Based in the Leysin resort, we start the week by covering the fundamentals of planning a day off-piste skiing. We look in detail at the weather both past and present and make informed decisions on the snow pack, safe slopes to ski on and where the best snow is. We get out and enjoy some great off piste skiing, developing your off-piste ski technique, looking at the actual snow that we find on the various aspects of slopes, refresh the use of avalanche tranceivers, route choice on off-piste terrain, group management, assessing the snow pack and understanding avalanche terrain.
This is very much an instructional based week with the emphasis on learning, coaching and developing your existing skills and taking your own ski touring to the next level as well as applying them to become more indendent with actiual hands on training where you start to make your own decisions and gain experience leading from the front. This constant theme of learning and coaching with an emphasis on you taking the lead and starting to make decisions for yourself will be a thread throughout the week to a point whereby you'll hopefully feel more competent and confident to plan your own ski tours independently in the future.
The second day is also based in Leysin building on the skills developed on the first day with more input from us on your off-piste ski technique, skiing styles appropriate for the snow conditions and steepness of terrain, group management, avalanche awareness and the snow pack, general route finding and route choice when skiing off-piste.
Weather and conditions permitting, we leave Leysin and head over to Arolla at the head of the Val D'Herrens above Sion. From Arolla we take the lifts and then skin up to the Dix hut, below the Mt Blanc Du Cheilon. During the ascent up to the Dix hut we'll look and discuss the new snow pack, the snow conditions at this higher altutude, route finding in the ascent, have a practical session on crevasse rescue and building snow belays and using ropes for security on steep terrain. Once at the hut we'll discuss the snow we found during our ascent, the weather forecast and then talk through a plan for the following day, trying to give you the knowledge and skills to do most of the planning for yourself so that you gain expereince of starting to make these decisions if out with a group independently. Even if the week for you is only about developing your Ski Touring Skills we feel that the more knowledge you have the more you get from an alpine experience and the safer that experince will be.
We leave the Dix hut early morning and head up to our chosen objective taking in our planned route to the summit of an alpine peak. You'll have the opportunity of leading from the front making route choice decisions, developing your ropework skills on steep terrain and managing a group. It's this practical experience once all the rights skills and experience have been developed that you gain confidence to safely lead a group ski touring.
Another ascent or high pass building on all the skills learnt throughout the week looking more at security on steep terrain using a rope, route planning, navigation and enjoying some great off-piste skiing.
Maps: Rochers de Naye 262s 1:50,000, St Maurice 272s 1:50,000, Wildstribel 263s 1:50,000, Arolla 283S 1:50 000