This week one of the Mountain Lifestyle team enjoyed a great day out with the ESF on their Mont Blanc Discovery day; off-piste skiing in the Italian resort of Courmayeur. This is what she made of her Italian adventure…
We met at 8.30 at the Maison des Guides in Chamonix and everyone who didn’t have their own was lent an avalanche transceiver for the day. We then set off through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Courmayeur, a short journey of about 30 minutes.
We were a bit of a mixed group so our guides used the first run to assess our ski/snowboard abilities and put us into appropriate groups, so that we could all keep up with each other.
My group was a mixture of skiers and snowboarders, all with a bit of off-piste experience under our belts. First of all we went to the top of the Crest D’Arp to go off-piste. It was a challenging morning of skiing steep terrain with a descent of about 1500m from Col D’Arp down to Dolonne, via a wide gorge and through the woods.
Our instructor, Raf, was fantastic – he had a very kind relaxed nature which made you feel at ease the whole way. He stopped on several occasions to give us information about the mountains that surrounded us and was happy to give tips and advice on handling the terrain.
Once we got back on the piste it was time to have lunch at Château Branlant. The food was delicious; we tucked into selection of charcuterie meats and cheeses to start with, followed by a main dish of risotto and ravioli, then a selections of desserts and coffees. They also catered for vegans with a lovely mushroom barley dish served with roasted vegetables. All with a few glasses of red wine, of course – viva Italia!
After lunch we split into different groups depending on what type of terrain you wanted to ski, then we all headed back in the direction of the car park – either down the pistes, or off-piste through Val Veny.
Everyone in the group commented on what a great day it was. It was so much fun to go off-piste with our lovely guides, have some delicious Italian food and meet a group of like-minded people.
So, if this sounds like your kind of day out the Mont Blanc Discovery days offer an unbeatable opportunity to experience the first-rate skiing of the Mont Blanc region. You’ll enjoy the best off-piste routes in the Chamonix valley, the Aosta valley (Italy) and Valais (Switzerland) with a team of experienced mountain guides and ski instructors.
Every morning your instructor or guide will join you at your hotel or residence to drive you to the chosen site in a private minibus. Group sizes are kept to a small size of 4-8 people so that you benefit from the attention of the guide. You can book for one (87€), three (244€) or six (450€) days and explore a new area each day to enjoy the best of the available snow conditions. Your guides enjoy the day as much as you will and they’ll take you to their favourite places for lunch.
Forget the queues! Priority ski lift access and reserved cable cars means that you get to spend more time skiing and less time waiting in lines. Your guides enjoy the day as much as you will and they’ll take you to their favourite places for lunch.