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Chamonix snowboard freeride introduction course

Discover the best off piste riding in Chamonix with Chamex mountain guides and snowboard instructors.

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 satisfaction of riding untracked fresh snow.

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!

Description

Assessment of your off piste level

The first day of the course is dedicated to the assessment of the technical level and abilities of the group. This will help us better tailor our instruction to your needs. We will familiarize ourselves with new equipment as well. Safety is a priority for us at Chamex, and we will also do basic avalanche training on the first day.

 

Improving your off piste technique

On the off piste snowboarding course you are supervised by UIAGM qualified mountain guides and ENSA qualified snowboard instructors.

To improve your skills, technique and knowledge on the snow we do technical exercises and give personal instruction. Your snowboard instructor will also use video analysis to give general and individual feed back. This ensures high quality snowboard lessons. We can then apply our new skills in the incredible Chamonix valley off piste areas.

At the end of the week you leave the course with a sense of achievement as well as great memories- the best descents Chamonix can 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 a program adapted to the overall abilities of the group, weather, snow conditions, and last minute intuition….

The focus 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 safe and informed manner.

 

Through the video feed back your snowboard instructor will:
  • Confront the reality of your riding style and not the image you have of it
  • Find the weak spots in your technique and help you to improve them
  • Set personal goals attainable by the end of the course

Price

820€

Price per person for groups of minimum 3 and maximum 6 riders. 

Course Dates

2018
Start Date End Date Spaces
Jan 08 Jan 12 6
Jan 22 Jan 26 6
Feb 05 Feb 09 6
Feb 12 Feb 16 6
Feb 19 Feb 23 6
Feb 26 Mar 02 6
Mar 12 Mar 16 6
Mar 19 Mar 23 6
Apr 02 Apr 06 6

G
  The Course is guaranteed to run


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.

Local Transport

Local transport provided in accordance with instructor/guide's available car capacity

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguille 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.

Not Included

Accommodation

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Welcome Meeting in Chamonix

You will meet with your group and Chamex mountain guide / snowboaord instructor at the Chamonix Experience office in Chamonix Sud on Sunday evening to discuss the programme for the week. We will discuss what to expect from the weather and snow conditions and you will have the chance to ask any last minute questions.

Day 1 - Le Tour & Col de Balme

Le Tour is a good place for your guide/instructor to assess everyone's level and run through the basics of mountain safety and avalanche awareness. The off-piste is easily accessible and the gradient is not too steep. Le Tour also offers brilliant tree skiing and long runs to Switzerland over the Col de Balme. The back bowls of Le Tour are also perfect for studying how wind, terrain and temperatures affect the snow pack and avalanche risk, so here is where you will do your avalanche awareness training to get the week off to a safe start.

Day 2 - Brevent & Flegere

The south facing ski areas of Flégère and Brévent offer fun terrain with many secret bowls, which tend to be among snowboarders’ favorite spots in Chamonix. When Brévent is good, it is possibly the best off-piste in the valley. There is the famous Hotel Face and the ENSA couloirs, to mention only a few of the classic Chamonix off-piste itineraries. Flegere is where the locals head on a powder day while everyone else is out fighting for fresh tracks at Les Grands Montets! Your mountain guide will show you the best spots that only the locals know about.

Day 3 - Les Grands Montets

Les Grands Montets is the perfect place to learn about glacier travel; Grand Montets’ north facing aspect means that it is the area which holds the snow the best and until latest in the season. It offers excellent long steep pitches where you can practice your off-piste ski technique.

From the top cable car you have access to the Rognon Glacier at over 3000m altitude. Before setting off your mountain guide will brief you on how to safely ski on glaciated terrain, you'll then spend the day skiing glaciers, gullies and couloirs together.

Day 4 - Aiguille du Midi & Vallee Blanche

No ski trip to Chamonix is complete without skiing from the Aiguille du Midi. This is where the famous Vallée Blanche descent starts and where off-piste skiing in a high mountain environment is at its best. The Vallee Blanche has many different descents of varying difficulty and steepness; your guide will choose the one that is best for your group and the conditions. 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.

Day 5 – Italy

For our last day we drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy and La Palud, from where the Helbronner lift will take you in three stages up to Point Helbronner. From here there are various options to descend the Glacier de Toule for a fantastic day of glacial off-piste skiing. The course ends with debriefing in our office on Friday evening.

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

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)