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freeriding, resorts, gear

Down2Earth Nendaz

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Altitude: 1500m - 3300m
Backcountry: More then excellent
Difficulty: advanced
Apres Ski: average
Best powder period: December - March
Pow: *****

Many people see Les Quatre Vallées as the region which is connected to Verbier. And with it’s outspoken, posh, sporty, powder scene you would almost overlook the more calm and family oriented Nendaz. And exactly this cosy family atmosphere makes Haute Nendaz such an interesting village to explore Les Quatre Vallées from. When there is a fresh dump of pow you will see that within a matter of hours most powder on the side of Verbier will be turned into crud. Where after a few hours in Nendaz you will still find untracked fresh pow, amazing descents and treeruns.

Taking all safety procedures in account, you are able to find very nice routes from Nendaz in Les Quatre Vallées. From Tracouet you can make a nice decent which includes treeruns to Bleusy and on Plan de Fou you can also find nice routes. Next to these routes you can also check out the ‘highway’, ‘stairway’ and many more options when you head out into the backcountry. If you are looking to explore routes with your friends in Les Quatre Vallées you can order freeridemaps at If you want to find the best routes but you don’t have sufficient knowledge about snowsafety, then you can also book a guide. A very well know guide in Nendaz, who knows every corner in the region, is Sander Kan, who you can find here.
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Nendaz & Les Quatre Vallées provides some of the most challenging mountains and slopes for experienced boarders and skiers. The terrain is a bit more difficult then what you can expect in other areas. They have a lot of ski routes marked yellow on the map. These descents, when they are open, are blasted to prevent avalanches but still require caution and are accessible for experienced skiers or snowboarders. They aren’t checked during patrols like normal slopes are. So watch your buddies. By following these routes you will have plenty of challenging options for your day.
Because the area is so famous for freeriding, you are also able to find some spots to do beacon search exercises. In Siviez near the Tipi you can find a practice field.

One of the downsides of Nendaz, for comfort seekers, are the lift connections in Nendaz and Veysonnaz. In these areas in the region you will mostly find old lifts. These lifts are uncomfortable and take a long time to take you up. Luckely Nendaz and Siviez have started the construction of a new modern lift which will directly connect Siviez with Plan du Fou. This will decrease the connection between the two villages and also add to some of the comfort. In the coming years Nendaz is planning to modernize more lifts, if they are able to do so without impacting the environment.
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The village itself
During the winter season Nendaz is a lively small village. It is mostly filled with families celebrating their wintersports holiday, but you will also find groups of young people. Nendaz has a few restaurants and a few bars. One of the best spots for Après Ski straight after downhilling is at Hotel Les Etagnes. This Hotel with Bar is located right next to the main lifts and main slope. Staying here means you can ski to your apartment or the bar. Which ever you prefer! And also when you are visiting Nendaz be sure to check out Edelweiss, The Canadian and Cactus for some après ski.
Next to snowboarding, skiing and mountain sports Nendaz also offers an Ice Rink where you can do some ice skating. And in summer the village also offers a very good terrain for mountain biking.

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To us Nendaz provided more then we could possibly experience in one week. Even if you would stay for a few month you would still not be able to experience all the routes these mountains have to offer. The village itself is a nice retreat. Not to quiet and not to busy. Nendaz is a practical village and suited for freeriders who would like to discover one of the best freeride areas of Europe, but who aren’t looking for the powderstress of Verbier.

Interested in visiting Nendaz? Check their website here!
Looking for a Hotel next to the slopes: Les Etagnes:
Want to book a guide check Sander Kan (English Speaking guide) here!

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