Day 1: We warm up on a few of the 265 km of pistes in the Grand Massif, sample the off-piste and practice avalanche search and rescue.
Day 2: The Flaine bowl is ideal terrain for learning off-piste techniques and you will be given plenty of opportunity to practice along the side of the 14 km run ‘Les Cascades’ all the way to Sixt, the village at the head of the Giffre valley.
Day 3: If we have a day of heavy snowfall the place to head in the Grands Massif are the trees in Les Carroz, perfectly angled and spaced with many of the runs north facing this is a hidden gem.
Day 4: The jewel in the Grand Massif’s off-piste crown is undoubtedly Les Gers, if you can handle the lengthy poma ride out its worth a as many rounds as you have energy for.
Day 5: As a finale and if conditions allow we drive round to Chamonix and venture into the wild glacier terrain accessible from France’s highest lift the Aiguille du Midi; the famous Vallee Blanche region of the Mont Blanc massif.
The week is intended to be fun and informative with lots of thrilling skiing but always directed with maximum attention to your safety and the safety of others. Itineraries vary depending on the composition of the group and the weather and snow conditions.
The course is 5 full days off-piste instruction and there is one day when no instruction is provided.
The Level 4 Off-Piste Performance courses were previously called "Off-Piste Beginner". These courses are ideal for skiers who have never skied off-piste or have limited off-piste experience (less than 2 weeks). All participants need to be competent on-piste, capable of skiing parallel at a steady pace on all red runs whatever the conditions and easy black runs. These weeks will be run by Ski Instructors with focus on comprehensive off-piste instruction.
Level 5 courses are aimed at skiers with some off-piste experience (e.g. completed a Performance Level 4 course or similar) and who are looking for further intensive off-piste instruction. These weeks will be run by Ski Instructors and the focus will be on selecting terrain that will really challenge you and take your skiing to the next level.
For the off-piste performance courses you need to have good allround fitness and stamina. We recommend that you prepare for any trip by running, cycling or any other keep-fit activity. Generally the fitter you are, the more fun you will have.
Accommodation: Our base is La Vieille Ferme in Samoens. This is a stunning Haute Savoie farmhouse that has been lovingly restored over the past 3-4 years and now offers the highest standard of catered Alpine accommodation for up to 20 people. The farmhouse is in the beautiful hamlet of Vallon d’en Haut just 5 mins from Samoens and the Grand Massif Express and only 60 mins from Geneva.
Equipment: A copy of our recommended kit list will be sent to you at the time of booking. Standard alpine downhill gear is suitable for the beginner-level courses although if the group all elects to ski on touring gear you will be able to access some great off-piste runs that require some walking. All skiers will need to carry a small day sack (max 25 litres) containing their safety gear and any personal items e.g. camera. Everyone is expected to ski at all times with the three essential items of avalanche safety equipment; transceiver, shovel and probe. If you ski off-piste regularly we recommend you purchase your own set. We use and recommend the DTS Tracker and can offer you these at a discounted rate. Alternatively the guides do usually have a number of sets available for hire. If you need to hire this kit, you must let us know in advance.
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Europe France Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Skiing & Snowboarding