For the beginner level ski tours you need to be a competent off-piste skier, experienced in all kinds of snow conditions, preferably able to do parallel turns in powder snow, and linked stem turns in more difficult snow. The skiing is not too technical but there are some steep sections and the challenge comes from managing the different snow conditions and trying to preserve your energy. Previous ski touring experience is not required and during the week you will learn the basic technical ski touring skills. Ideal courses for good off-piste skiers who want to join the backcountry revolution!
Stamina-wise, you need to be able to ski for 4-6 hours each day at a reasonable pace. Maximum skinning : 2 hours per day. If you have never ski toured before, you will find that climbing uphill on skins is hard work! Most newcomers are surprised by just how physically demanding ski touring can be. To get maximum enjoyment from these trips you need to be working on your fitness well in advance of the tour which means plenty of aerobic exercise.
Day 1: Travel to Ste Foy. In the evening you'll meet your guide for a briefing on the plans for the week.
Day 2: Warm up on Ste Foy pistes followed by an introduction to ski touring with an ascent to the Col du Lac Noir descending via Le Monal ‘Le premiere village en Tarentaise’.
Day 3: Ste Foy’s classic: the renowned North face descent of the Pointe de la Foglietta twice! The summit is reached in an easy hour skinning from the top lift. We descend 500 m and then climb to the Col de l’Argentierre for a second descent via La Motte to La Masure.
Day 4: Ste Foy affords spectacular views of Monts Turia and Pourri and the Aiguille Rouge above Les Arcs, awesome off-piste terrain and easily accessed via Villaroger. Many touring possibilities exist though todays emphasis is more on skiing than skinning.
Day 5: La Rosiere today and the beautiful Mont Valezan, the summit is gained in an hour and half and then we have the choice of the superb North face 35 degrees into Italy and pasta for lunch or the sunny south facing slopes
Days 6-7: A journey into the heart of the Vanoise National Park, skinning from the Borsat chairlift above Val d’Isere we head to the Pointe de la Sana and descend to the lovely Refuge de la Femma where we stay overnight. Our return to Val d’Isere is an excellent north facing descent from the Pointe de Mean Martin.
Day 8: Depart after breakfast.
We will make every endeavour to carry out the above itinerary but alternations may have to be made depending on the weather and snow conditions.
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