- 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.
Day 1: On Sunday afternoon, 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: On Monday, 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 3: On Tuesday, ski touring, Estronques pass (8697 feet) and Jacquette peak (9045 feet).
Day 4: On Wednesday, ski touring, Le Longet (9728 feet).
Day 5: On Thursday morning, using first ski lifts, then going up with the synthetic seal skins, we will ski la Petite Part peak (10315 feet). In the afternoon, off-piste skiing on Ceillac skiing area.
Day 6: On Friday morning, ski touring, a short ascent before dawn, up to Bramousse pass (7385 feet), 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.
* Technical level: you have a very good control of your skis when going down, whatever the quality of snow may be (you can turn with skis parallel in deep powder snow), or when going up (half turns). You like to ski "off-piste", and you have already practiced several ascents in ski touring.
* Fitness level: you practice twice a week either ski touring, running, biking or swimming. During the two months before this tour, you must either run 30 minutes 3 times a week, bike 3 hours 2 times a week, or practice 6 hours of ski touring each week-end. Like this, you will be perfectly prepared for both ascents and descents, and you will appreciate the pleasure of ski touring. The average is 1150 feet of rise per hour, with a difference of level climbed each day rising from 1700 to 4100 feet.
* This ski touring course is also opened to experienced skiers in off-piste skiing, with a good fitness level, who want to discover the pleasures and techniques of ski touring.
- 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: 160 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. 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, mostly on motorways):
* Shuttle from Geneva airport at 06.40 am on Sunday morning
* At the end of this course, on Friday, free shuttle from Ceillac to Geneva airport (arriving at Geneva airport by 3:30 p.m.).
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