INTRO SKI TOURING & WINTER SKILLS
Off the piste and into the wilderness
READY TO SKI ?
Ski touring, ski mountaineering or back country skiing takes you off the groomed slopes and into the big white valleys where others don’t much go. If you enjoy walking in summer, can ski, and yearn to lose the ski lift queues, then this is the sport for you. Snow conditions range from perfect to challenging, and that is all part of the experience.
This introductory week gives you the skills you need to enter the world of ski touring, an overview of the equipment and techniques required, teaches you about avalanche safety and how to use your transceiver, and, last but not least, provides some great off-piste skiing. The Pyrenees is an excellent place to learn and improve your skills, opening you up to a new world of possibilities.
• Learn how to use touring skis, skins, ski crampons and avalanche transceivers
• Learn about snow and avalanche safety
• Great off-piste skiing in the Hautes Pyrenees
• Option of a night out in a mountain refuge
• Optional off-piste descent from Pic du Midi (2877m)
This price includes :
• 7 nights double/twin share B&B accommodation in Hotel Les Templiers
• Organic buffet breakfast each day
• 6 days guiding with a UIAGM qualified guide
• Collection from and return to Lourdes train station
*Single supplement at the hotel 20€/night. If only one, client we can offer three guided days and three independent days (skiing on piste).
• Lift passes where necessary
• Hire gear (225€ for the week + 75€ for avalanche pack)
• Lunches (bakery/shops close by, fridge in lounge for cold storage, or mountain restaurant options)
• Dinners each evening (numerous restaurants to choose from in Luz just in front of the hotel door)
• Airport transfer (shuttle bus connecting cost 15€ each way). Count 55 mins.
Travel to Lourdes where we will collect you from the train station. Once at the hotel we will head down with you to collect hired gear if necessary. A briefing about your week before dinner will answer last minute questions.
You are based in Hotel Les Templiers in the historic centre of Luz, close to shops and amenities. You can buy picnic supplies each morning or evening. There is a fridge in the lounge for guest use. Or if you are skiing in an area close to one of the local resorts you can choose to eat lunch in one of the warm mountain restaurants.
The first day of the course focuses on off-piste ski technique using touring skis, and is based in one of the three ski resorts around Luz St. Sauveur. The tuition will be mainly about ski techniques but you should have all of your touring gear with you. We will spend most of the day between on piste and off-piste but all the techniques are designed to help you improve your off-piste skiing. We will also spend some time looking at your equipment and checking that it is all functioning properly.
Today we focus on off-piste skiing and avalanche safety and we can choose from a variety of different mountains to ski depending on conditions. The day will start with some tuition in the use of Avalanche Transceivers before we begin skiing. The skiing will be varied and will test your skiing in different ways. Tuition will be given in off-piste ski techniques as we progress through the day.
We can choose the option of skiing the Pic du Midi descent, from 2877m. There is a significant off-piste domain around Pic du Midi with cable car access.
There are plenty of locations to choose from so we will head off on a day tour either in the Néouvielle Nature Reserve area or the Gavarnie area depending on conditions. Tuition will focus on the use of climbing skills using skins. There are a number of techniques that can be used to help minimise effort and conserve energy. We will practise kick turns – essential for climbing steeper slopes – and different methods to get the skis to glide with least resistance.
Your guide will choose an itinerary in order for you to experience a range of off-piste snow conditions. Again you will be in the Pyrenees National Park or the Néouvielle Nature Reserve. This is the great advantage of a valley base in winter - your guide knows where is best for that day and those conditions, and can take you there!
DAY 6 & 7
Your week finishes with a two day tour staying overnight in Refuge Wallon in the Marcadau Valley. This gives you a taste of the great Pyrenean outdoors in winter and an idea of what hut to hut ski touring is all about. Or, if you prefer, we can continue the day tours and fit in the big off piste descent from Pic du Midi (2877m).
Transfer to Lourdes.