This is an introductory course and is ideal for anyone looking for a new skiing challenge or if you want to get more of a whole mountain experience. At the end of the course you will be able to ski more confidently off-piste, have a range of skills for coping with a variety of snow conditions and will be aware of safety issues associated with the mountains in winter including avalanches.
5 full days off-piste skiing. There will be an initial meeting with your instructor(s) on Sunday evening, 24th December. This will be an opportunity to meet the instructors and the rest of the group and to discuss the plans for the week. The skiing will start on the following morning.
The principal aims of this week are:
- To provide first class instruction from professional, friendly Ski Instructors to radically improve your off piste skiing technique and style.
- To give practical mountain awareness training on the hazards and risks associated with skiing off-piste
- To provide the opportunity to ski the best off piste in the Chamonix Valley
The week is intended to be fun 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 skiing area of Chamonix is generally considered to have some of the best off-piste skiing in the world. Much of this is accessible from the lift systems and includes descents of over 2000 m. The Chamonix valley runs for 20 km and there are several separate lift systems and mountains which provide enormous variety and all are included on the Mont Blanc pass.
Numerous options including:
- The Vallee Blanche - the longest off-piste ski descent in the world (24 km).
- Pas de Chevre – ascend to the top of Grand Montets and ski down to the Mer de Glace and on into Chamonix.
- Glacier du Toule – you can ski the Glacier du Toule down towards Courmayeur and then catch the cable car back up to the top of the mountain and ski the Italian side of the Vallee Blanche.
- Le Tour - from the back of the Le Tour lift system there is fantastic off-piste skiing towards Vallorcine and Switzerland.
Some of the very best areas can only be reached with some walking away from the pistes. The effort expended is more than rewarded with the awesome skiing across untracked terrain. In addition there are some great new heli-skiing opportunities available just through the Mont Blanc tunnel, only 20 minutes away from the town. These drops are not included in the price. Ask us for more details.
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.
Equipment: A copy of our recommended kit list will be sent to you at the time of booking. Alpine touring gear is essential for the Chamonix off-piste weeks. All skiers will need to carry a small day sack (max 25 litres) containing their safety gear and any personal items e.g. camera.
Safety equipment: 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 excellent DTS Tracker and can offer you these at a discounted rate. Contact us for further details.
Insurance: It is a condition of booking that you are insured for off-piste skiing covering personal accident, rescue and third party risks. You are strongly advised also to take out cover against cancellation and curtailment. We can arrange insurance cover for you at a cost of £42 per person for 9 days cover. Contact us for further details.
This course is offered on a course-only basis. If you require accommodation we would be happy to arrange this for you on request.
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