Alpine Experience

Ski-Areas > Northern Alps > Savoie (73) > Tarentaise > Val d'Isère > Off Piste > Alpine Experience

To sum up, skiing with Alpine Experience will let you cover a lot of off-piste. Each person carries a transceiver and the guide is also in radio contact with base. The emphasis is on finding safe routes where you can concentrate on improving your technique or just enjoying the conditions. This is obviously a premium for people with just one or two weeks precious ski holiday a year. The two guides I was with were very open about discussing aspects of route finding and mountain safety. However there were other people in the group and I felt that this was not the appropriate place to learn this aspect of off-piste skiing, you don't buy a guard dog to bark yourself after all?

Your guide wears a backpack with shovel, probe and an abs airbag?. Along with the avalung? this is the latest cry in off-piste safety. When the snow starts to break away the wearer simply reach up to a white plastic handle located around your left shoulder and pull. A canister explodes filling two orange pillows with gas and the victim magically float to the surface of any avalanche. Or at least that is the theory. It is certainly a long way from the silk ribbons trailed by the early ski mountaineers. The guide is always the first person to ski any route. His priority is risk avoidance, but his position at the front means that he always takes the biggest risks himself, this fact is borne out by the statistics.

If you want to travel independently off piste with friends there are lots of resources, books, Web guides like this one and courses but in the end you have to get out there and do it. Many people, for a good many very sensible reasons, some of which I hope I've given here, won't make this step.


Off Piste

Off Piste, Wayne Watson

Off Piste is written by Val d'Isere guide Wayne Watson and is naturally oriented towards the possibilities around that resort.

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