Verbier’s legendary off piste should be amazing if Mother Nature is up to her usual tricks this January. There’s rarely a dull month in Verbier and January is no exception, with world class competitions like the Swatch Freeride Tour taking place in years gone by. The après bars are firing on all cylinders come January - Mont Fort and Fleur de House are usually reliable for some wild parties.
January is usually one of the cheapest months to ski and this is still generally the case at Verbier, especially in the second half of the month. If splashing the cash on the champers in Farm Club is more your thing (or you just fancy a second Christmas...), Verbier’s famous glitz and glamour is taken to another level when wealthy Russians celebrate Russian Christmas on the 7th of January.
January Snow History
Average snow depth
Average snow depth
January ski rating
Verbier’s ski area has access to altitudes up to 3300 metres on the Mont Fort, so you can generally rely on a good amount of snow in January. On the highest Mont-fort piste, there’s an average snow depth of 141cm, whilst the bottom of the piste at town level is usually covered in a respectable 90cm.
There’s no two ways about it – skiing in the Alps in January is always going to be a bit chilly with an average temperature of -0.1 degrees. With average highs of 4.5 and lows of -3.3 degrees, be sure to hit those January sales and bring plenty of warm layers... don’t wait until you get to Verbier unless you want to splash out on some pretty pricey ski couture!
With plenty of terrain below/near the tree line, you can find a bit of shelter if need be. Vallon d’Arbi (classified as yellow – closed if avalanche risk it too high, but not controlled) is a relatively wide and moderately steep treed run that winds its way through the forests above Verbier. It’s a blast for experts and higher intermediates too. Col des Mines is another moderately steep yellow run in the same sector that gets a good amount of exposure to the sun, making it ideal in January.
Though Verbier is world famous for its expert level backcountry, it’s fantastic for intermediates too. The bowl at La Chaux has a brilliant network of blue and red runs and is south facing (which means it gets the most sunshine in the depths of winter). From Fontanet, you will also find some nice, sheltered intermediate level tree runs that wind their way back to Verbier.
There are plenty of things to do at Verbier in January. When there’s a competition in town, the atmosphere can be electric – be sure to see whether Verbier is hosting the Swatch Freeride World Tour on its hallowed backcountry this year. World Snow Day is an annual event held throughout the world to celebrate all things snow related and give young boarders and skiers a gentle introduction into the world of Snowsports – in past years, Verbier has given out freebies including lessons, venue entry, food and drink so it’s well worth getting involved if you’re here while it’s on!
If you’re a fitness fanatic and still have plenty of energy after skiing, be sure to check out the yoga and spinning classes that usually take place in January.
If you’ve always wondered how the pistes are groomed to perfection and would like to see what goes on behind the scenes, see if you can take a ride on a piste basher after the lifts close for the day. Night skiing usually takes place on the Petite Combes piste, which is great if you want to get some more skiing in when the days are relatively short in January.