Ski Guiding

Feeling limited by piste-skiing? Want to escape the crowds? Looking for more of a challenge? Off-piste skiing and ski-touring both offer endless opportunities to explore away from the pistes, in places of amazing beauty and solitude.

Ski touring near la grave

Ski touring near la grave

Skiing Ability & Fitness Levels

To get the most out of your time with us, you need to be sure you are booking a programme which suits your skiing ability and fitness level.

Ski Ability Level

Introductory
You can ski red runs confidently with linked turns (moving from one turn straight into the next without traversing), and you want to improve technique in variable snow

Intermediate
You can ski black runs confidently with linked turns (moving from one turn straight into the next without traversing), and you want to improve technique in variable snow

Advanced
You can ski all types of snow and terrain confidently in a wide range of conditions

Fitness levels

Level 1
You are fit enough to ski all day on a week-long ski holiday with stops for food and drink. You are able to ski off-piste for most of the day, but feel tired towards the end. You regularly exercise 2-3 times a week eg running, walking, cycling, swimming or playing sports. A raised heart rate is normal whilst exercising, and you can sustain this for a period of time e.g. 45 minute run, 2 hour bike ride.

Level 2
You are fit enough to ski all day with only short stops for food and drink. You can ski off-piste all day without being too tired at the end of the day, and you can do this over several consecutive days. You regularly exercise 3-5 times a week eg running, walking, cycling, swimming or playing sports to maintain your fitness, and you’re able to push yourself harder if needed for short periods of time.

Ski touring on the Plateau d'Emparis, with La Meije and Le Rateau behind

Ski touring on the Plateau d'Emparis, with La Meije and Le Rateau behind

Ski Touring

Download the full programme for the following ski tours here

Ski Touring: The Haute Route - Chamonix to Zermatt

Length: 9 guided days
Maximum ratio: 1:6
Ski ability level: intermediate
Fitness level: 2

Blog post about skiing in Zermatt:
Skiing in Zermatt 22nd January 2015

Haute Route photo gallery

Ski Touring: Mont Blanc

Length: 5 guided days out of 6 with a built-in rest day
Maximum ratio:
Ski ability level: advanced
Fitness level: 2
Check out this blog post: How To Successfully Ski Mont Blanc

Ski Touring: St Moritz to Davos in the Albula Alps, Switzerland

Length: 6 guided days
Maximum ratio: 1:6
Ski ability level: intermediate
Fitness level: 2

St Moritz to Davos photo gallery 

Ski Touring: Gran Paradiso, Italy

Length: 3 guided days
Maximum ratio: 1:6
Ski ability level: intro/intermediate
Fitness level: 1

Ski Touring: Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

Length: 6 guided days
Maximum ratio: 1:6
Ski ability level: intermediate/advanced
Fitness level: 2

Ski Touring: the Dauphiné Alps

There are many areas in the Dauphiné Alps that are largely undeveloped and unspoilt, with picturesque mountain villages nestling on steep mountainsides – quite different from some of the more well-known winter holiday destinations. The area offers endless classic one-day Alpine ski-tours, in dramatic terrain with stunning views. Please ask if you would like more information.

Useful blog post: Ski touring, Queyras, 25th March 2015

Ski Touring: Day Tours From Chamonix

The Chamonix valley offers a wide range of day tours , from introductory to advanced. Maximum ratios depend on objectives, ski ability and fitness level

Check out these blog post for more photos of ski touring around Chamonix:
Ski touring, Chamonix valley, 6th March 2015
Ski touring, Chamonix valley, 20th February 2015
Ski touring, Chamonix valley, 18th February 2015

skiing down the glacier du amethyst in the chamonix valley

skiing down the glacier du amethyst in the chamonix valley

Off-Piste Skiing

Off-Piste Performance Days

Off-piste performance days are for strong piste skiers who want to learn to ski off-piste, at La Grave or Chamonix. Included is personal techique and mountain awareness training (avalanche risk management, use of transceivers etc).  

Off-Piste Skiing: La Grave

Feeling limited by piste-skiing? Want to escape the crowds? Looking for more of a challenge? At La Grave the cable-car takes you to 3200m, where the choice of descent is huge, varying from gentle to spectacular, vast open terrain to thickly wooded slopes. It is the largest lift-accessed off-piste skiing area in the world, with 2150 vertical metres of skiing. A day ticket gives unlimited use of the cable car. Here's a video made by a client, Elis Rees, of a day skiing through the trees.

Blog post about skiing around La grave:
Col de la Girose, 21st March 2015

Off Piste Skiing from Chamonix: Les Grands Montets

A huge variety of terrain and descents from intro to advanced, tailored to your fitness and skill levels.

Blog post about skiing at the Grands Montets:
Skiing at the Grands Montets, 25th February 2015

Heli Skiing in Italy via the Mont Blanc tunnel

Ski ability level: advanced
Fitness level: 2

Heli skiing - riding up in a helicopter, skiing down - is the ultimate in skiing luxury. There will normally be two drops in a day's skiing. Please ask for more info if you are interested

Off Piste Skiing From Chamonix: La Valleé Blanche

Length: 1 guided day
Maximum ratio: 1:6 for the standard route; 
Ski ability level: intro/intermediate
Fitness level: 1
The above ratio, ski ability and fitness levels apply to the standard route; more technical variations are done at smaller ratios and require higher levels of ability and fitness.

The Valleé Blanche is the most famous off-piste ski descent in the world: 22km long, 2700m of descent, surrounded by stunning Alpine peaks. There are many variations on the standard route, for example:

  • Petit Envers
  • Grand Envers
  • Ski the Italian side of the Valleé Blanche from the Helbronner cable car, or from the Aiguille du Midi cable car station with ski touring kit. 

Blog posts about skiing the Valleé Blanche:
Skiing La Vallée Blanche, 24th March 2016

Valleé Blanche photo gallery 

Dates

Dates for all our courses and guiding are listed on the calendar

Guiding Fees

1:1 £320 per day
1:2 £340 per day
1:3 £360 per day
1:4 £380 per day
1:5 £400 per day
1:6 £420 per day

In addition to the guiding fees, you will need to pay for cable cars and overnights in mountain huts when used, and you will pay these same expenses for Chris. Prices in each hut vary, but bed and half board is usually 55-65€ per person, with guides being charged a lower rate. Cable cars cost between 26€ and 55€ for a return ticket. See our booking conditions for more info on this. You will also need to pay for travel to the Alps, insurance, and food and accommodation when in the valley.

Travel & Accommodation

Lots of useful ideas can be downloaded here:
Chamonix accommodation & travel
Switzerland accommodation & travel

Equipment

A detailed equipment list can be downloaded here

Blog posts about skiing equipment:
AvaTech SP1 Avalanche Probe
K2 Coomback 104 skis

Preparation

The fitter you are, the more you will get out of your time with us, as all ski guiding requires considerable physical effort. Swimming, cycling, and hill-walking, and of course skiing, are all good preparation.