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Off-Piste Skiing - Don't Just Ski, Have An Adventure!

B.I.S.C.C. off-piste skiing courses are designed for intermediate skiers. The world of off-piste or backcountry skiing is not the exclusive domain of top-class expert skiers. You can go into the mountain world, and you can grow in the mountain world. And you can do it far more safely than you probably think.

We use world-class mountain guides who know their terrain like the back of their hands, so objective risks are kept to an absolute minimum. Like all our training, we move on in small increments, building strengths on strengths as you progressively become more skilful.

Off-Piste Techniques

The skiing techniques you use off-piste are built on the techniques you use on-piste. Oftentimes the snow conditions are such that they are scarcely any different. However, there is more variability in snow conditions because the ground is not artificially prepared for you.

This means you need to have a bigger "tool kit" of techniques with you, so you can cope with whatever is round the corner.

This is why our basic off-piste courses start on-piste. On-piste is the best and safest place on which to begin to develop your understandings of variable snow techniques, and prepare yourself for you big new adventures.

On our courses you will typically spend the first half, developing your abilities, and the second half putting them to use.The actual off-piste terrain we choose is always decided after our guide has watched the group skiing on-piste, so that we can take you on runs we know you will have sufficient technical ability to cope with, and enjoy yourself.

Off-Piste Techniques Are Sometimes Different

When you're skiing in the real mountains away from the crowds, you will constantly come across snow conditions you don't find on the pisted runs. You'll come across -

  • Powder - some light, some heavy: some deep some shallow
  • Crust - some hard, some crumbly: some wind-hardened, some breakable
  • Crud - heavy, cut-up "porridgy" stuff.
  • Thin snow, with rocks protruding
  • Ice - (though usually very little and normally avoidable)
  • And of course, the ubiquitous moguls where other skiers have been there first.

For each of these conditions there is a technical solution, a way of coping with them. Those techniques are perfectly learnable with practice, and following this path is a fabulous experience which will completely transform skiing for you, for ever.

The first half of the week will be on-piste; the second half will be off-piste.

Prices for training will be the same as for our other courses. However, other costs are incurred such as -

  • Mountain guide costs
  • Sometimes extra lift pass costs, or other necessary access-system costs (helicopters etc).
  • You may need to take out slightly more expensive insurance.

Dare You Do It?

Of course there are more risks than on-piste, but compared to the numbers of folk now skiing off-piste, there are very few mishaps indeed worldwide. They get a lot of publicity, but like all these things, the newspapers never do articles about all the times things go right.

You will be in expert hands. You will be provided with all the necessary safety equipment, and most important of all, you won't be allowed to go until you are ready, and only on terrain you will have the techniques to cope with.

Dare you do it? Of course you dare - and it's a marvellous experience. Makes you feel good!

Other than these, the details of our on-piste courses apply in the main. Don't hesitate to phone, fax or email for any further information you want.