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Tarentaise Backcountry Access

Tarentaise Backcountry Access

May 30, 2012 |  by Phil Smith  |  Backcountry, Off-Piste, iSKI Courses


The perfect extension from our Backcountry and Off-Piste courses. Backcountry Access is for skiers that are willing to put in a bit more work in order to access unbelievable off-piste with the use of touring skis and skins combined with use of the local lift system and helicopters where possible.

The whole purpose of the Backcountry Access Course is to use the lift system to gain as much height as possible then skin from there to open up a whole world of off-piste skiing where only those with skins can access. What does that get you? Fantastic off-piste skiing with little or no other skiers. Heaven!

Unlike most ‘ski touring’ trips Backcountry Access is all about the ‘downhill’ – The use of skins is to access great off-piste descents. Each ‘access’ with skins will last a maximum of 30 minutes to 1 hour with some of the bigger descents a 2 hour skin.

March 16th to 23rd
March 30th to April 5th
St Foy – The Auberge Sur La Montagne

The courses will be based in St Foy at the Auberge Sur La Montagne. 5 minutes to St Foy, 10 Minutes to Tignes, Val D’Isere, Les Arcs and into La Plagne and 25 minutes to Rosier and La Thuille. There is probably no other place in the world where you can access so much terrain in such a short time.

The Auberge has everything you need to provide for a great off-piste experience. On hand ski tech and service centre with access to ski touring equipment, hot tub, bar and lounge and undoubtedly one of the best features of the Auberge – The food. You will not find such a high level of cuisine on a ski holiday of this price!

Example Itinerary
Like all itineraries of this nature flexibility will be maintained throughout to offer the best possible off-piste experience for the conditions at the time.

Col d’Aguille  & Fogliettaz Summit
From the top lift in St Foy a 45 minutes easy skin and your into the North Face and a 1,800, vertical descent to La Mazure where a 10 minute minibus transfer will take us back around to the St Foy ski area.

Col de Chal
A 1,100, off-piste descent to Peisey with a 5 minute bus ride back into the Les Arcs system.

Grand Col
From the Grand Col chairlift a 30 minute easy skin to the Col followed by a magnificent north east off-piste bowl below the Aiguille Rouge and Mont Turia. A steep entrance followed by a magnificent off-piste descent to Villaroger.

Col Grenier
From the top chair in St Foy, a traverse and a 30 minute skin to the ‘real’ Col Grenier followed by another untracked north facing off-piste descent to the Mecurel Valley. A 2 hour skin from here will take us to the Montseti Ridge with stunning views across to the Ruitor Glacier in Italy. Another north facing off-piste descent down to the Ruitor Refuge and on to the village of Mazure where we can get picked up by minibus and 15 minutes later you could be soaking in the hot tub with bar service provided by the Auberge – luxury!

Col de L’Ouille Noir & Grand Aguille Rousse
Val D’isere and take the top lift at Le Fornet. A short 30 minute skin to Col de L’Ouille Noir where you can look down the valley towards the ski resort of Bonneval. Two options – we will either ski off-piste to Bonneval and take a helicopter back to Val D’Isere or take a short ski followed by a 1 hour skin to just below the Grand Aguille Rousse. A huge off-piste descent to the Prariond Refuge and back to Val D’Isere via the Malpasset Gorge.

Les Pigettes,  Col D’Argentiere & Couloir Doudou
We’ll take the top lift in St Foy and ski off-piste on the south side towards the Glacier de La Balme and Plateau de Clou followed by a descent all the way to Les Pigettes. Pickup by minibus and back around to St Foy. Again we’ll take the top lift ski the south facing slopes but this time we’ll take a 2 hour skin across Lacs Vaudet and Lac Blanc to the Col d’Argentiere followed by a north facing descent to the Archeboc Refuge. An option at this point for the adventurous of another 15 minute skin and a descent down the steep Couloir Doudou.

Lac du Chevril
Tignes – no skins but a short 30 minute hike to ‘Mickeys Ears’. From here a fabulous steep off-piste descent all the way to Lac du Chevril followed by a 5 minute helicopter pickup and drop off in Val D’Isere.

• Touring skis with skins
• Backpack with carrying facilities for skis
• Off-piste safety equipment comprising of shovel, probe and transceiver
• All can be hired from Snoworks and the Auberge if required.

Course Spaces
Get in quick. 21 persons, 3 groups of 7.

For prices and further details click here.

Click on a photo below for slide show.

See Videos of a few classic routes in the Tarentaise area:
Tarentaise Tour
Val D’Isere to Bonneval and return by helicopter
Lac du Chevril and return by helicopter
Spatule – Val D’Isere Off-Piste
Pisteurs Couloir

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