After a slow start to the winter season, it looks like we’re getting it all at once – 1.5m of fresh snow has fallen this week, with another 2.5m forecast over the weekend!
The great news is that any remaining rocks and bare patches are rapidly disappearing under a thick layer of the lovely white stuff, making for excellent conditions both on and off-piste.
The warm dry conditions of December mean that the snow base is likely to be unstable though and this unfortunately makes the avalanche risk high. We would always recommend hiring a mountain guide for off-piste skiing anyway, but the current conditions make it extra advisable.
Here are just a few good reasons to hire a mountain guide:
- Safety – a qualified mountain guide will have been thoroughly trained in avalanche awareness and rescue. So, not only are you less likely to be caught up in a dangerous situation in the first place, but you’ll be with the right person should the worst happen.
- Local knowledge – why bumble around by yourselves missing out on the best snow when you could be making fresh tracks in awesome terrain? Your mountain guide will know exactly where to find the best powder stashes and how to navigate the vast Chamonix off-piste, maximising your time on the mountain.
- Progression – got goals to achieve? Want to improve your off-piste skills and learn more about backcountry safety? Your mountain guide will have a wealth of experience and knowledge that you can benefit from. While not necessarily the same as a ski instructor, your mountain guide will take your abilities into account and give you invaluable advice on skiing different types of terrain.
- Fun!!! – explore terrain that you didn’t know existed, shred slopes you didn’t know you were capable of, find excellent snow that you wouldn’t have found by yourself and generally have a fantastic time playing in the powder! All courtesy of your Chamonix mountain guide!
We offer a number of different guiding options – the most flexible option is to hire a private mountain guide for one or more days, either just for yourself or get a group of mates together and split the cost. Because it is a private group you can go wherever you like and the guide will tailor the day to whatever you want to do. Time and time again we hear people tell us that this was the best day of their holiday!
Book your private mountain guide here
Alternatively, if you want to keep costs down you can always join a group for 4 hours of off-piste powder, gullies and moguls tuition on the Evo2 Off-Piste Clinic. At just 69€ it is a great way to kick-start your skills and give you heaps of confidence. You’ll be in a small group with either skiers or snowboarders of similar standard to yourself and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to sample some of the best off-piste terrain in Chamonix, under the guidance of an expert ski or snowboard instructor and mountain guide – an unmissable experience!
Book your off-piste clinic here
Starting this Monday 11th January we have a fantastic 5 day introductory off-piste ski course, taught by a great team of UIAGM qualified mountain ski guides and ENSA qualified ski instructors. You’ll explore the couloirs, glaciers and snow-filled forests of Chamonix whilst developing your off-piste skiing technique and learning essential safety skills. This course is extremely popular and we only have three places left so CONTACT US NOW to find out more!
Book your 5 day off-piste course here
As much as all of the above is relevant at any time of the winter, it is especially important at the moment to take all necessary safety precautions. Venturing off-piste is one of the most rewarding and enjoyable experiences you can have, so do it safely in the company of a qualified Chamonix mountain guide.