- During this ski mountaineering course, we will study and apply the main techniques used to ski up and ski down efficiently on any kinds of slopes and snows, to give you the abilities to ski safely on non-glacial slopes:
* How to keep an economical pace, drink and eat steadily
* How to open up the route
* How to use for the best the specific equipment of Ski Mountaineering
* How to improve your skiing downhill techniques (training in off-piste skiing)
* How to take one's bearings.
- You will be guided by a French IFMGA Mountain Guide or a French Ski instructor, expert in back country skiing, speaking fluently English with a near-native comprehension. Your guide has more than 20 years of experience in back country skiing in Ceillac mountains.
- Accommodation will take place in the two stars hotel "Les Veyres" whose chef is one of our best friends, Yannick Fournier, graduated from the hotel school of Thonon-Les-Bains.
- The valley of Ceillac is one of the best spots of the Alps for a discovering ski mountaineering week, thanks to the following characteristics:
* The altitude of the village (5380 feet) permits departures on skis for all the ascents of the course.
* The excellent snow cover of the valley of Ceillac, and the dry and cool climate of Queyras permit to keep good snow conditions from December to May (the small ski resort of Ceillac welcomes each winter, from December to April, the training courses of the French National Ski Team).
* Most of the slopes face the North, the West and the South. Therefore we do not have to wake up too early, as we should do it for slopes facing the East.
* With 300 days of nice weather per year, Ceillac offers the best guarantees for the success of this course.
* Ceillac inhabitants give you a warm welcome, in a typical old French mountain village.
With the exception of the 3 first days of the program, which include "Safety and Off-piste skiing training", you may choose to relax one day in the hotel, if you feel tired.
Day 1: we will study and practice all the techniques to be used in case of a avalanche: research with transceivers, probes and shovels, care of a injured skier, survival techniques.
Day 2: using ski lifts, we will improve your skiing downhill techniques (training in off-piste skiing), and then, using synthetic seal skins, tour up to Lake Miroir, altitude 7264 feet, and to the easy slopes round it.
Day 3: using first ski lifts, then going up with the synthetic seal skins, we will ski Girardin pass (8855 feet) and Favière Peak (9409 feet). In the afternoon, off-piste skiing on Ceillac skiing area.
Day 4: ski touring, Estronques pass (8697 feet) and Jacquette peak (9045 feet).
Day 5: ski touring, Tronchet pass (8796 feet).
Day 6: On early Friday morning, short ascent before dawn to see the sun rising up on Queyras mountains. Way down back to our hotel where we will have breakfast. End of the course by 11:30 a.m. Shuttle to Geneva airport.
* You are a ski-mountaineering (back country ski) beginner, and you want to learn ski-mountaineering technique. You practice a good parallel turn, and you control your skis and your speed on all the red and black ski runs. Falling over is the exception rather than the rule and you are keen to learn and improve.
* Your fitness: you are in good condition (you practice sports twice a week).
- Average difference in height is 2350 feet a day.
- Pace: ascent of 900 feet to 1000 feet per hour.
- Specific equipment: the specific equipment for ski-touring (skis, synthetic seal skins, boots, ski poles, and small crampons to be placed on the skis when going up on icy snow) can be rented by Ceillac ski shops. Price for the whole course: 140 EUR.
- Family holidays: As we will back to the hotel each day by the beginning of the afternoon, or in the middle of the afternoon, you may come to Ceillac with your wife and your children, even if they do not attend the course (they will then get discount prices by our two stars hotel). Ceillac proposes nice downhill runs for all levels, a ski-school "Ecole du Ski Français" (ESF) with a kinder-garden and all levels of ski lessons, X-country ski runs, and routes for snow-shoeing. You will find a general practitioner doctor in Ceillac, all local shops, and high-speed Internet connection.
- Access to Ceillac:
We propose to the five first skiers registering to this course a free round trip direct shuttle from Geneva airport (Switzerland) to Ceillac, in the guide's people carrier (3 hours and 15 minutes drive):
* Shuttle from Geneva airport at 06:40 a.m. on Sunday morning.
* At the end of the course, on Friday, free shuttle from Ceillac to Geneva airport (arriving at Geneva airport by 3:30 p.m.).
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