Chamonix is the perfect place to make the transition from skiing on-piste to skiing off-piste and experience full-on freeride fun. With your Chamex ski instructor, you will improve your backcountry skiing technique and receive an introduction to all the essential skills for skiing all-mountain terrain.
Assessment of your off-piste level
The first day of the off piste ski course is dedicated to the assessment of the overall level and abilities of the group. There is plenty of nice and easy off-piste terrain in Chamonix, such as at Le Tour, Flegere or Brevent, where your instructor will ski with your group to determine everyone's level and plan a good itinerary for the week ahead. As safety is our main priority at Chamex, you will also do a basic avalanche-awareness training course on the first day.
Improving your off-piste technique
The rest of this freeride course is dedicated to improving your off-piste skiing and to pushing your limits. Group sizes are kept small so that you can benefit from personal instruction to improve your skills, technique and knowledge. Your instructor will lead you through various technical exercises to progress your skiing to the next level. Your ski instructor will tailor a program adapted to the overall abilities of the group, weather, snow conditions, and local knowledge.
Skiing with confidence
Our goal is for you to leave this course with a sense of achievement as well as memories of a great backcountry ski week. We aim for you to reach the point where you can ski confidently on different types of terrain in various snow conditions. Video analysis will help you identify and correct any imperfections, whilst highlighting your strengths so that you can work on improvement and then apply your new skills in the incredible Chamonix valley off-piste ski areas. Video feedback will enable you and your ski instructor to:
- Analyse your skiing style and question how you ski versus how you think you ski
- Identify any weak spots in your technique so that you can correct them
- Identify your strengths so that you can improve and hone them
- Set personal goals that are attainable by the end of the course
Above all, mountain safety is our highest priority, which is why as well as imparting skiing techniques we also teach you how to ski off-piste safely. Avalanche awareness, transceiver search, and snow transformation are essential to your skill set as a confident off-piste skier. Understanding the principles of snow stability allows us to find the best snow in a safe and informed manner, especially when skiing backcountry routes that can take you far away from the patrolled ski areas.
Chamex Ski Instructors
You will have the advantage of being taught by our ENSA qualified ski instructors, ensuring an unparalleled quality of tuition. ENSA is the Ecole Nationale de Ski et d'Alpinisme) - the prestigious national ski school based in Chamonix. Our team are hand-picked not only for their excellent teaching skills but also for their extensive local knowledge, which means that they know Chamonix inside-out and are the best people to show you exactly what our valley has to offer - as well as where to get the best coffee on the mountain! You'll ski everything from beautiful couloirs to deep forests, exploring everything that the valley has to offer with the best instructors to guide you.
Off-Piste in Chamonix
Chamonix has incredibly varied terrain, making it the perfect place to learn to ski off-piste. Over the 5 days of this course you will learn how to handle different conditions and types of snow. Much of your training will take place at Les Grands Montets, Chamonix's biggest ski area, where you will find everything from open slopes to powder bowls.
Chamonix's unique location on the border of three countries means that you can experience skiing the best of the French, Swiss and Italian Alps; depending on conditions we may take you over the border for a taste of off-piste skiing in one of our neighbouring resorts such as Verbier or Courmayeur.
By the end of the course you should be confident enough to ski the Vallee Blanche, one of the most famous off-piste itineraries in the world, as well as some of the other classic Chamonix off-piste descents.