Backcountry Snowboard Weeks
19th - 26th January 2013 - £829 - Late cancellation, one space
Additional date added - 26th January - 2nd February - FULL
We're now into our third year of running some dedicated off-piste backcountry snowboard weeks. For winter 2013, we're expanding the week to 12 snowboarders and we'll have 2 instructors, giving us the flexibility to split the group in two either depending on ability or according to your motivation to hike for the best lines! The format of the week will be to do a warm-up day in Sainte Foy (unguided, on or off-piste as you prefer!) which will include an avalanche safety training course - both an on-mountain transceiver training session and an evening lecture/discussion. This will be followed by 5 days of guided, backcountry riding, either in Sainte Foy or in any of the resorts around the valley.
The instructors for this year will once again be:
Alex Rippe (www.alextrem.org)
Sainte Foy local Alex will be joining us again for another year, bringing his unique blend of humour, local knowledge, incredible skiing, excellent teaching and perfect franglais. Even very experienced skiers have been amazed at what they've been able to learn from Alex even in a very short time. We consider Alex to be one of the best instructors around and it's him we go to if we want a ski lesson ourselves. Alex is also one of the few French instructors who is just as capable on a snowboard as he is on skis.
Neil McNair (www.mcnairsnowsports.com)
Neil is one of the top BASI snowboard trainers (i.e. he trains new top-level instructors!) and a coach to the British snowboard team. He's also on the BASI demo team, heading to international events to demonstrate the best in British snowboarding. Stevo met Neil on a drag tow in Austria during his own snowboard instructor training and credits Neil's advice in those 5 minutes for getting him through the course! Neil is a Tignes local and rides regularly at Sainte Foy so also has excellent local knowledge. Like Alex, he's capable of riding both skis and snowboard to the highest level.
Stevo (BASI2 Snowboard Instructor & International Mountain Leader) will also help out as tail guide throughout the week to keep things flowing smoothly.
We'll ride the best lines at Sainte Foy and all round the valley - the Grand Col at Les Arcs, north face of the Bellecote at La Plagne, Col Pers at Val d'Isere, the Grande Motte at Tignes and, of course, the mighty Fogliettaz right here in Sainte Foy are all possibilities. We'll ride wherever the snow is best! We'll have 2 minibuses available throughout the week, so we have plenty of options to do some proper backcountry riding, starting from the lifts and ending up at a remote road-side somewhere. There will almost certainly be some hiking or skinning required to reach the best runs. These will typically be short, but could be as much as 1 hour or possibly more. You will therefore need to have a certain level of fitness. There will be the option to do a day's helicopter uplift if the weather/condtions are right and everybody is up for it.
Our backcountry weeks are aimed at people who already have some experience of off-piste snowboarding or skiing - they are not intended as "intro to off-piste" weeks. Alex and Neil are excellent instructors and will certainly pass on some technique advice during the week, but the idea is to do as much good riding as possible, not to spend a lot of time learning the technique. You don't need to be an off-piste expert, but you shouldn't be a total beginner either. If you're ready for the riding on this trip, you should be answering "yes" to most/all of the following questions:
- Are you happy making turns on steep black runs (on piste)?
- Do you have at least a few days of off-piste skiing/boarding experience?
- Have you ridden deep powder snow?
- Have you ridden really, really horrible lumpy snow off-piste (and survived)?
- Do the photos on the right look fun rather than scary?
Cost for the week will be £829, based on 2 sharing a twin or double room (as appropriate!) which includes:
- 5 days of backcountry guiding with Alex & Neil
- Rental of avalanche safety equipment if required
- Avalanche safety training session (on evening of warm-up day)
- Transport around the valley throughout the week
- 7 nights chalet accommodation
- Hot breakfast and 4-course dinner on 6 nights of the week (we still provide breakfast on our day off, just no hot option)
- Packed lunch
- Champagne and canapés on arrival
- Transfers from/to Bourg Saint Maurice bus/train station
- Unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks
- Afternoon tea & cake
- Bed-linen, towels & slippers
- Posh toiletries from Arran Aromatics
- Wireless internet access
- Snowboard/ski hosted resort tour on your first morning
- 10% discount off ski/snowboard equipment hire from ZigZags
- Hire of any other backcountry kit required e.g. snowshoes for boarders, board/ski carry backpack - all available locally if required
- Airport transfers (get in touch - we are able to offer very competitive transfer rates)
- Dinner on our night off
- Lift passes
- Equipment hire