Chamonix is the perfect place to make the transition from skiing on-piste to skiing off-piste and experience the full-on freeride fun. With your Chamex ski guide, you'll improve your backcountry skiing technique and receive an introduction to the skills needed to negotiate 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 ability of the group. There is plenty of nice and easy off-piste terrain on offer in Chamonix, such as the wide, gentle bowls and slopes of Le Tour, Flegere or Brevent, where your guide can take you to observe and see how you get on. This inital day will help your mountain guide to plan the right itinerary for the rest of the week ahead. As safety is our main priority at Chamex, you will 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 push the boundaries of your personal limits. You will have the advantage of being looked after and taught by our UIAGM qualified mountain ski guides and ENSA qualified ski instructors. This will ensure an excellent quality of ski instruction coupled with access to all of the incredible Chamonix off-piste terrain, you'll explore everything that the valley had to offer and ski beautiful couloirs, forests and glaciers.
Skiing with confidence
During this course we will use video analysis to help you to focus on areas where you need to improve your skiing technique. 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 confidently ski some of the epic backcountry descents for which Chamonix is so famous, such as Petit Envers du Plan on the Vallee Blanche or Pas de Chèvre at Les Grands Montets - conditions permitting.
Your ski guide will tailor the programme to suit weather, snow conditions and the overall level of the group. Each day your ski guide will choose an area offering the best off-piste skiing at the moment. The focus of this week is to improve your backcountry ski technique and teach you the basics of avalanche awareness.
We will use video analysis to help you to:
- Find the weak spots in your ski technique and focus your training in these areas
- Set achievable personal goals together and tailor your training to help you to progress accordingly
Above all, mountain safety is our highest priority, which is why as well as imparting skiing techniques we will also teach you how to ski off-piste safely. Avalanche awareness and transceiver search and rescue are essential components of your skill set as a confident off-piste skier, especially when skiing the Chamonix backcountry routes that can offen take you far away from the patrolled ski areas. Our instructors are all qualified UIAGM mountain guides with all the knowledge and experience needed to teach you basic mountain safety techniques.
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 glaciers 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.