking down to Verbier

Swiss Federal Ordinance for Activities of Risk

What are the laws for mountain professionals working in Switzerland? The answers can be found in the Swiss Federal Ordinance for Activities of Risk (Orisque). From 2014 all mountain guides, ski instructors, climbing instructors, mountain leaders have had to comply with Orisque. However, the Federal Council has revised the ordinance and the new regulations come into force from the 7th of May 2019. Here are some of the main changes for all mountain professionals working in Switzerland.

Snow Sports Instructors – 39 to 44 Degrees 

Previously the Orisque limited off-piste terrain for ski and snowboard instructors to AD (Assez Difficile), with a maximum slope angle of up to 39 degrees. Now the maximum slope angle for a Brevet Federal Snow Sports Instructor is 44 degrees. However, the routes taken must avoid ‘no fall zones’.

“There is clearly clientele who want to improve their ski technique on steeper off piste routes, for the past five years ski instructors have been limited in their services. The new ordinance will allow ski instructors again to prepare good skiers for Heli-skis excursions led by mountain guides”. Verbier Ski School Director

Climbing Instructors and Mountain Leaders

Because of the change to the Orisque climbing instructors will now be able to take their clients on via-ferrata routes. And mountain leaders will be able to follow routes of up to T4 level of difficult.

Authorisation to Exercise

Due to the change in the Orisque all mountain professional must have authorisation to practice their profession in Switzerland. All visiting mountain guides and snow sports instructor now need to obtain a licence prior to starting  work. It was possible in the past to work for up to 10 days without making a declaration.

If you want to find out more about authorisations to work in Switzerland visit the MontagnePro website.

Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about Verbier off piste skiing.


Another great powder day in Verbier

Verbier Powder

Another amazing week in Verbier – Empty slopes and great snow. 



Savoleyres Powder

Verbier Snow – Powder Day

Savoleyres Powder

Emma finds fresh tracks – It’s a Pow-E-der day. This winter has been amazing with many days of great cold snow. Today the clouds cleared above Savoleyres and we skied endless fresh tracks. Simply EPIC. If you want to take your skiing from the piste to the powder then let me know.

Pow Pow Verbier

Bluebird Powder Day December 11 2018

First powder day winter 18-19 Verbier

Pow Pow Verbier

Today in Verbier – Say no more….

Powder in Verbier

Off Piste Conditions | Verbier | North South Divide

Powder in Verbier

Off Piste Conditions in Verbier

There is definitely a wealth divide in Verbier, only the divide isn’t being measured with cash but with snow. And interestingly it is the north which has more than the south. The south facing slopes of Verbier are no longer white, or shades of white and brown, they are green! Spring really is here very early. However the recent snow fall last weekend has help keep the north rich in the white stuff, with north facing skiing in good condition. More snow is forecast for the coming weekend, I’ll keep you posted as to how the wealth is divided!

If you need some help over coming the divide this winter in Verbier then please do contact me Roddy Willis Verbier Ski Instructor.


Fresh tracks in Rock Garden Verbier

Epic Powder and Cuckoo clock chalets

Verbier Snow Report

Fresh tracks in Rock Garden Verbier

Verbier Snow Report

Errant Verbier Ski Instructor and Snow Reporter reporting in. The ski addicts out there will love my excuse for being a bit slack on reporting back the good news!

Yes , I have been out there playing in some of the finest snow available. I am now on about ten consecutive days of fantastic powder. Starting last week in Zinal for four days with some great clients and then heading back to Verbier in time for Christmas and yet another dump of snow on Christmas eve.

As of today all the classic Verbier itineraries are skied out. However, with a little walking it was possible to find some great snow.  Particularly good today was Rocky Garden where the snow was just perfect.

Please contact me if you think you’d like some help with your powder skiing skills?

Lifts closed - to much snow - time to ski down to Le Chable

Skiing from Medran to La Chable

Lifts closed - to much snow - time to ski down to Le Chable

Verbier Off Piste | Medran to Le Chable

If you read some of the press in late November and early December you’d have thought that there was going to be no snow or skiing ever again in Switzerland. Well, the no skiing part might have been right on some days like today but the reason certainly isn’t a lack of snow! Today the lifts were shut and we skied Verbier Off Piste to le Chable, great snow and great fun.


Rocky Garden Verbier

Rocky Garden Verbier – Let the party rock

Rocky Garden Verbier

In Rocky Garden Verbier today the party was still chilled. The darkened corners of Rocky Garden away from the heat of sun there is still epic powder to be found. If, corn or spring snow is your thing then the season to be merry is here for those in the know. Like all great parties timing is the key, arrive to early and be welcomed by a crusty hard host. Arrive to late and all the guests have turned to slush and mush. Please contact me if you need a party guide to Verbier.


Powder tracks Savoleyres Verbier

Epic Powder Days In Verbier

Epic Verbier Off-Piste Skiing

Verbier off-piste skiing came alight at the weekend with a fresh snow fall of 30cm and more in places.

The snow started on Friday and s the snow fell all day and into the night.  A bluebird day was predicted for Saturday. I knew we were in for a great few days of epic Verbier powder skiing.

I met my skiing partners early Saturday morning. We headed straight for the front side of Savoleyres for two epic powder runs in the sunshine down to the town. We quickly followed this up with an amazing run from Creblet taking the high traverse towards Col de Mines. Fantastic conditions holding out all weekend. Monday we squeezed in a hike to the top of Greppon Blanc and skied in perfect powder to the valley floor. The best tasting hot dog in the Alps was waiting for us at the bottom. We then took the bus back to le Masses and made our way back to Verbier via a number of special side stashes of powder.

Epic powder fun for all the Verbier the crew, Emma TH, Amy, Jack and Babs from Beauty in Motion.

Keep an eye out for my future blogs and maybe book some off piste skiing in Verbier and the four Valleys.

Verbier Off Piste Skiing

More Epic Snow

The end of another epic weekend of powder skiing in Verbier.