Girls Backcountry Ski Weekend

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Introduction

New to the program for winter 2017, the girls backcountry ski clinics focus on introducing the concept of Backcountry skiing in a relaxed all girls environment. We will cover the concept of using skins and ski crampons, the basics avalanche awareness and terrain choice as well as how to move safely through glacial terrain.

We cover the basics of mastering different types of snow, from the hero powder (preferably!) to the dreaded breakable wind crust (inevitable at some point!).

Flexibility is the key – as we can’t predict the conditions, but it will be an informative weekend of relaxed and fun skiing.

These weekends will be based out of the lovely Chalet Pele in Chamonix and fully catered, with a total of three days on snow, and evening talks from inspiring female skiers.

An affordable all inclusive get away to improve confidence and skills amongst like minded people. Chamonix is well placed, just one hour from Geneva, for these weekend breaks with arrival on Thursday evening and return on Sunday evening.

Winter 2018 Dates:
08-11 February
22-25 February
15-18 March

Clicking on the ‘Book Now’ button opposite, will open a new tab/window in your browser and direct you to our online tour booking system. Here you can check the course dates and availability

Course Details

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Location

Chamonix has truly world class off piste skiing. We will be skiing all around Chamonix using the best conditions available, this may include skiing on the glaciers of les Grands Montets and from the Aig du Midi (conditions allowing). Chamonix is famous for its long off piste runs with big vertical in stunning surroundings. There is ample terrain to keep off-piste skiers of all levels happy, and being nestled behind Mont Blanc it gets a lot of snow!
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Further Information.

What's included
  • Guides expenses
  • Guiding fees
  • In resort transport
  • Accommodation in Chamonix
What's not included
  • Transport to/from Chamonix
  • Equipment rental
  • Travel insurance
  • Lift passes
Who is this for?

If you fit our Intro or Intermediate off-piste skier definition then these clinics are for you! Check our ability levels for guidance, but essentially if you have skied off piste before, perhaps had some tuition, but are struggling to master it, these clinics are ideal. They are also a great ski holiday in themselves!

Accommodation and huts

You will be based in our Chalet Pele in central Chamonix, which has ensuite twin rooms and is a great base for any Chamonix holiday. The chalet has a fun atmosphere, there are often other like minded people staying in the chalets who are on various other courses. Chamonix town is a short 2 minutes walk away with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes.

Typical Itinerary

Typical Itinerary – this varies according to conditions.

Arrive at the chalet and welcome by your hosts. A chance to hire gear, meet your guide(s) and sort out a lift pass.

Day 1:
First day on the slopes! Run through principles of use of avalanche equipment, tranceivers, shovels and probes. Afternoon focused on skiing and terrain choice. Inspirational evening talks back at the chalet.

Day 2:
Time to get out the skins! We will cover the basics of going uphill on skis, tricks on how to increase efficiency on the climbs. Afternoon is spent enjoy the hard earned turns.

Day 3:
Last day on the slopes. We will cover the principals of how to ski safely on glaciers. In the afternoon will look for different types of snow and learn how to adapt your ski style according to the conditions. Departure that evening.

You can store your kit in the chalet on the last day skiing, and a shower will at your disposal in order to freshen up before heading back to Geneva.

Training

Good fitness will make it more fun and you’ll get more out of your week! Although we will tailor the course to your ability, we definitely recommend getting as fit as possible before you start. The process of training for your goal will help you focus on your goal – and having a goal will help you focus on your training. So all in all training is good!

Back country skiing and ski mountaineering is all about being able to exercise at a moderate intensity for several hours, and your training should reflect this. Probably the best training is cycling as this targets similar muscle groups and prepares the mind (exercising for long periods in poor weather requires mental strength!). However not everyone has the opportunity to do this and so alternatives such as jogging and gym workouts are also good.

The focus should be on training Cardiovascular Endurance as well as Strength for long days in the mountains – for cardio cycling/running/rowing machines are much better than weight training. Try and exercise for up to a couple of hours at a time at least twice a week. Try yoga, swimming, pilates etc too to help with core stability and balance. Squats and cycling are a good way to strengthen your legs. Remember to build up your workouts over time. If you are not used to exercising much, your muscles and joints need time to build up to avoid injury.

Try and choose an activity that you enjoy and keep a note of what you do and your times – this really helps with keeping the motivation up. If you are not used to training then your local gym will be able to advise you on a plan and schedule to help you achieve your goals. Training does not work overnight! The fittest athletes train as part of their lifestyles and have been doing it for years. Consider training for a good couple of months before coming out to the Alps.

Kit List

If necessary it is possible to rent most hardware items in Chamonix including a full ski touring set up.

1. Skis with ski touring bindings. Your skis should be a minimum of 90mm underfoot and should be off-piste specific.
2. Ski poles
3. Skins and ski crampons
4. Ski boots and boot crampons – these must fit and be comfortable as we will spend time ascending throughout the week.
5. Ski Helmet
6. Rucksack – 40-50l. with ski straps
7. Avalanche Kit. Transceiver, probe, shovel, harness with 1 screw gate karabiner(can be rented in Chamonix)
8. Sun Protection. Sunglasses, goggles, sunhat, sunscreen, lip salve/block
9. Clothing. 3 sets socks and light coloured thermal tops
10. Clothing cont. Lightweight Gore-Tex top/bottoms, warm hat, thick gloves, thin gloves
11. Insulating layers.
12. Personal first aid – blister kit, ibuprofen.
13. Cash for additional hot drinks / snacks on the mountain
14. Water bottle (minimum 1l)

Download our Clothing & Hardware kit recommendations here

Remember: Kit should be lightweight but functional – you have to carry it. You can rent most of the above from our partners in Chamonix – Concept Pro Shop Chamonix.

Booking info

To find out more about our course, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch through the website or by phone on +33 (0)845 527 58 12.

We take a 20% deposit to secure your place on one of our courses, and we ask for the balance to be paid 6 weeks before the course start date.

Insurance

We strongly recommend getting specialist travel insurance that covers cancellation, medical and mountain rescue.

Make sure that it covers glaciated mountaineering and climbing/ skiing. We recommend the Dogtag (www.dogtag.co.uk) – they have comprehensive policies and a good reputation.

Getting to Chamonix

It is best to book flights and airport transfers well in advance of your departure.

Easyjet have many cheap flights to Geneva from all over the UK. Swiss Air have cheap and convenient flights from London to Geneva.

For airport transfers from Geneva to Chamonix our guests receive a discount on the public rates when booking online at www.transportgrant.com. Or the Easy bus stops right outside the chalet – www.easybus.com

There are several cash points in Chamonix and Maestro/visa/mastercard are all readily accepted.

FAQ's

How big will the group be?
Our ski courses will be no more than 6 people per guide. If the group is larger than 6, there will be a second guide and we will have the ability to split the group if necessary.

Is it possible to book individually rather than a group?
Yes. We run our courses with a minimum of 4 people. You can either book individually into a group or you can book as a group and fill the spaces yourself.

What equipment will I need?
Please read the kit list above.

When is the best time?
Good backcountry conditions are generally from January until early April in the Alps. In January and February we tend to have more frequent snow falls and March and April provide excellent spring skiing conditions.

Do I need insurance?
Yes. You will need to take out a comprehensive backcountry skiing package to cover yourself for your trip.

What’s the weather like?
The weather in the Alps is always changeable, but generally we are confident to say that January and February will be snow-filled and cold with temperatures hitting -15 on occasion. Fast forward to March and April and the weather is generally sunnier and we experience warmer temperatures around the 0 mark.

How do you match up people on the course?
It is very important for you to let us know your previous experience and ski ability level before booking with us. Then we are able to match you up to suitable groups with similar abilities to make sure you get the most out of your trip.

What will we do if the weather is bad?
Chamonix is perfectly situated on the border between France and Italy, with Switzerland within reaching distance too. This gives us ultimate flexibility to find the best conditions in the area. If needs be we will drive to Italy or Switzerland or other nearby French resorts like Les Contamines or St. Gervais in search of better conditions.

Why choose Adventure Base?

3 reasons to choose Adventure Base for all your mountain adventures.

1. Safety means success – We have been guiding clients in the backcountry for over 8 years with a very high safety rate. To date we have had no major incidents or injuries. This is due to us taking great care in assessing the current snow conditions, and educating our clients on mountain safety.

2. Fun times – We believe in fun times. Skiing in the backcountry can be a serious challenge. But who says it can’t be fun too? Our guides are full of energy, knowledge, fun facts and big smiles. They help create lasting memories.

3. Word of Mouth – Over 70% of new clients have been recommended to us by a friend or colleague. We don’t spend big on marketing campaigns, we stay true to our product, we pay attention to every detail and then let you do the talking.

Rhiannon Cook
“These taster weekends are a great opportunity to get to grips with the basics needed in order to have fun in the backcountry. They are so worth it and so much fun – come and join us for the next one!”
Rhiannon, General Manager at Adventure Base

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