Come to the Alps for a week (or more!) with Chamonix Experience and discover the best riding in the Mont Blanc range. It’s the opportunity to go from being a good rider to a backcountry ripper.

Improve your technique
Our snowboard instructor will work on your technique and style.
Learn about the snow
Learn to recognise and ride the different snow conditions. Learn how to read terrain and know where to expect what quality of snow.
Avalanche safety training
You will learn basic avalanche awareness and companion rescue skills.

PERFORMANCE BACKCOUNTRY SNOWBOARDING COURSE

Chamonix snowboarding freeride course - advanced level

From 820.00€

Price per person for a group of 4 minimum.

View Dates
   

Intermediate tech level

 

5 days course

 

Groups of 6 maximum

 

Available January - April

If you’re reading this, then you are looking to build on your existing back country snowboarding skills, and take the next step towards becoming a big mountain rider. The Mont Blanc range is the perfect location and once you have had a bite of the Chamonix cherry, you will most definitely be looking for any excuse to get yourself back here for another adventure.

Riding in  Chamonix means being in the very heart of the high mountains, amidst carving glaciers, iconic steeps and couloirs and epic tree runs. This terrain is all easily accessible from the lifts or with a combination of lifts and little walking – Sometimes you’ve got to earn those turns! This type of big mountain riding right on the doorstep, doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world!

In the Mont Blanc range we can find glaciated descents of more than 2500m long from the Aiguille du Midi, 2000m long, high altitude glacier runs in the sun on the Italian side of the range from the new Skyway lift, steep couloirs from the Brevent or Grands Montets lift stations, magic forest riding on the Swiss side of the Tete de Balme in Le Tour, and varied riding in Courmayeur, Italy. These amazing spots are all included in one pass- the «Mont Blanc Unlimited».

Tempted? Though professional leadership and instruction from our dually qualified UIAGM mountain guides and ENSA snowboard instructors, we guarantee both a high rate of progression and epic amounts of stoke!

On this 5 day course, we have two primary goals. We want to teach you the specific riding and mountaineering techniques used to progress in high mountain snow and steep terrain, and also teach you the strategies you will need to use to make informed decisions in the backcountry, to help maximize your safety.

Dates

PERFORMANCE BACKCOUNTRY SNOWBOARDING COURSE dates - 2019

Start date Spaces
Price from
 
January 28, 2019
2
820.00€
February 04, 2019
820.00€
February 25, 2019
2
820.00€
March 11, 2019
F
820.00€
L
   Limited Availability
F
Fully Booked
G
Guaranteed
2
Two More to Guarantee

Itinerary

Arrival day – welcome meeting and briefing

The week begins with an evening briefing in our office in Chamonix. The guide will explain the week’s program and answer your questions.

Day 1 Le Tour / Balme

There is a lot to cover on the first day, and the forests, couloirs and open basins in Le Tour are an ideal starting point.

The varied terrain allows the guide to check everyone’s general abilities (no stress!), while riding some of the better lower altitude backcountry in the valley. After a few runs in the forests and couloirs on the Swiss side, the guide will set up a companion rescue exercise, and you can (re)familiarise yourself with your beacon, shovel, probe and the methods inherent to their proper use. 

Day 2 Brévent / La Flégère

The Brévent and la Flégère are the two south facing resorts in Chamonix, linked by a cable car or a long traverse- and when the riding here is good, we can get a full appreciation for  “steep and deep” and “fun and sun.” The amazing panorama is a bonus.

In the right conditions the lower, forested couloirs of the Brevent offer the best riding in Chamonix, with tight turns and tree skiing- a bit of forest slalom technique is a must!

 The day presents many opportunities for the guide to give hints and tips to improve your riding, and also present a first look at snow transformation on southern, sunny aspects.

Possible descents: Pentes de l’Hotel, la Glière basin, la Floria basin, and- if conditions are great, the «poste a Payot», or the «golf couloir».

Day 3 Grands Montets

The celebrated riding in the Grands Montets- Chamonix’s freeride temple… Many classic runs start from here- the Lognan couloirs, Lavancher bowl, Chapeau couloir, Poubelles (Garbage) couloir, the epic Pas de chèvre, and Rectiligne couloir, among others.

From the summit of the Grands Montets cable car, at 3300m, vast, glaciated slopes fall away- requiring specific equipment and presenting the potential hazards associated with glacier travel. 

You’ll ride with a harness, and in certain situations your guide may use the rope and ice screws and/or an ice axe to secure delicate sections. The Rognon glacier is ideal for teaching the basics of informed glacier travel.

Day 4 Aiguille du Midi

A week in Chamonix without a descent of the mythic Vallée Blanche, leaving from the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, is a must if the conditions permit. The longest lift accessed, glaciated backcountry run in Europe is waiting!

Given the physical and technical requirements of the course we’ll probably choose one of the steeper variants to the regular Vallée Blanche. The Grand, Moyenne, or Petit Envers with exits to the Mer de Glace in the Requin couloirs, for example.

With a little luck and excellent conditions we could try a « Super Combo »- Pas de Chèvre from the Grands Montets followed with a descent of the Grand Envers ….

You can count on having tired legs, because riding in this majestic setting warrants an all day effort, and your guide will make sure you take full advantage.

Day 5 Dolce vita! Courmayeur, Italy

A day to apply everything learned in the previous week and to evaluate the progress you’ve made.

For the last day of the trip- a visit to the Italian side of the Mt. Blanc. No trip to the Mt. Blanc range is complete without a visit to our neighbours in the Val D’Aoste.

The Courmayeur resort sits just on the other side of the Mt. Blanc tunnel, a half hour drive.

With tons of shady, north facing riding the Val Veny in Courmayeur houses superb couloirs, steep glades, and wide open bowls easily accessed from the groomed runs.

Across the valley, in the sun, the Toula glacier can be ridden from the new, fast and modern Skyway cable car, reaching 3500m at the summit of the Punta Helbronner. Exceptional views from the top allow a unique perspective on the Valley Blanche, prior to riding the Italian side.

Have an espresso! Possible options include runs on the Toula glacier and it’s variants, many of them very steep - the Cesse or Passerelle couloir, a long, steep trip down the Val Ferret via the Marbrées couloir, or an exposed, unforgettable run « under the cables »- from top to bottom more than 2000m of descent is waiting. You’ve earned your authentic Italian pizza! 

Learning Outcomes

our UIAGM mountain guide/ snowboard instructor will teach you to:

  • Recognize different types and qualities of snow and to adapt your riding accordingly- soft or aggressive, airing out or in constant contact with the ground- to best match a given style to the terrain
  • Better “read” the mountains, and identify where different mountain orientations may offer different snow characteristics.
  • Visualise your descent, to choose the safest and most efficient line. (And the most fun!)
  • Evaluate the snowpack and determine where and what danger(s) may occur to minimise the risk of an accident. We teach companion rescue methods - including exercises in avalanche rescue, advanced technique with your avalanche beacon, shovel, probe, and ABS (optional).

Apart from the instructional aspects of the course, your guide is here to help you have as much fun as possible,  and to introduce you to the places/ runs that give Chamonix it’s reputation- the Grands Montets, the Pas de Chèvre, the Vallée Blanche, the Toule glacier, the Brévent couloirs, the Trient couloirs, Pré du Rocher, Courmayeur….)

Level Requirements

This course is designed for those who have already participated in our Introduction to Backcountry Snowboarding week, or for those who already have experience riding in the backcountry.

You have to have very good physical condition. You have to be capable to ride, without stopping, any black groomed run or easily descend classic backcountry or side country runs (off piste to the side of the groomed trails)

 You have to have experience riding off-piste in all types of snow (good and bad!) deep powder, light powder, spring “corn” and also not so fun (crust, hard snow, wind affected, slush….)

 Ride « switch » well enough to be comfortable on switchbacks and difficult traverses.

 Have a real desire to improve your snowboarding, your backcountry decision making, and mountain condition assessment- learn more about the terrain you’re riding to further understand safety essentials. 

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

Harness

Harness

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)

Included or not

Included

Guiding & Tuition

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

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.

Local Transport

Any local transport that is required during your course.

Not Included

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.

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.

Personal Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need. Anything that you do not already have can be rented here in Chamonix, if there is anything you need then please contact us and we will be happy to organise it for you.

For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your personalised kit list.

Insurance

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

Practical Information

Optional equipment

  • Thermos – not essential due to weight, but it can be comforting to have a hot drink on a cold day.
  • Water Bottle – should be at least 1.5 litres and durable. 
  • 
Camelback hydration systems are good as long as they are kept clean, but not recommended for winter sports or climbing Mont Blanc, as the tube tends to freeze up.
  • Extra Gloves - a pair of spare gloves is essential.
  • Extra Goggles - spare goggles are highly recommended.

Food

We suggest you bring plenty of snacks that you can take into the mountains with you each day; things like cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, chocolate, sugary sweets or your favourite trail snacks are ideal. You can buy all of these things in Chamonix.

Technical

Have your board well waxed and serviced for it to glide well in the given conditions (cold snow and spring snow require differed waxes!). 

Check your bindings prior the course that they are in good working condition.

Additional Services

Airport transfers

We can help you to organise your transport to/from Chamonix. We work with well established airport transfer 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:
  • Full name
  • Mobile phone number
  • Email address
  • Your destination address
  • 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 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. 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.

Accommodation in Chamonix

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 SERVICEYou 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.

Equipment rental

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 which is conveniently located directly next door from our office. Open 7/7 08:00-19:00

Search & 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.

Related courses

2017-03-10-photo-00000044

Chamonix snowboard freeride introduction course

2017-03-09-photo-00000040

Private snowboard / splitboard guide