FAQ’s

What level of off-piste skiing/boarding do I need to be?

We offer courses from Introductory level up to advanced off-piste. Each course is adapted to one of 5 levels to suit your particular standard of skiing or snowboarding:

Level 1 – Introductory: You can confidently get down a steep red run and traverse 30 metres along a slope in fresh snow without falling over.
Level 2 – Intermediate: You can link 5 to 10 turns in reasonable form in fresh snow on moderately steep slopes.
Level 3 : Intermediate Plus: You can confidently link 10 turns or more in fresh snow. You are comfortable on moderately steep (average steepness of a red run) to fairly steep (fairly steep part of red run) off-piste.
Level 4 – Good level off-piste: You can link as many turns as you like in light fresh snow with not necessarily the best form in the world.
Level 5 – Advanced level off-piste: You can confidently go off-piste pretty much anywhere on the mountain.

What safety equipment will I need?

It is essential that everyone participating on the course has a transceiver, shovel and probe. We also strongly recommend the use of airbags and helmets. We do not supply this equipment because we feel it is important that you start the process of learning about this kit now. For those staying in Val d’Isère, we recommend rental from Jean Sports – you can get a 25% discount on hire, from them, if you book on-line on this link: www.jeansports.com. For those  in Tignes, Tignes Spirit in Le Lavachet is the place to go – again with good discounts if you book on line: www.tignes-spirit.com

Which skis and bindings should I have?

We highly recommend that your skis have a width of  at least between 85 and 95 mm underfoot. (If you are at Levels 1 or 2, maybe even a little wider). Depending on snow conditions, we may recommend that you use skis with touring bindings and skins, as these enable us to access the better snow. If you do not have these, again they can be hired from Jean Sports in Val d’Isere and Tignes Spirit in Tignes.

What else will I need to bring?

For those without ABS packs, you will need to carry a backpack in which to put your shovel and probe, along with a drink, a snack and a spare layer of clothing. We let you know the day before if you will need to bring a packed lunch.

How many people do you take in a group?

We generally take between 4 and 6 people of similar ability per group.

Do you take mixed groups of snowboarders and skiers?

Generally we prefer to have groups of one or the other, as they can reach different types of terrain (e.g. for boarders it’s harder to traverse). If you are a group of 4 to 6 with boarders and skiers, who are happy to accommodate each others’ different needs, we may be able to help you.

Where do we run the courses?

In Val d’Isère and Tignes.

When do we run the courses?

Every Tuesday to Thursday of the season. For single group bookings, we may be able to offer some flexibility on days – please enquire.

Will my insurance cover me off-piste?

All ski insurances are different. Please research yours very carefully, and have a look at this useful Off-Piste Insurance Article.

Advanced Courses

If you are interested in doing more advanced courses Henry and Henry’s Avalanche Talk (HAT) have designed multiple-day advanced courses which are available on demand. These advanced courses are equivalent to an Alpine version of the Canadian Avalanche Centre Avalanche Skills Training Level 2 (AST 2) or the American Avalanche Association Level 2: Avalanche Processes and Leadership.