The Chamonix Experience Off-Piste Freeride Snowboard course has been specially designed for riders who are motivated to explore the Chamonix backcountry and discover the fun of riding untracked fresh snow.

Discover the joy of riding powder
snowboard instructors
The course is run by fully qualified snowboard instructors
Avalanche awareness skills
The course includes a companion avalanche rescue training

5 DAY SNOWBOARD CHAMONIX FREERIDE

Snowboard Off-Piste Freeride Clinic in Chamonix

From 795.00€

Price per person for groups of minimum 4 participants.

   

Beginner tech level

 

5 days course

 

Groups of 6 maximum

 

Available January - April

 

High fitness level

Chamonix isn’t only the steep, extreme free ride spot seen in numerous snowboard movies. It has varied terrain and is a great place to make the transition from riding on piste to off piste and experience all types of terrain specific to back country. Long irregular slopes, couloirs, forest riding, steep slopes, short technical slopes, glaciers…. All the elements for a great intro to backcountry riding!

Assessment of your off piste level

The first day of the course is dedicated to the assessment of the technical level and general ability of the group. This will help us to better tailor our instruction to your needs. We will also spend some time to familiarise ourselves with some avalanche safety equipment as well. Safety is a priority for us at Chamex, so we will cover the basics of avalanche training on the first day.

Improving your off piste technique

Throughout the course, you will be supervised by our UIAGM qualified mountain guides and ENSA qualified snowboard instructors, so will have the bonus of benefitting from both professional approaches. You will learn how to refine your technique through various drills and excercises, plus gain vital mountain skills and knowledge, allowing you to better plan your routes and make critical and safe decisions while out in more remote and unpatrolled backcountry terrain.

We will also use video analysis to give general and individual feed back, helping you to progress and adapt your technique in real time, while out on the hill.

Through the video feed back your snowboard instructor will:

  • Confront the reality of your riding style 
  • Find the weak spots in your technique and help you to improve them
  • Set personal goals attainable by the end of the course

The primary focus of this course is to improve your backcountry technique and teach you the basics of avalanche awareness and snow transformation. Understanding the principles of snow stability allows us to find the best snow in a safer and more informed manner.

At the end of the week you will leave the course with a sense of achievement as well as some epic memories of some of the best descents that Chamonix has to offer- the Grands Montets, the Envers du Plan on the Vallée Blanche, couloir des Vans in Le Tour, Pentes de l’Hotell in Brévent, Pas de Chèvre classic, Toula Glacier from the Helbronner in Italy…

Your mountain guide and snowboard instructor will tailor the program according to both the weather and mountain conditons at the time, using their years of experince, local knowledge and intuition to hand pick the best spots on offer each day. 

 

Learning Outcomes

Off piste progression

At the end of our Intro off piste snowboard course, we want you to:

  • Worship powder snow!!
  • Be confident and stable at a reasonable speed in all kinds of snow and terrain
  • Turn with your edges more than with your shoulders
  • Have good visual anticipation- plan your descent and avoid last second obstacles
  • Ride « switch » on tricky traverses in order to keep an appropriate height
  • Relax on tricky, icy, steep slopes
  • Adapt your riding to different terrain and types of snow
  • Understand the snow, it’s quality and metamorphosis, and be able to choose the best spot to ride considering slope angle and aspect
  • Have a basic knowledge of avalanche awareness
  • Identify avalanche hazards
  • Plan a safe descent using spacing, safe regrouping areas, riding one at a time….

What next?

Completion of our course, and with the agreement of your snowboarding guide, you can take the next step to become a stronger, more experienced rider- our advanced off piste snowboarding course or our splitboarding course take your riding even further afield.

Level Requirements

No previous off piste snowboarding experience needed to join the course - we're here to teach you! However, you will need:

  • Three weeks of snowboarding experience
  • Competence on piste, including black runs and moguls
  • Adequate physical fitness to ride a long run without stopping
  • The ability to turn frontside and backside, without slipping/ sliding too much
  • To edge properly with the ability to make long backsides traverses
  • Proper snowboarding kit, good boots and bindings, a snowboard adapted to off piste riding

You shouldn’t book this course if:

  • You have less than 3 weeks of snowboarding experience
  • You are slow going down groomed runs
  • You fall every 5 turns (or less)
  • You’re not able to relax on icy, steep, or bumpy slopes
  • You’re not fit enough to do non–stop descents on classic red runs

If any of the above describes your riding, you are better served taking lessons on piste with a snowboard instructor. We can provide one for you.

If you aren’t sure this course is for you, please contact us at info@chamex.com.

We’re happy to help you to take the right decision.

Additional Services

Airport transfers

We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well established airport transfer companies using new and comfortable vehicles, which have the capacity and know-how to handle everything from delayed and cancelled flights, to unexpected traffic jams with professionalism and efficiency.

To book your transfer, we will need the following: 

  • Your full name 
  • Mobile phone number 
  • Email address 
  • Your destination address 
  • Your flight details (date, time and flight number)

SHARED TRANSFERS: 
This is the most economic and ecologically friendly way of travel. The driver will meet and greet you at the airport, gather you and the rest of the passengers together and then head off to your chosen destination. The door-to-door service means that you will be dropped off and picked up right at your hotel /chalet / apartment. From 40€ per person for one way and 80€ per person for a return trip.

PRIVATE TRANSFERS: 
Private Transfers are the quickest way to get to and from the airport. Your driver will meet and greet you at the airport and guide you to your vehicle. There is no waiting for other passengers. Private transfers are available for one to eight person bookings and travelling together and you are guaranteed sole occupancy of the vehicle for your transfer. And, of course, it's a door to door service, so you won't be lugging any bags very far. 250€ per car for one way and 500€ per car for a return trip.

Chamonix accommodation

If you need help to find a place to stay in Chamonix, don't hesitate to let us know! We work with a network of excellent chalets, hotels, gites and B&Bs offering Chamonix accommodation to suit all tastes and all budgets.

Lift passes

CHAMONIX LIFT PASSES - FREE BOOKING & COLLECTION SERVICE

You can easily avoid the morning queue for the lift tickets - order your lift passes with us and then just pick them up the day before! We'll collect your lift passes and have them ready for you, free of charge.

If you have booked a course or a private trip with us, your guide will bring your lift passes along for you. There are two types of lift passes in Chamonix - Mont Blanc Unlimited and Chamonix Le Pass - please don't hesitate to contact us to find out which lift pass will be the best for you.

For this course you will need the 5 days Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass, please contact us for further details.

Mountain rescue insurance

We don’t include mountain rescue insurance in any of our courses but we strongly recommend that you have it. Mountain rescue may be very expensive, particularly if helicopters are involved. Check with your travel insurance provider if you are covered for the specific activity you are going to do with us.

However, we can organise the mountain rescue insurance for you. The cost is 8€ per person per day for EU residents and 12€ per person per day for non-EU residents. Details of the insurance cover are different for EU and non-EU residents; please contact us for more information.

Equipment hire

We highly recommend that you book any equipment with us at least 2 weeks in advance as the hire shops can have limited availability in the busy season.

You can collect your equipment the evening before the start of the course and return it in the evening at the end of your course. We work with the following Chamonix ski hire and mountain shop:

• Concept Pro Shop that is conveniently located directly next door from our office. Open 7/7 08:00-19:00

Itinerary

Arrival Day

You will meet your mountain guide / snowboard instructor and the rest of your group in the Chamonix Experience office on the evening before the start your course. We will send you all the details about the meeting in an email a week before start of the course. The meeting is a great opportunity to ask any questions about the freeride course and to check with your mountain guide / snowboard instructor that you have all the equipment you need.

Day 1: Introduction to Freeride Snowboarding

Today we start early in order to be the first snowboarders on the mountain! Your snowboard instructor will show you how to use your safety gear and, after a gentle warm up, will carry out a technical assessment of each snowboarder so that we can tailor the week to suit the level of the group. Today's goal is to review snowboarding basics and explore some new off-piste sensations.

Day 2 : Avalanche Awareness, Search & Rescue Training

Today we'll spend about 2 hours covering essential off-piste safety skills such as how to recognise avalanche risks and what to do if you are caught in one. Your snowboard instructor will demonstrate the different techniques we have to adopt when riding off-piste where snow conditions are often variable. You will also learn how to carry out a search and rescue for avalanche victims using transceivers, probes and shovels. The rest of the day will be spent freeriding, we'll work on your off-piste technique and on your position on the snowboard so that you look good and “solid” on your snowboard while riding the powder.

Day 3 : Freeriding the Best Off-Piste in Chamonix

Your snowboard instructor will decide the itinerary in the morning, depending on weather and snow conditions. There are plenty of off-piste areas in Chamonix and we have the whole valley to choose from. Off-piste tuition will take place wherever the snow is best that day. You'll learn how to read and use the terrain to your advantage, and how to get the best fresh turns without getting “stuck” in deep snow or avalanched at the same time.

Day 4 : Glacier & Crevasse Rescue Training

If you're going off-piste then the chances are high of you ending up on glacial terrain; today we take you up one of the many glaciers in the Chamonix Valley to experience this amazing landscape for yourself. We will spend approximately 2 hours doing crevasse rescue training and we'll discuss the key facts you need to know to ensure maximum safety when riding on a glacier. We'll spend the rest of the day riding wherever the snow is best, discovering the hidden powder stashes and steep descents of Chamonix.

Day 5 : Off-Piste Discovery Day

Depending on weather and snow conditions, we might head through the Mont Blanc Tunnel into Courmayeur in Italy, where we'll explore either the Toule Glacier or the extensive off-piste terrain of the ski resort. Courmayeur is included in the Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass and is a really fun day out. You will put to the test all the skills you have learned during the week and we'll spend the whole day freeriding the best snow that we can find. Afterwards an end of course de-briefing will be given, and a reassessment of your technique so that you have some advice on what to practise. Then it's time to hit the town and celebrate with a few beers in Chamonix!
This programme will obviously be adjusted to the conditions and the guide has the right to make his own decisions about the place you will be taken regarding the avalanche risk and weather conditions.

Included or not

Included

Guiding & Tuition

5 days of guiding by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide & snowboard instructor.

Avalanche Training

Specific avalanche awareness tuition including assessment of the conditions, correct use of a transceiver and how to carry out a rescue using shovel and probe.

Crevasse Rescue Training

Basic crevasse safety training, including the correct use of rescue equipment.

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Local Transport

Any local transport that is required during your course.

Not Included

Skis / Snowboards

The price does not include skis/snowboards, boots or clothing. If you do not have your own we can help you organise rental, please ask us for details.

Lift Passes

We will advise you on which lift passes you will need prior to your trip. If lift passes are required we can preorder them for you on request.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Accommodation in Chamonix

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Equipment

Clothing

Warm hat

Warm hat

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear

Fleece or woollen layers

Fleece or woollen layers

Light puffer jacket

Light puffer jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof jacket

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Windproof and waterproof trousers

Warm gloves

Warm gloves

Technical gear

Snowboard

Snowboard

Snowboard boots

Snowboard boots

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

20 - 30 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis / snowboard

20 - 30 litres rucksack with attachment loops for skis / snowboard

Safety Equipment

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe

Ski or snowboard helmet

Ski or snowboard helmet

Extras

Sunglasses

Sunglasses

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Water bottle (1 litre minimum)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

Sun cream high protection (for lips and face)

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