Our 3 Favourite Off-Piste Experiences for Skier & Snowboarders in Chamonix

It might have been a bit slow to start but with the arrival of a few massive dumps of snow recently, this winter is now looking pretty amazing!

So much snow fell last week that the pisteurs at Les Grands Montets were gob-smacked and have been hard at work ever since making the ski areas safe and avalanche-free for us to enjoy.

Pisteurs securing the ski area at Les Grands Montets in Chamonix

However, the late and sudden arrival of the snow unfortunately makes for fairly unsteady conditions up in the mountains. The avalanche risk has been consistently high and although there is huge temptation is to go ripping through the powder at every opportunity, mountain guides and pisteurs are advising everyone to be cautious and to ski or snowboard safely – especially if you are thinking of going off-piste.

Off-piste ski course with Chamonix Experience mountain guides

The Chamonix backcountry has so much to offer and there is fantastic off-piste terrain to discover. An ideal way to explore, and to learn essential safety skills, is by doing an off-piste course. Here are our top three…

All Mountain – one of our favourites, this 3 day course takes you all over the Grands Montets into bowls, gullies and powder fields where you’ll learn how to ride off-piste, make steep turns, attack moguls and handle bad conditions such as ice and hardpack. Your guide will seek out the best places for the conditions and teach you how to master the mountain like a boss. Split over 3 half days at 195€ per person, this is ideal preparation for doing the Vallée Blanche – your guide will let you know if you are ready to do it.
Book All Mountain Here

Off-Piste & Freeride – we’re not saying “don’t go off-piste”, it’s far too much fun to miss out on! You’ll have an even better time if you go with a pro and learn how to shred the pow and find the best stashes. Our freeride and off-piste courses go from half days to full weeks for everyone from complete beginners to experienced powder hounds. Starting from just 69€ they are definitely worth it, you’ll experience Chamonix in a whole new light.
Book Off-Piste & Freeride Here

Avalanche Awareness – learn invaluable skills and have a great off-piste experience. If you want to explore then you need to learn how to do it safely, especially with the snowpack being as unstable as it is this winter. This half-day course will take you into the mountains and teach you the basics of assessing the snow conditions, evaluating the avalanche risk, carrying out a search using a transceiver and what to do if the worst happens. At just 69€ per person it’s an investment that you’ll use every time you go off-piste. We also offer longer courses for those who want to learn more about avalanche, off-piste and glacier safety.
Book Avalanche Awareness Here

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Once you’ve mastered the techniques of off-piste skiing you’ll be ready to tackle the Vallée Blanche – Chamonix’s most famous off-piste run. Riding the lift up to the summit of the Aiguille du Midi at 3842m, stepping out through the ice tunnel onto the arete, skiing down amongst the seracs and crevasses of the Mont Blanc Massif – it is an unbeatable experience for any confident skier or snowboarder.

Ski the Vallee Blanche from the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix

The Vallée Blanche is not technically a difficult route, it is often compared to being no harder than your average red piste, which is why it is so accessible even to those who don’t have huge off-piste experience. It is glacial terrain though, which is why it is essential to only ever ski the Vallee Blanche with a guide. Glaciers constantly shift and evolve, with crevasses opening up and changing shape with every different weather pattern. This is why none of our mountain guides would ever compromise your safety by taking you down if they thought that conditions were too bad or that you weren’t ready to tackle it.

We also have a ton of other options to offer such as private ski/snowboard guiding, off-piste lessons for everyone from beginners to experiences skiers/snowboarders, longer ski tours with overnight accommodation in mountain refuges, snowshoe treks and so on. Please visit our website or contact us for more details.

The Chamonix ski slopes are now in great condition and the next few days look like they’re going be as glorious as today’s webcam image from Flegere…

Chamonix webcam image of Flegere ski area

We get a lot of calls and emails asking us what the snow’s like – you can see for yourself with the daily video snow report, live webcams and local weather forecasts on our Chamonix Snow & Weather page.

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Make this Winter the Best Ever : Off-Piste Ski Clinics & Private Guiding in Chamonix

After one of the driest summers and warmest autumns on record, Chamonix is looking forward to an epic winter. According to the long-range weather forecast, all the precipitation that has been holding back for the past few months is forecast to fall during December and continue throughout the season.

With plenty of precipitation comes plenty of… POWDER!!! So here are our best tips for making the most of all that lovely white stuff this winter.

December Off-Piste Ski Clinic
Powder skiing in Courmayeur Italy near Chamonix Mont BlancGet in there early and nail those powder turns right at the start of the season. This pre-Christmas off-piste course will not only show you the best untracked snow but will also give you a great start to the season. The 5 day course will teach you everything you need to ski all types of off-piste terrain, including essential avalanche awareness and crevasse rescue skills. Taught by qualified mountain guides and ski instructors, you will learn various techniques to improve your control and performance both on and off-piste; video analysis will help you pin-point whatever you need to focus on to become a much better skier. The course only accepts a maximum of 6 people, to ensure the best results, so book now as places are strictly limited!
Contact us for more details on the December Off-Piste Ski Clinic

aiguille-du-midi-chamonix-01Private Mountain Guiding
Looking to find the best powder, the gnarliest descents, the most remote slopes or the best mountain restaurants? A private mountain guide will ensure that you have an experience that goes way beyond waiting in lift queues and dodging snakes of snowploughing 5 year olds this winter. No matter what your ski or snowboard experience, your guide will tailor your day to suit you and to exceed your expectations. All of our guides are fully UIAGM qualified and know the Chamonix valley like the back of their ski mittens; from classic descents such as the Vallée Blanche to ski safaris and secret powder fields, let them take you on an unforgettable journey into the Chamonix mountains.
Chamonix mountain guides – see here for details


Ski touring in Chamonix with a mountain GuideSki Touring & Splitboarding

New to ski touring or an experienced backcountry adventurer? The Mont Blanc mountains are some of the best in the world for exploring away from the lift systems and groomed pistes. Complete beginners can get to grips with the basics on our one day introductory course; there are plenty of gentle ski tours that are easily accessible from the Chamonix ski areas. Lead by a professional mountain guide, you’ll learn how to use crampons and perform kick-turns to trek deeper into the alpine wilderness. If you want to take your ski touring to the next level we also offer 2 day and 5 day courses, where you will venture further afield and see even more of the incredible Chamonix backcountry.
Ski touring in Chamonix – see here for details

Avalanche transceiver training in ChamonixMountain Safety & Avalanche Rescue
Nothing could be more important than playing safe when you’re in the mountains. Exploring off-piste and skiing fresh powder is amazing but knowing about avalanches, glaciers and crevasses could save your life – or enable you to save someone else’s life. We offer a choice of mountain safety courses from 4 hour basic training to 4 day advanced search and rescue skills. Prices start from just 69€ per person – it could be the best investment you’ve ever made.
Avalanche Awareness & Glacier Safety Courses – see here for details