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Chamonix Off Piste Week

Chamonix Freeride Course for Skiers & Snowboarders

This Chamonix freeride course was designed for those who wish to have a great week of skiing or snowboarding and want to discover the amazing back country terrain of the Chamonix valley and over the other side of Mont Blanc in Courmayeur, Italy.

Our UIAGM qualified mountain guides will take you to their favourite places with the best powder snow and show you the most exciting descents. This course is not about instruction and teaching but about riding and having fun!

However, your ski guide will be happy to pass on you any knowledge you might be interested in and give you expert tips on how to improve your riding. We're confident that by the end of the week you'll not only have had an incredible time but will also have immensely improved your off-piste freeride skills.

And as we really care about safety and good practice of riding in the backcountry, the freeride course will start with a basic avalanche awareness training session. All Chamonix Experience courses are run by qualified and experienced UIAGM mountain guides who will pass on their extensive knowledge to you.

Snowboarders and telemarker skiers are also very welcome on this course - book now!

If you're not quite ready to take part in the Chamonix Freeride Course, we recommend taking part in our Chamonix Off-Piste Introduction; a 5 day course where you'll learn all the essentials of off-piste skiing as well as avalanche awareness and glacier safety, right here in Chamonix Mont Blanc.

Description

Level Requirements

The Chamonix Freeride Week is for intermediate to expert off piste skiers and snowboarders. You have to be comfortable with riding in all snow conditions on slopes of up to 40°. If you are not sure about your level, contact us on info@chamex.com

Please contact us if the course dates do not suit you, we will be happy to open new dates for you where possible. 

We also run this course for private groups, please contact us for the price.

Price

650€

Price per person; groups of minimum 4 and maximum 6 clients

Course Dates

Any date on demand

Included

Guiding & Tuition

5 days of mountain guiding and ski tuition by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

Safety Equipment

We can provide the essential safety equipment of harness, avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel if you do not have your own. We can also lend you a backpack with straps for carrying your skis/snowboard on request.

Group Equipment

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

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguillle du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

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.

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.

Accommodation

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

Insurance

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

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.

Arrival Day in Chamonix

We will meet you in our office in Chamonix town on the evening before the start of the course to discuss the itinerary and answer any questions you might have.

You'll meet your guide, who will have the latest weather forecast and information about the snow conditions. Your week has been carefully planned to ensure that you get to ride the best snow available!

Here is a sample of a possible itinerary for the 5 days:

Day 1 - Le Tour & Col de Balme

Le Tour is the ideal ski area for your mountain guide / ski instructor to assess everyone’s off-piste ski level and run through the basics of mountain saftey and avalanche awaress. It is a fun ski area at the north end of the Chamonix valley with plenty of off-piste options, it offers brilliant tree skiing and long descents into Switzerland. We will also do the basic avalanche awareness training with you on the first day, so that you are well prepared for the rest of the week.

Day 2 - Brevent & Flegere

Brevent & Flegere are connected ski areas in Chamonix, close to the town centre and easy to access.

These south facing ski areas offer fun terrain with many secret bowls and powder stashes - when Brévent is good it is maybe the best off-piste in the Chamonix valley...

There is the famous “Hotel Face” and the ENSA couloirs to mention only a few of the classic itineraries - your mountain guide will take you down as many as the weather and snow conditions permits!

Day 3 - Les Grands Montets

Les Grand Montets’ north facing aspect means that this area holds the snow the best and the latest in the season.

One of the best Chamonix ski areas for off-piste skiing on excellent long steep pitches. You'll take the "top bin" cable car up to 3300m and from here you have access to the Rognon Glacier.

Before setting out your guide will brief you on how to safely ski on glaciated terrain, then you'll get the opportunity to experience it for yourself. This is fantastic preparation for later in the week, when you'll venture out onto the famous Vallée Blanche.

Day 4 - Aiguille du Midi & Vallee Blanche

No week to Chamonix is complete without skiing from the very top of the Aiguille du Midi!

This is where the famous Vallee Blanche starts and where off-piste skiing in a high mountain environment is at its very best.

There are many different ways down the Vallee Blanche, of varying difficulty and steepness. All routes take you through the most amazing landscape of ice towers and deep crevasses, not to mention the surrounding peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif.

Your mountain guide will lead you down the route best suited to your abilities and with the best snow conditions on the day.

Day 5 - Italy

Today we drive through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Italy and La Palud, where the Helbronner lift will take you in three stages up to Point Helbronner.

Recently renovated, the Skyway Monte Bianco is an amazing experience in itself, even more so when you get to ski back down from Punte Helbronner via the Glacier de Toule!

Your week of off-pîste skiing will end with a final meeting with us to chat about the week - and then a few beers to celebrate! Chamonix is a fun and vibrant town with plenty of bars to toast your last night.

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

Harness

Harness

Snowboard

Snowboard

Snowboard boots

Snowboard boots

Telescopic poles

Telescopic poles

Ski goggles

Ski goggles

Screwgate carabiner

Screwgate carabiner

60 - 120 cm tape sling

60 - 120 cm tape sling

Free ride skis

Free ride skis

Ski boots

Ski boots

Ski poles

Ski poles

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)

Equipment hire

We highly recommend that you book the 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 on the evening before the start of the course and return it on the evening at the end of your course.

Airport transfers

We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well established companies which use new and comfortable vehicles and 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 name
- Mobile phone number
- Email address
- Your destination address
- Your flight details (date, time and flight number)

Geneva airport - Chamonix / Chamonix - Geneva airport

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 passenger group 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.

SuperSaver Transfers:
The most competitively-priced transfer available and operating during 'normal' working hours in the high season, these tickets are non-refundable, but are still door-to-door and timed to suit your arrival or departure, rather than fitting you into a pre-scheduled timetable.
From 39€ per person for one way and 78€ per person for a return trip.

FlexiShared Transfers:
The best value transfer with maximum flexibility built in. These tickets are amendable and are available for transfers at any time of day or night, so whether you are flying out at the crack of dawn or taking the last flight of the day out, Mountain Drop-offs will be there for you.
From 48€ per person for one way and 96€ 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.

Mountain rescue insurance

We don’t include the mountain rescue insurance in any of our courses. A 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 informations

Lift passes

Avoid queues and let us to organise the ski passes for you.Your guide will have them ready for you on the meeting. This service is free of charge.

You will need a 5 day MBU pass for this course. The cost is 265€ including the smart card (2014 - 2015 price).

Pas de Chevre

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This scenic off-piste itinerary starts from Les Grands Montets in Argentiere. From the top of the highest cable car you ski west towards the Grands Montets Glacier where the terrain starts to steepen, and you'll veer skier's right to enter into a wide couloir. Once you've skied down to 2800m the descent splits into two coombs, we follow the left one.

This wonderful long descent takes you all the way down to the open plains of the moraine and on to the Mer de Glace, the longest glacier in France. It might sound fairly straightforward but the exit itinerary is complicated and requires very good route finding skills and knowledge of the area.

This route is suitable for experienced off-piste skiers and snowboarders; if you are unsure of your level then consider joining one of our Chamonix Off-Piste Courses, where you will learn all the essential techniques for skiing safely on glacial off-piste terrain.

Vallee Blanche Petit Envers du Plan

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The Petit Envers du Plan is a truly fun variation of the classic Vallee Blanche descent. It combines some interesting steeper sections with easy angled slopes to give your legs a little rest.

You will pass through labyrinths of magical glacier formations, deep crevasses and huge seracs amongst the towering peaks of the Mont Blanc Massif.

The Petit Envers du Plan is slightly more demanding than the classic Vallee Blanche route and requires good off-piste technique. If you're unsure of your skill level then consider spending a day beforehand with one of our UIAGM mountain guides to assess your skiing and practise all the techniques required to ski safely on glacial off-piste terrain.